While the birth of the Royal Oak was already a breakthrough in 1972, the introduction of the Royal Oak Offshore was nothing less when it hit the market in 1993. A revolution, because the trend for oversized wrist watches was still in its infancy and the Royal Oak Offshore, yet one that was determined rather quickly in favor of this new Audemars Piguet, as it was big, bold, and yes, beautiful!
Its birthday is celebrated with a large range of new introductions, of which we highlight here the three most important ones!
Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 25th Anniversary
With this watch does Audemars Piguet goes back to the origin of the Royal Oak Offshore, by making a re-edition of that, now, legendary watch. It is quite surprising that it doesn’t feel as large as it did in the 1990’s, and that its diameter of 42mm is almost modest. Audemars Piguet stayed remarkably close to the original with this re-edition, with only minor changes, such as an updated clasp and a change of movement. While the original model was powered by a Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 2226/2840 with a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module, this one has its chronograph modules placed on top of Audemars Piguet’s own caliber 3120. This movement is fitted with a stunning 22k gold rotor, yet to stay true to the original, this is hidden behind a closed case back. The best news about this watch is probably that it isn’t a limited edition as you might expect! Which makes sense, because that its kind of like celebrating your birthday and running out of cake before you served all your guests…
Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph
Audemars Piguet not only looks back, while celebrating the birthday of the Royal Oak Offshore but also into the future. For that, they introduced the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph. Available in either stainless steel or 18K pink gold, it is about as progressive as the Royal Oak, and the Royal Oak Offshore was before it. 45mm in diameter, and no less than 16.1mm thick, it makes the original Royal Oak Offshore look modest. This is also due to the redesigned bezel, which is thinner, and places the signature screws under the sapphire crystal, in a more direct connection with the inside of the watch. While not convinced about this design in the first press pictures, I was blown away when I held the watch in the flesh. It makes the most of its generous size, offering a lot of details to admire, in an almost architectural lay-out. While I personally think that the chronograph is mandatory for an anniversary Royal Oak Offshore, the tourbillon is a very nice bonus! Both the steel and the 18K rose gold version will be made in a limited edition of 50 pieces.
Royal Oak Offshore ‘Combat’
Who thinks that Audemars Piguet celebrates the birthday of the Royal Oak Offshore with only the previous two models is strongly mistaken, as they have extended the regular collection of this model as well. Eyecatcher among them is this one, nicknamed “Combat,” which combines a khaki colored dial, with a green ceramic bezel on a stainless steel case. Fitted with an unconventional rubber strap in Army camouflage colors, it turns the watch into a true eye-catcher, even among Royal Oak Offshores! For those of you who want a (slightly) more subdued look, does Audemars Piguet also include a green rubber strap with the watch as well. The “Combat” is fitted with the same movement as the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 25th Anniversary only here you can admire the beauty of it, as it has a display back. Despite this, it is water resistant up to 100 meters.