The Audemars Piguet Concept Watch Replica Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph 25th Anniversary and Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph are three brand new, pre-SIHH 2018 references which we will see in shops next year, when AP is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Royal Oak Offshore line.When Audemars Piguet unveiled the first Royal Oak Offshore some 25 decades ago, I don’t think they anticipated it to be the success it is today, though it mostly built on the first Royal Oak recipe: proceed really large, very bold, and pricey. Many forget that at the time of its debut in 1972, the now-classical 39mm Royal Oak caused quite a stir with its price, its on-display screw heads in its bezel, its steel case and bracelet, and its extremely high cost, unprecedented for a steel watch. Now, all this was taken to the next level with all the Royal Oak Offshore.It was big and so forth, and purists who watched it in Basel back in 1993 cried the Royal Oak had been desecrated — likely the same men and women who cried out to about the first Royal Oak desecrating luxury watches in general. Truth be told, the Offshore has been a bold move by Audemars Piguet, but today we all know how well it has paid off. Today, the Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore are Audemars Piguet’s best-selling collections — basically synonymous with the manufacturer itself, which clearly is not a good thing, but we will leave that discussion for a different time.
Three years ago Audemars Piguet gave its bestselling sports chronograph a major overhaul with an in-house movement as well as ceramic buttons and crown. Now a quartet of new models unveiled at SIHH 2017 joins the second generation Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph line-up, including a heavyweight version with a platinum case and bracelet.
The basic models are in stainless steel, starting with the blue on black (ref. 26470ST.OO.A028CR.01). This has a black dial with dark blue chronograph registers, matched with a dark blue chapter ring and alligator strap.
The other steel model has a brown dial (ref. 26470ST.OO.A820CR.01) fitted with pink gold hands.
Then there’s the 18k yellow gold that has a blue dial and gilt sub-dials (ref. 26470BA.OO.1000BA.01) that’s anything but subtle. This is delivered on a matching 18k gold bracelet, but accompanied by a spare alligator strap and 18k gold pin buckle.
The top of the line version is the all-platinum (ref. 26470PT.OO.1000PT.01) that marks the return of the model to the catalogue after a hiatus of several years. Impractically but impressively heavy – it tips the scales at over a pound or half a kilo – the platinum Offshore is a limited edition of 50 pieces with a pale grey dial and black sub-dials. Like the yellow gold model, it’s accompanied by a spare alligator strap with a platinum pin buckle.
All four models share the same specs, with a 42mm case featuring a sapphire case back that reveals the calibre 3126/3840 inside.
Price and availability
The new Offshore Chronographs are available from Audemars Piguet retailers and boutiques, with Swiss francs priced excluding taxes as follows.
Steel and black ref. 26470ST.OO.A028CR.01 – SFr23,500
Steel and brown ref. 26470ST.OO.A820CR.01 – SFr24,000
18k yellow gold ref. 26470BA.OO.1000BA.01 – SFr78,000
950 platinum ref. 26470PT.OO.1000PT.01 – SFr122,000