Earlier this year at SIHH 2014, Audemars Piguet released a new dial for the 44mm black ceramic cased Royal Oak Offshore. The year before, AP showed the same Offshore with a black dial. This new Royal Oak Offshore has an anthracite colored dial, and is a reference 26402CB.
Those of you who read my recent articles on the 42mm Royal Oak Offshores will recall my stated love for all things grey So again, it will come as as no surprise when I state right off the bat that I adore this new 44mm grey dialed Offshore.
Aside from the few red accents used to define the chronograph timing hands, the entire piece is otherwise greyscale.
Audemars Piguet does a superb job with finishing ceramic. And depending upon the lighting, it can look somewhat less than black and have a shimmer.
No one will argue for a better strap than AP’s superbly supple rubber offering with pin buckle.
The strap attachment plots are titanium.
A major part of the evolution with the 44mm Royal Oak Offshores are the pushers and crown guard assembly. You really have to look closely to appreciate the multiple levels of finishing and materials AP utilizes on this area of the watch. The outer portion of the pusher is black ceramic. It is attached to a blasted titanium piece, which protrudes from a blasted titanium guard area. As the metal moves closer to the black ceramic crown, the finish becomes brushed. Needless to say, these various black and grey components match very well with the anthracite dial on this particular version.
The silver tach ring does well to offer a frame for the dial. It also provides great legibility for the red-tipped chronograph seconds hand counter. The outer portion of the minute and hour chronograph subdial rings are also silverized, again uniting the chronograph timing displays. I am all in favor of this subtle detail, and as someone who has criticized AP’s treatment of certain subdial and hand colors in the past, I fully applaud this design decision. A casual observer might not catch this unifying detail, but it demonstrates superb planning in my opinion.
The 44mm Royal Oak Offshores definitely fit and look larger than the 42mm Offshores. While the smaller size might look better on my wrist, I feel the fit is fine with the 44mm and I would not hesitate to purchase one.
A quick refresher of the black dialed variant from 2013:
It has been enjoyable to see the progression of the 44mm Royal Oak Offshore line for the few years it has been out. I certainly have been tempted to acquire one, and for various reasons have not done so. But I can definitely say at this point that if I am to get one, it will absolutely be this new anthracite dialed version. It is breathtaking in person.
Nice pics, too. Thanks for sharing.
M4Think you might try one at some point?
. . . I hope to be “back in the game” in the not too distant future and am actively evaluating my next target to complement my white dial Offshore Rubberclad and slate dial15202 Jumbo, both of which are winners imho.
To date, I’ve avoided the 44mm Offshores, but my eye is drawn to these all-ceramic models: anthracite dial, black dial (being phased out as I understand it), and even the all-white. Right now, I can see the black dial very easily on my wrist, but I have a feeling the other two are going to be stunning in person when I get the opportunity to see them first hand.
Fortunately I have some time to sort it all out and will no doubt seek your advice when the time comes.
M4 Thinking about those 2 models, a Millenary 4101 sure seems like it would be a great addition!
A 44mm Royal Oak Offshore would also give you many new things to enjoy. I really like the dials on them.
I’m sure it will be a fun decision when the time comes. Be well M4.
I like the full black its strong, but the contriast with grey not to bad eather.Personally I place the carbon above these 2…Hi Michael… I had the pleasure of trying out the new ceramic anthracite dial and I must say it is truly amazing on the wrist. What I am not sure about is the pricing, given it costs somewhere between the new 42 RG ROO and the 44 RG Novely…. Since I am in the market for a new offshore it feels tempting to go for gold instead at this price…. What is your opinion on this?No message body