The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is an icon within the watch world, offering one of the most immediately recognisable profiles in the game. Its younger, beefier sibling in the Royal Oak Offshore is well on its way to a similar status, especially with Audemars Piguet releasing three new chronograph references this week.
As a bit of background on the two collections, the Royal Oak was first released in 1972 as the original luxury steel sports watch and prompting other brands to release their own expressions, such as the Nautilus from Patek Philippe. In 1993, the design team at Audemars Piguet decides the slender Royal Oak was due for an upgrade and created the Royal Oak Offshore, which took the same design DNA and engorged almost every proportion.
Ever at the forefront of such trends, the Royal Oak Offshore paved the way for the dozens of chunky luxury sports watches that came after it, including the Hublot Big Bang and many of the timepieces produced by Richard Mille. Love it or hate it, you can’t knock AP for their ability to taste make.
This year, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph has received an upgrade, with three fresh executions in steel, titanium. and rose gold. Now boasting an upgraded in-house movement, refined dial design and a new interchangeable bracelet system, the collection is better than it’s ever been.
Mirroring the original from 1993, the trio of new Royal Oak Offshore Chronographs feature the same case dimensions with a 42mm case diameter with a height of 15.2mm. They all also feature the same three chronograph subdials, with the date window located in the 3 o’clock position.
All three dials feature the iconic Audemars Piguet petite tapisserie pattern, while the applied hour markers and hands are filled with generous helpings of luminescent paint. The cases and bracelets are all finished with an articulate combination of brushed and polished finishings, creating an elegant, yet robust impression.
Powering the three new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph references is the in-house calibre 4404, which is an automatic, integrated column-wheel flyback chronograph movement. As you would expect from Audemars Piguet, it is extremely finely finished, with a 22k pink gold openworked winding rotor that helps deliver 70 hours of power reserve.
The new collection will undoubtedly be difficult to find at retail, however, if you do, they cost CHF 34,500 (AU$51,000) in steel, CHF 34,500 (AU$51,000) in titanium, and CHF 70,100 (AU$103,600) in pink gold.