The Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet doesn’t need any introduction. The watch literally created the luxury sports watch genre. Now, add a few millimeters to the Royal Oak’s dimensions and you have yourselves something that goes by the name of the Royal Oak Offshore, the watch that, just like it’s sibling, created tons of controversy in the watch world. Gerald Genta, for one, was not a huge fan of the timepiece. The Royal Oak Offshore has a really cool backstory as well.
The All-New Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore
Audemars Piguet has announced a fresh release of 5 brand new Royal Oak Offshore timepieces and the watchmaking world is shook. This year, the brand has watches in two sizes to offer. Both have Audemars Piguet in-house movements. The 43 mm references were teased a little bit in the first half of the year. The 42 mm size, however, are based on the original Royal Oak Offshore size, and are brand-new.
In this blog, we will be discussing these new Offshore watches.
In the early days of the Royal Oak Offshore, the watch made quite the impact. The watch created a shift in the trends with its ultra-large size (for that era). The Offshore took the panache of the Royal Oak to a whole new level. The Offshore was way ahead of trends especially when it came to case sizes. The watch truly took the grandeur of luxury sports watches to a different dimension. It simply re-wrote history.
All of the new 42 mm references are fueled by the brand-new in-house manufactured movement. The Calibre 4404, which is equivalent to the Calibre 4401 as witnessed in the 43 mm variations as far as functionality is concerned. Both the mechanisms are column-wheel flyback chronographs that come with a vertical clutch and date.
The diameter of the movement stands at 32 mm wide or 14 lignes. The power reserve offered is about 70 hours while operating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. As per Audemars Piguet, Calibre 4404, which has a vertical sub-dial layout and Calibre 4401, which has a horizontal sub-dial layout, have the same base. However, switching from the horizontal layout to the vertical layout needed an additional plate and a lot of work.
The 43 mm variant is the rather modern and trendy of the two sizes, so to speak. The watch has large as well as gently curved black ceramic chronograph pushers extending out from the crown guards, which makes the timepiece looks chic. The case too, had to be redesigned in order to boost ergonomics. All that said, personally the 42 mm version looks elegant. The rubber-coated piston pushers remind me of the original Royal Oak Offshore designed by none other than Emmanuel Gueit.
This is best seen in the new 42 mm Petite Tapisserie models, which pay tribute to Emmanuel Gueit’s original creation. This is especially true for the steel version, with its blue dial recalling the original Royal Oak Offshore, and the very dark blue rubber coating on the crown and pushers. It channels the energy of the original Offshore just too accurately.
The 2021 pink gold Petite Tapisserie reference, which also happens to have a blue dial as well as pushers, makes it the first time that an evolution of the 1993 original model has appeared in this precious material. The titanium Petite Tapisserie has a classic grey dial and is just as dashing as the others. All of these watches possess see-through case backs for watch users to view the new chronograph movement at work.
Out of the five new releases, two references come with a Mega Tapisserie dial. These are the light blue and dark green dials. The timepieces come with applied numerals and rubber straps that match the dials. The green version comes with a titanium case while the light blue one has a steel case.
The Mega Tapisserie dial has been part of the Royal Oak Offshore story since it debuted in 2001. The new versions have a steel case (for the blue dial) and titanium (for the green dial) and black rubber coatings on the pushers and crown. The light blue of the steel version and the dark green of titanium are pretty far apart on the spectrum – one more L.A. or Miami and the other more NYC, I think, but both are squarely in the wide wheelhouse that is the Offshore.
The Mega Tapisserie dial has been an integral part of the Royal Oak Offshore collection since its debut back in 2001. As mentioned above, the new versions have a steel case (for the blue dial) and titanium (for the green dial). The watches also have black rubber coatings on the pushers as well as the crown. The light blue and the dark green are pretty far away from each other as far as the colour spectrum goes but I guess that was the whole point.