Imagine the soundtrack of the Royal Oak‘s debut in 1972 as Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” and Don McLean’s “American Pie” drifted across the radio waves. Fast-forward to 1993 with the launch of the Royal Oak Offshore and folks were rapping along to the urban sounds of Snoop Dogg, et al. Watches, like music, are cultural markers, reflecting trends and often, as in the case of the Royal Oak, becoming trendsetters themselves. Audemars Piguet celebrates its close affiliations with musicians and artists with the release of five Royal Oak Offshore models with colourful dials designed to echo the coloured bars on an equaliser (VU meter) in a recording studio. Available in 37 and 43mm case sizes in different materials (titanium, black ceramic and white gold), the Royal Oak Offshore Music Editions pump up the volume with their techno-coloured dials.
Music and timekeeping go hand in hand, and AP’s links to music reach back to the mid-19th century with its refined chiming watches and extend all the way to the remarkable Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie of 2016. Beyond crafting watches that produce sounds, AP has also cultivated a hip roster of contemporary artists and musicians like Jay-Z and Mark Ronson. Since 2010, AP has also been a partner of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Fun fact: Deep Purple’s iconic “Smoke on the Water” was inspired by a fire during a Frank Zappa concert at the Montreux Casino in 1971!
Although the five Royal Oak Offshore models are interpreted in different materials, they all feature an equaliser on the dial, knurled textured studs that look like jack plugs, crown guards with grooves that emulate the fader on a mixing console and three additional interchangeable rubber straps.
Providing hours, minutes and central seconds, the Royal Oak Offshore Music Editions are powered by automatic in-house movements. The two 37mm references are fitted with the latest calibre 5909, marking the first time an automatic hours, minutes and seconds movement has been integrated inside a 37mm diameter. Calibre 5909 is based on calibre 5900, which first appeared in 2022 on the 37mm Royal Oak references. Replacing calibre 3120, this movement has the advantage of being thinner (3.9mm instead of 4.2 mm) and offering a higher frequency than its predecessor (4Hz instead of 3Hz). It also has a 60-hour power reserve.
The three 43mm models are driven by calibre 4309, the latest automatic hours, minutes and seconds of this diameter developed by the manufacture. Its generous size enables optimal timekeeping precision, while its power reserve of at least 70 hours when the watch is not worn is ideal. All Royal Oak Offshore Music Editions have a sapphire caseback revealing high-end finishings such as Côtes de Genève, satin brushing, circular graining, traits tirés and polished chamfers, as well as the oscillating weight dedicated to the collection in 22k pink gold with black NAC coating. It’s worth pointing out that the 37mm cases are water-resistant to 50 metres, while the 43mm are resistant to 100m.
Titanium 37 and 43mm
The titanium models are limited editions of 500 pieces with dark blue tapisserie dials printed with colourful equaliser bars. Thanks to the absence of a date window, the colours have plenty of room to expand across the entire width of the dial. Applied 18k white gold hour markers and the central hour, minute and seconds hands are treated with luminescent material and the AP logo is applied in white gold at noon. The 43mm titanium model follows the design tweaks of the 2021 launches and both display the enlarged bevels and curved crystal. Marking the first time an interchangeable strap has been introduced on a 37mm ROO model, both watches are presented with a blue rubber strap matching the dial colour and three extra green, turquoise and yellow rubber straps.
Quick facts: 37mm x 12.1mm or 43mm x 14.4mm – titanium case, brushed and polished – screw-locked crown – blue tapisserie dial with printed colours of an equaliser – applied white gold hour markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent material – automatic calibre 5909 for 37mm, 28,800vph, 60h power reserve – automatic calibre 4309 for 43mm, 28,800vph, 70h power reserve – interchangeable rubber strap (mosaic effect for 37mm) and three extra rubber straps in turquoise, yellow and green with pin buckle – 37mm, ref. 77600TI.OO.A343CA.01 EUR 28,200 – 43mm, ref. 15600TI.OO.A343CA.01 EUR 30,700 – limited editions of 500 pieces
White gold 37MM and 43mm
By far the band’s most exuberant and glam members, the white gold Royal Oak Offshore models in 37mm and 43mm glow with colourful gemstones on the dial and bezel. The blue tapisserie background is different from the titanium models and crafted in glistening blue aventurine for an extra bit of sparkle. The ten colours used on an equaliser are recreated with rubies, peridots, tsavorites, green, blue and orange sapphires, which also adorn the bezels. Known as a ‘harmony cut’, the technique was developed to inject more life into fine gemstones. The cutting angles of each stone’s faceted pavilion provide optimal reflection while maintaining an intense saturation of colour despite the thinness of the stones. Another advantage of the harmony cut is that it hides the grooves engraved into the aventurine for the invisible setting. Like the titanium models, the white gold AP monogram is at noon and the applied gold hour markers and hands are treated with luminescence. Both sizes come with a blue rubber strap (mosaic for 37mm) and three additional rubber straps.
Quick facts: 37mm x 12.1mm or 43mm x 14.4mm – white gold – screw-locked crown – blue aventurine tapisserie dial with gemstones– 166 harmony-cut gemstones for 37mm on dial and bezel; 230 harmony-cut gemstones for 43mm – applied white gold hour markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent material – automatic calibre 5909 for 37mm, 28,800vph, 60h power reserve – automatic calibre 4309 for 43mm, 28,800vph, 70h power reserve – interchangeable rubber strap (mosaic effect for 37mm) and three extra rubber straps in turquoise, yellow and green with pin buckle – 37mm, ref. 77601BC.YY.D343CA.01 white gold price on request – 43mm, ref. 15601BC.YY.D343CA.01 price on request
Black Ceramic 43mm
The band’s fifth member is the black ceramic model, available exclusively in a 43mm diameter case and limited to 250 pieces. The titanium elements representing the jack pattern and the fader on the crown guards contrast with the sleek black ceramic case, and the colourful equaliser on the dial enlivens the somewhat darker mood of this watch. Like the other band members, the ROO comes with a black rubber strap and three extra turquoise, yellow and green rubber straps.
Quick facts: 43mm x 14.4mm – black ceramic with titanium studs and crown guards – 100m water-resistant – black dial with printed equaliser – applied white gold hour markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent material – automatic calibre 4309, 28,800vph, 70h power reserve – interchangeable black rubber strap and three extra rubber straps in turquoise, yellow and green with titanium pin buckle – ref. 15600CE.OO.A002CA.01 – EUR 39,200 – limited edition of 250 pieces
More information at Audemars Piguet.com.