The Royal Oak is one of the most iconic watches in the industry. In 1972, Audemars Piguet decided to break the rules of luxury watches in presenting a steel and sports watch that was more expensive than a gold watch. The original design, by Gerald Genta, had been reinforced in 1993 when Audemars Piguet presented the so called ROO or Royal Oak Offshore, a 42mm chunky variation of the most legendary and also daring model. In 2014, the ROO chronograph receives a major update and progresses in every aspect. The big question is: how to change it without losing its iconic status?
At the first glance, you’d say that Audemars Piguet didn’t change anything to the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph. But you’d be wrong. AP is just applying the Rolex’s receipt. Take a look at the Submariner. In 50 years, the watch had received plenty of updates and improves. But, it remains an iconic timepiece that is more or less the same (in fact, rather more than less). It’s just getting better and better with the years.
What is Audemars Piguet changing on its sports timepiece? In fact, lots of aspects have been improved, including the case, the crown and pushers, the dial, the hands, the colours and – high five – a see-through case back. Small touches everywhere, nothing smashing. Subtlety is key word here. The new ROO Chronograph 42mm is more mature, more refined.
The case remains 42mm – we won’t blame AP for keeping such a size – and evolves regarding at the crown and pusher guards, that have been redesigned. The biggest improvement can be seen on the pushers and the crown, now made of ceramic instead of rubber coated metal.
The dial: always including the “Mega Tapisserie” pattern, it’s now featured with a circular graining on the sub-dials for some added textures. The hands have been ‘refreshed’ with facets, the date disc is now matching the dial colour and the Arabic numbers are slimmer. Slight improvements for an overall high-end result.
The “piece de resistance” of the 2014 update is the view offered on the in-house movement. When turning your ROO, you know that you’re really part of the family now (you finally have access to the Bro Code) as the new Royal Oak Offshore Chronographs are equipped of a sapphire case back. It allows you to look at the gold oscillating weight, the “Côtes de Genève” finishing and the polish beveled angles of the bridges.
The engine of the ROO Chronograph is AP caliber 3126. This is not an integrated chronograph movement, as it uses a Dubois-Depraz module, however the base movement is an Audemars Piguet movement. The 3126 is equipped with a hack system to stop the seconds when the crown is pulled out, a Gyromax balance and offers 55 hours of power reserve.
The 2014 Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph (ref. 26470) will be available in 6 versions:
- Pink gold, gold and black dial, pink gold bracelet
- Pink gold, gold and black dial, black alligator strap
- Stainless steel, blue and white dial, blue rubber strap
- Stainless steel, black dial, black hornback alligator strap with red stitching
- Stainless steel, grey and black dial, grey hornback alligator strap
- Stainless steel, sand and brown dial, brown hornback alligator strap
These new models will be available in early April 2014. Retail prices will be USD, $25.600 on rubber, $26.000 on hornback alligator strap, $40.700 pink gold on strap, $69.200 pink gold on bracelet.
More information: www.audemarspiguet.com