Close-Up: 6 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronographs
Along with headline-grabbers like its new Royal Oak Concept watch and Millenary Minute Repeater, the other big debut from Audemars Piguet at last year’s SIHH was a set of six all-new watches in its Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph collection, which features some contemporary design updates.
The “26470” family of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronographs maintains the case diameter of 42 mm — considered enormous when the Offshore, the more “masculine” successor to the original, smaller Royal Oak watch, was launched in 1993 — but adds some modern aesthetic touches for today’s luxury-sport-watch aficionado.
The case’s crown, chronograph push-pieces, and push-piece guards have been slightly redesigned and resized; the rubber used for the crown and push-pieces of the earlier “26170” Royal Oak Offshore watches has been replaced in the new “26470” models with black ceramic. The dial’s Arabic numeral hour markers have a more sculpted look, with polished fillet borders; the subdials and round date window are also surrounded by polished borders. The new hands are faceted and have a luminescent coating. The colors of the date disks matches those of the dials for greater uniformity.
Of course, the Royal Oak Offshore DNA is still clearly evident: the hexagonal bezel (in satin-brushed and polished steel or rose gold) secured by eight polished steel hexagonal screws; the waffle-like “Mega Tapisserie” pattern on the dial that helps enhance its depth; and the applied Audemars Piguet “AP” initials in white or rose gold directly above a white transfer brand logo on a raised cartouche.
The straps of the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore chronographs, in rubber or alligator leather, have a broader taper and a new, user-friendly pin buckle. Perhaps most importantly for high-horology fans, the watches are also equipped with sapphire casebacks through which they can view the movement, AP Caliber 3126/3840, an automatic with a 55-hour power reserve. Scroll down to see all of the 2014 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronographs, which are available now at retail.
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