The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph 25th Anniversary and Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph are three brand new, pre-SIHH 2018 references that we’ll see in stores 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 years ago, I do not think they anticipated it to be the success that it’s now, though it largely built on the original Royal Oak recipe: go very large, very bold, and pricey. Now, this was to be taken to another level with the Royal Oak Offshore.It was big and brash, and purists who watched it in Basel back in 1993 cried that the Royal Oak had been desecrated — likely the same people who cried out to about the first Royal Oak desecrating luxury watches in general. Truth be told, the Offshore has been a daring move by Audemars Piguet, but today we all know how well it’s paid off. Now, the Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore are Audemars Piguet’s best-selling collections — essentially synonymous with the brand itself, which obviously is not a good thing, but we’ll leave that discussion for a different time.
The ladies’ Royal Oak marks its 40th year in 2016 with the Royal Oak Frosted Gold, giving the signature Audemars Piguet Watch Travel Case Replica wristwatch a new surface finish for the first time.
Working with Italian jewellery designer Carolina Bucci, Audemars Piguet adopted a decorative technique from Florentine jewellery for the new Royal Oak, giving it a finely hammered surface.
Originally designed in 1976 by Jacqueline Dimier, the Royal Oak for women was an evolution of the original Royal Oak ref. 5402 designed by Gerald Genta in 1972. Compact and dainty but resolutely octagonal, the ladies’ Royal Oak is transformed with the Florentine finish.
The original Royal Oak for women
Instead of the traditional straight grained, brushed finish applied to all flat surfaces of the watch case and bracelet, the Royal Oak Frosted Gold is treated with a diamond-tipped tool. Used to repeatedly dig into the surface of the gold, the tool creates tiny dimples, creating a textured surface that sparkles in the light.
The Florentine finish is usually found on small pieces of jewellery, often used by Carolina Bucci on her creations. Repurposing the technique for serial production of the Royal Oak Frosted Gold took several months, especially when it came to perfecting the finish of the bracelet while retaining its flexility.
The Royal Oak Frosted Gold is available in white or rose gold. Both versions are offered either as a 37mm automatic powered by the in-house calibre 3120, or a 33mm watch with a quartz movement.
Price and availability
Available starting March 2017, the Royal Oak Frosted Gold is priced as follows, in Swiss francs including Swiss tax:
White gold 37mm, ref. 15454BC.GG.1259BC.01 – SFr51,500
White gold 33mm, ref. 67653BC.GG.1263BC.01 – SFr42,500
Pink gold 37mm, ref. 15454OR.GG.1259OR.01 – SFr46,500
Pink gold 33mm, ref. 67653OR.GG.1263OR.01 -SFr37,500
Prices are subject to change.