A peek at the 25th anniversary Offshores which will be showcased at next month’s SIHH
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is over four-decades-old now and has become an enduring legacy of Gérald Genta and of Audemars Piguet itself. The watch with its bold octagonal case and exposed screws has been a heavy hitter for the brand ever since its introduction in the early Seventies. Which is why when Audemars Piguet decided to introduce an even larger and more aggressive Royal Oak called the Royal Oak Offshore in 1993, the watch industry was sceptical.
The sceptics got it wrong, though. Next year, the Offshore which is still in rude health is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Ahead of its debut at the 2018 SIHH in Geneva in January, Audemars Piguet has unveiled the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph 25th Anniversary timepieces. There will be two versions of the watch – steel and 18k pink gold – each of which will be limited to just 50 pieces.
Audemars Piguet has used an entirely redesigned movement, a manual-winding Calibre 2947 in this watch that features a tourbillon and chronograph and still boasts of a seven-day power reserve.
The dial isn’t the typical tapisserie motif that has become somewhat of a mainstay among Royal Oaks. Here, the inner bezel has been hollowed out and it supports eight skeletonized architectural bridges that make up the dial. The 30-minute counter is visible at 3 o’clock and the tourbillon at 9 o’clock.
Realizing that these two limited-edition Offshores might be a little too bold for its dyed-in-the-wool Royal Oak fans, AP has also showcased a back-to-the-basics Royal Oak Offshore Self-Winding Chronograph that has similar aesthetics to the original Royal Oak Offshore which was launched in 1993 – “Petite Tapisserie” dial design, navy blue dial and matching inner bezel, “Royal Oak Offshore” logo on the caseback, stainless steel bracelet – but with updated mechanics that include an automatic movement with a 50-hours power reserve and a chrono function as well.
The anniversary tourbillon chrono in stainless steel is priced at $279,000 while the pink gold version costs $314,000. The price on the self-winding chrono is yet to be confirmed. 2018 is already looking strong for Audemars Piguet.