Born in 1993, the Royal Oak Offshore collection was at the time of launch probably one of the most impactful models the watchmaking world had ever seen. Bold and provocative, it quickly became a reference point for all other future ultra-sporty luxurious watches. Following the chronograph models, Audemars Piguet created in 2005 another important watch, the Royal Oak Offshore Diver (first entitled Royal Oak Offshore Scuba). Offered in vibrant colours and cool combinations of materials, the Diver has undergone a deep update earlier this year, with a new collection that we discovered here. And it’s time now for the upgraded Royal Oak Offshore Diver to get its first limited edition, which is all about luxury and contrast.
If the name Royal Oak Offshore Diver appeared in 2010, this specific sub-collection was initiated in 2005, with the launch of the Offshore Scuba. Walking in the footsteps of its chronograph sibling, a watch born in 1993 and nicknamed “The Beast”, AP decided to do something a bit more innovative than just creating a 3-hand version of this inaugural watch. So, even if the Offshore Diver had a lot in common regarding the design, it also brought an aquatic theme to the collection, something that was clearly new for AP back in the days. The first generation of stainless steel Royal Oak Offshore Diver (ref. 15703ST) appeared in 2010, followed in 2015 by the second generation of ROO diver (ref. 15710ST), which came with a see-through caseback and minor visual updates.
In March this year, Audemars Piguet launched the third generation of Royal Oak Offshore Diver. Visually, most of the emblematic design elements have been kept, such as the 42mm diameter, the raised octagonal bezel, the inner rotating flange for dive time measurements, the additional crown at 10 o’clock and of course the “Mega Tapisserie” pattern. This third-generation ROO Diver could be seen as a deep evolution rather than a revolution. Yet, in many aspects, it is a new watch, specifically when it comes to mechanics. Initially launched in stainless steel with 3 different dial colours (khaki, blue, grey), AP now releases the first limited edition, the reference 15720CN, a watch that brings luxury and contrast, as well as a cool new colour scheme.
In late September 2021, Audemars Piguet has presented this new model, the first limited edition based on the updated Royal Oak Offshore Diver. And if the base – understand design, proportions, mechanics – is identical, this new version brings different materials and colours, as well as a typically-AP luxurious touch. What truly sets this reference 15720CN apart is the use of 18k white gold for the case. It retains the same proportions, meaning a 42mm diameter and 14.2mm height, as well as the same overall design and execution. The shape is classic ROO, but it carries the same updates as the steel models, meaning more refined brushed surfaces and some work done on the polished accents.
Even though this watch, whether the steel models or even more this white gold version, is a true luxury piece, it remains a pretty serious dive watch too. The two ceramic crowns are screwed, and water-resistant is rated at 300 metres – but let’s be real, I doubt anyone will ever bring it to this depth. Another new feature of this limited edition is the use of a black ceramic octagonal bezel that brings contrast and makes this edition visually a bit more compact. Of course, the signature rubber gasket positioned between the case and the bezel is still clearly visible.
Besides the materials, this new limited edition Royal Oak Offshore Diver also features new colours for the dial. It here comes with the classic embossed “Méga Tapisserie” dial presented in black, and it features the same updates as the classic steel versions – smaller minute track, redesigned markers that are smaller and bolder, and done in two different lengths to separate quarter hours from 5-minute increments. All elements of the dial – applied markers and hands – are made from polished 18k white gold and filled with beige-coloured luminous material. The same colour can be found on the inner rotating bezel, with a contrasting 0-15min segment for better legibility. Overall, the combination of white metal, black ceramic elements and beige accents is certainly attractive and relatively discreet too.
Just like the steel models, this new white gold Royal Oak Offshore Diver comes with an updated in-house movement, the calibre 4308. Based on the automatic engine unveiled on Code 11.59, it is a modern movement with a focus on precision and reliability. It beats at 4Hz and boasts 60 hours of power reserve. The sapphire crystal reveals a nice decoration, with Geneva stripes, circular graining, bevelled edges and a new oscillating weight in blackened 22-carat pink gold.
Last but not least, this version retains the new interchangeability system, with quick-release pushers on the back of the strap, which was part of the major innovations on this third-generation ROO Diver. Presented on a classic black rubber strap with a white gold pin buckle, an additional beige interchangeable calfskin strap is also included. And, as part of the 2021 assortment for the Royal Oak Offshore Diver collection, you can also get rubber straps in khaki, blue and grey, as well as calfskin leather straps in brown and black.
Availability & Price
The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver 42mm White Gold reference 15720CN.OO.A002CA.01 will be a limited edition of 300 pieces, only available from selected Audemars Piguet Boutiques. It retails for EUR 58,300 (incl. taxes). More details at www.audemarspiguet.com.