To mark the 20th anniversary of the Royal Oak in 1993, Audemars Piguet launched a beefier, more virile, ultra-robust version known as the Royal Oak Offshore. With its gigantic – at that time – 42mm diameter and bold combinations of materials, the Royal Oak Offshore was referred to as “The Beast”. Over the years, the Royal Oak Offshore has adapted to unisex market trends and is now offered in a wide range of sizes. The latest dispatch is four 37mm Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronographs attracting the limelight thanks to their vibrant coloured gemstone or icy white diamond-set bezels. Conforming to the recent overhaul of the family, the quartet of chronographs also flaunt a new Lady Tapisserie motif and subtle design tweaks on the dial.
The Royal Oak Offshore’s 30th birthday is still in full swing, following in the wake of anniversary pieces like the sleek black ceramic and gold JPS ROO chronograph, the complex ROO tourbillon and chronograph, a full black ceramic ROO and even a nostalgic revival of a ROO chronograph celebrating Schwarzenegger’s 1999 blockbuster End of Days.
The latest quartet of Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronographs share 37mm cases with a height of 12.4mm and 50m water resistance. Compared to the abovementioned models with 100m water-resistant cases (including the tourbillon and chrono combo), the water resistance of these 37mm models is a little on the low side for a robust sports watch. Highlighting the architecture of the case, the octagonal bezel is polished, and the case is finished with contrasting matte satin-brushed surfaces and polished chamfers. Despite the precious gemstone setting in the bezel, the eight screws still play a starring role.
Not only do they come in a choice of precious and non-precious metals, but the four new models also feature vibrant gem-set dials with brilliant-cut or baguette-cut stones. The four models are configured as follows: the bezel of the 18k pink gold case is set with 32 brilliant-cut diamonds, the dial is light blue, and the rubber strap is beige; the bezel of the stainless steel case is set with 32 brilliant-cut diamonds, the dial is salmon, and the rubber strap is grey; the bezel of the 18k yellow gold case is set with 32 baguette-cut tsavorites and blue and yellow sapphires, the dial is blue, and the rubber strap is blue; the bezel of the second 18k pink gold case is set with a tutti-frutti gradient combination of 32 baguette-cut rubies, tsavorites, topaz, tanzanites, amethyst and multi-coloured sapphires, the dial is black, and the rubber strap is black.
Following the evolution of the ROO Chronograph in 43mm, AP has decided it’s time for the 37mm to get a subtle design makeover. Novelties include the new Lady Tapisserie motif on the dial with slightly wider truncated pyramids than on previous editions, the elimination of the snailed decoration on the chapter ring and the incorporation of the new AP monogram at noon replacing the transferred Audemars Piguet signature of earlier versions. The applied gold hour markers are also slightly more prominent and, like the gold Royal Oak hour and minute hands, are treated with luminescent coating. Thankfully, the background colour of the date window, lodged between the indices at 4 and 5 o’clock, matches the colour of the dial.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the new 37mm chronographs are not equipped with AP’s latest-generation in-house chronograph calibre 4401. The movement used inside is the AP calibre 2385 based on the architecture of the Frédéric Piguet 1185. An automatic, integrated column-wheel chronograph with a tricompax layout, the movement beats a frequency of 21,600vph/3Hz and provides a power reserve of 40 hours for the chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds and date functions.
The rubber straps accompanying the watches come with a second rubber strap in a different colour and are fitted with a folding clasp matching the case material and AP’s interchangeable system.
Availability & Price
You know something is expensive when you have to ask the price, and all four watches come with the ‘Price on Request’ tag. For more information, please consult audemarspiguet.com.