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In order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their “Royal Oak Offshore” Audemars Piguet is releasing three special edition models. Two of them with a tourbillon movement and totally new dial design and one revamping an older self-winding model in blue.

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Image courtesy of: Audemars Piguet

The first chronograph version of the “Royal Oak Offshore” was originally launched in its rugged and reinforced waterproof version, back in 1993. It was conceived with a younger generation of watch buyers in mind. But, it had the advantage of building upon its predecessor the “Royal Oak” which truly shocked the horology market when it was first unveiled back in 1972.  Its 39mm case was quite large for that era and to be initially presented in a stainless-steel case with exposed screw heads on the bezel was unprecedented.

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Original first edition Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, circa 1972 * image courtesy: Audemars Piguet Museum

True it was a Gérald Genta design, but he was still also establishing himself and the price was quite hefty for a stainless-steel watch at that time. Then along comes the “Royal Oak Offshore” only six years afterwards ready to take it to the next level, helping to usher in an era of bigger sized timepieces. Nowadays both these models have become unquestionable classics among horology enthusiasts and the general public.

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Gérald Genta who designed the first original “Royal Oak” models for Audemars Piguet.

First up let’s focus in on the “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Self-Winding 25th Anniversary” which is basically a very almost exact re-issue of the reference 26237ST model. The 42mm case is made of stainless-steel with a solid case back. Mounted to the case is the iconic octagonal bezel with exposed screws, just like it was originally envisioned by the great late Gérald Genta, responsible for this along with a series of other historically iconic watch designs. Also comes equipped with blue rubber pushers that serve to operate the chronograph functions and a screw-down crown.

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Image courtesy of: Audemars Piguet

Although new versions of the “Royal Oak” models tend to come with a sapphire case back that allows to view the inner workings of the mechanical movement. This anniversary re-issue features the aforementioned solid case back with an engraving of the “Royal Oak Offshore” logo on it. Front wise it’s topped by a sapphire crystal which along with the screw-down crown assists with keeping this timepiece water-resistant up to 100 meters (330 feet).

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Image courtesy of: Audemars Piguet

Time is exhibited on a blue “petite tapisserie” dial with small oval hour index marker, followed by smaller white printed minute index markers and further out nearing the bezel is a tachymeter scale circling around the dial. There are three sub-dials: a 12-hour counter at the 6 o’clock position; a 30-minute counter at the 9 o’clock position and a sub-seconds at the 12 o’clock position. The central hands and hour index markers have been fitted with a luminescent coating, for an enhanced legibility. There is also a date aperture at the 3 o’clock position.

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Image courtesy of: Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Self-Winding 25th Anniversary

The “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Self-Winding 25th Anniversary” (Ref#:26237ST.OO.1000ST.01) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 3126/3840 with 59 jewels, a 22k gold rotor and 21,600 vph. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 50 hours, when fully wound. Mounted to the watch is an Audemars Piguet stainless-steel multi-link integrated bracelet, secured to the wrist by a stainless-steel folding clasp. This is a limited edition watch of only 50 manufactured pieces.

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Audemars Piguet in-house caliber 3126-3840 * Image courtesy of: Audemars Piguet

But, Audemars Piguet has more to offer with these pre-SIHH revelations than just a re-issue model. They’ve also revealed two completely new tourbillon chronographs, available in different types of metal. And they have quite a unique display, which hopefully are just a glimpse of other horology novelties they may have in store for us at next year’s upcoming SIHH 2018.

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Image courtesy of: Audemars Piguet

The 42mm case is available in either: stainless-steel or an 18k rose gold casing. Mounted to the case is the iconic octagonal bezel with the expected exposed hexagonal screws. It comes equipped with a black ceramic screw-down crown and black ceramic pushers to operate the chronograph functions. Water-resistance on this timepiece can reach up to 100 meters (330 feet).

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Image courtesy of: Audemars Piguet

Time is exhibited on an open-worked dial with the movement almost completely exposed. Marking the time with square hour index markers, followed by smaller white index minute markers. There is a sub-dial with a 30-minute counter at the 3 o’clock position. The skeletonized bridges extend from each of the eight screws creating a unique design pattern, for an alluring composition. The central hands and the hour index markers have been fitted with a luminescent coating, for an enhanced legibility.

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Image courtesy of: Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon 25th Anniversary

This “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Offshore 25th Anniversary” (References below) is powered by a hand-wound mechanical movement, caliber 2947 with 21,600 vph. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 168 hours (7 days), when fully wound. This is an extensively redesigned Audemars Piguet in-house tourbillon chronograph movement, specifically conceived for these models. Mounted to the watches is a black rubber strap, secured to the wrist by a pin buckle matching the metal casing of each model. Both the stainless-steel and 18k rose gold model are limited editions of only 50 manufactured pieces. For more up to date information visit the official Audemars Piguet website here. You can also check all the “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore” models currently in stock and available at EiT here.

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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore w/ Tourbillon (Ref#: 26421ST) in stainless-steel

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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore w/ Tourbillon (Ref#: 26421OR) in 18k rose gold

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info@elementintime.com

 (646)-756-4859

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Audemars Piguet, Royal Oak, Royal Oak Offshore, Tourbillon,  SIHH, Luxury Watches

Written by Mauro Az