When launched in 1993, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Offshore set an important trend for bigger, edgier watches. As explained by François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO of Audemars Piguet, during the pre-SIHH press launch: “Back then, nobody, and I mean nobody, thought that people would want to wear a 42mm watch. But we forged ahead, and to great success.”
In the same spirit as it did almost 25 years ago, Audemars Piguet unveiled today a re-edition of its 1993 steel Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph, as well as a limited edition Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph in steel and in 18K pink gold to honor a quarter of a century for the iconic collection.
The classic steel Royal Oak Offshore has been through facelifts before, once in 2006 and once in 2014, each time becoming sharper and edgier. For 2018, Audemars Piguet kept the essentials of the 1993 Royal Oak Offshore, with a “Petite Tapisserie” navy blue dial and matching blue inner bezel and the “Royal Oak Offshore” logo engraved on the caseback. The re-edition remains a classic, true to the original concept behind the 1993 model: a unique case shape, sturdy push piece guards with a cutting-edge style.
While the re-edition shows where Audemars Piguet once was, the absolute scene stealers of the day were the 25th anniversary limited edition Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph pieces, which showed where the brand is headed. Limited to 50 pieces in either stainless steel or 18K pink gold each, these pieces demand attention on the wrist. The design was originally inspired by the previous Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph (ref. 26388PO), but it is equipped with an entirely redesigned movement made especially for the 25th anniversary of the collection.
Though inspired by previous Offshore models, which featured a much curvier and open design on the dial, Audemars Piguet decided to go for a more straight-edged, almost fiery aesthetic for this limited edition. The dial features a new and contemporary design, seemingly inspired by modern and conceptual architecture. Sharp and angular bridges (in either stainless steel or pink gold to match the case) are positioned on the dial as if they push against the glass, creating an interesting optical illusion of depth and shadows within the dial. It begs you to take another look, and another, and another…
In anticipation of one of the biggest events in the watch calendar, the Salon de Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), Audemars Piguet is coming out with a bang, and Revolution can’t wait to see more in January.
The Royal Oak Offshore Self-winding Chronograph (Re-edition)
Movement: Selfwinding Caliber 3126/3840; chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds and date functions; 50-hour power reserve.
Case: Stainless steel with caseback engraved with “Royal Oak Offshore” logo and “Automatic” in the center; blue rubber-clad pushpieces and screw-locked crown; water-resistant to 100m.
Dial: Blue dial with “Petite Tapisserie” pattern; blue counters; white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating; blue inner bezel.
Strap: Matching stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp.
Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph 25th Anniversary
Movement: Hand wound Caliber 2947; tourbillon, chronograph, 30-minute counter, seconds counter, hours and minutes functions; 173-hour power reserve.
Case: Available in stainless steel or 18K pink gold, with matching stainless steel or pink gold bezel, black ceramic screw-locked crown and pushers; sandblasted titanium or pink gold pusher guards; water-resistant to 100m.
Dial: Black dial with pink gold or white gold hour-markers with luminescent coating.
Strap: Black rubber.