The Royal Oak Offshore Collection has been truly revitalising the luxury sports watch segment ever since it made its debut in 1993. Bold, Disruptive in its own right… little did anyone expect this collection to carve its own, unique, and somewhat unexpected position in the Audemars Piguet catalogue. It went on to become a commercial success with impressive sales in its first year and firmly solidified Audemars Piguet brand DNA for many years to come. Today, the independent luxury Swiss watchmaker offers over 30 Offshore models ranging from chronographs to high-end complications. As part of their 2021 line up, Audemars Piguet presents 5 new Royal Oak Offshore timepieces honed from stainless steel, 18-carat pink gold or titanium.
For starters, these watches feature a new 43mm case size – which represents the first redesign of the Royal Oak Offshore since the evolution of the 44 mm collection in the early 2000s. By streamlining the screw-locked crown, chronograph pushers and bezel (giving it a slightly curved profile) and incorporating larger polished chamfers, AP has definitely made the case a whole lot sleeker. To the exception of the all-titanium version, the other four timepieces in the collection feature a ceramic bezel for a powerful two-tone contrast. The glareproofed sapphire crystal curved from 6 to 12 o’clock seamlessly fits the curvature of the bezel and completes the overall design.
Another notable update is on the dial. The pyramids composing the iconic “Méga Tapisserie” pattern, available in black, grey, taupe and blue hues, have been sharpened and connected to one another with a raised cross pattern, adding more depth to the dial. The squares topping off the pyramids have been finished with satin-brushing to match with the case’s bold yet refined aesthetics. The chronograph counters have also been rearranged to improve legibility: the minute counter now appears at 9 o’clock, while the hour counter is positioned at 3 o’clock. In addition, the date window has been moved closer to the inner bezel between 4 and 5 o’clock. The small seconds counter is, for its part, at 6 o’clock. Furthermore, the watch presents the new Royal Oak Offshore logo adorning all new models across the collection. The applied gold AP initials appear without the long-form signature at 12 o’clock. The dial also features more assertive gold Royal Oak hands adding to the watch’s powerful identity.
A new case size calls for a new movement and Audemars Piguet has done exactly that. The new Royal Oak Offshore 43 mm line is fitted with the Manufacture’s latest in-house integrated chronograph, Calibre 4401 – a movement first developed for the Code 11.59 collection. This selfwinding chronograph movement is equipped with a column wheel and the flyback function that enables to restart the chronograph without stopping or resetting it first. Calibre 4401 also features a vertical clutch system that prevents hands from jumping when the chronograph is started or stopped, as well as a patented zero resetting mechanism ensuring that each one of the counter hands is seamlessly reset to zero. The movement’s dedicated blackened 22-carat pink gold oscillating weight and refined decorations, including “Côtes de Genève,” “traits tirés” and circular graining can be admired through the sapphire caseback. The caseback also reveals components usually hidden from view such as the column wheel and the so-called “dance” of the chronograph hammers. (Note: When the reset button is activated, the hammers, driven by an operating lever, hit the chronograph’s heart-piece cams to bring the chronograph wheels and hands back to zero). With its selfwinding mechanism, 70 hours of power reserve and water resistance to 100 m, Calibre 4401 perfectly complements the Royal Oak Offshore.
Audemars Piguet will now be offering its clients the opportunity to change the straps and buckles of their new timepiece themselves all thanks to a quick-release system. The double-push system also grants optimum security when the watch is worn on the wrist. To avoid hampering the case’s aesthetic codes, the interchangeability system has been directly integrated into the buckle and case’s studs. In addition, the rubber straps in black, blue, grey and brown hues adorning the different models, as well as the AP pin buckle, are endowed with new athletic aesthetics. Two additional interchangeable calfskin straps in beige or brown, as well as a black alligator strap are also available.