Hands-On With The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Royal Blue
The Royal Oak Offshore 2014 collection has been a big hit at Marcus. And one of the reasons it’s done so well is that Audemars Piguet hasn’t gone for a complete redesign of the iconic timepiece. Instead, it’s refined the original concept, to the delight of Offshore collectors.
The 42mm “Beast” was released at BaselWorld 1993 and at the time, the size and boldness of the watch made heads turn. It was certainly a big risk to tinker with Gerald Genta’s iconic Royal Oak. But the huge visible gasket under the bezel, the distinctive octagonal shape, and the ‘Mega Tapisserie dial, gave the Offshore a life of its own. Over the last twenty years the Offshore slowly became an Audemars Piguet favourite for many collectors around the world, so there was a lot to cheer about when the brand introduced a new collection for 2014, including this Royal Blue model.
One of the bigger changes is they now have a sapphire crystal case back which beautifully displays the caliber 3126/3840 with the 22-carat gold rotor, as well as the AP logo and the Audemars and Piguet family emblems either side.
The rubber pushers and crown have also been resized and replaced with ceramic ones, which are harder and won’t fade over time. On the dial the indexes are sharper and more sculpted. The new hands are faceted and polished decorative fillets surrounding the hour markers, counters and date window, combined with a luminescent coating, increase the clarity of the dial and enhance readability.
Lastly the strap is now a broader 28/20mm giving more support coupled with the new pin buckle providing greater comfort. Although I loved the original AP folding clasp for its design, the pin buckle does allow the watch to be worn with more comfort and feel sturdier on the wrist.
One of my favourite models from the new range is the new Royal Blue model, taking over where the old Navy left off, with a striking and more vibrant blue dial and matching rubber strap.
I love the dial on this piece. Audemars Piguet has introduced orange chronograph hands, and tachymeter indexes, which works perfectly against the blue backdrop. The Offshore is a great sports watch and feels robust on the wrist, and looks like it can ‘take a beating and keep on ticking’, especially on the rubber strap. But it also looks dignified on a blue horn back croc strap, paired with a well cut suit. So hats off to Audemars Piguet and the new 2014 collection, and here’s to the next 20 years!
Photo Credit: Alex Rose. For more information, please visit the official Marcus Watches website.