Throughout its long history, Audemars Piguet has indented up numerous intense moves. Obviously, we as a whole recall the 1972 Royal Oak, a Genta-planned watch that just reformed the idea of the extravagance watch. Another of these striking moves ought to likewise not be failed to remember. Back in 1993, Audemars Piguet introduced an advancement of the Royal Oak, an exceptionally manly version named the Offshore – a watch that would indeed make a pattern which would later spread all through the remainder of the business. To praise the 25th anniversary of this cutting edge symbol, the Le Brassus-based brand presents, as Pre-SIHH 2018 curiosities, two new ROO watches, including this retro-enlivened Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Re-version 25th Anniversary Ref. 26237ST. Somewhat vintage, exceptionally iconic.
Background – the introduction of the “Offshore”
Before clarifying the Royal Oak Offshore, we need to rapidly return to 1972, when Audemars Piguet first presented the Royal Oak 5402ST. A watch planned by Gerald Genta, AP was adequately daring to dispatch a watch that was, back in the days, more than problematic. Figure that: in the mid 1970s, the possibility of an extravagance watch, in any event, for Audemars, was a little, flimsy and gold-encased time-just watch – to the special case of an extremely low number of complex pieces. So when the Royal Oak went ahead the market, with its precise steel case, its incorporated wristband, its energetic plan and its crazy value, it caused a significant thunder. However, however intense as this move might have been, and regardless of whether it required some investment for the market to accept this “luxury sports watch” idea, the 5402ST became a symbol that numerous others would follow.
A second move, after twenty years, followed, still in the Royal Oak assortment. In the mid 1990s, the watchmaking business was slowly recovering from the quartz emergency, and the watches delivered were still very modest and careful. The comeback of the mechanical watch was simply building up speed and by far most of the top of the line watches available – except for a couple of sports watches – were still traditionally planned and moderately little regarding distance across. However, in 1993, Audemars Piguet struck once more, by dispatching the Royal Oak Offshore. What was this watch about? A 42mm programmed chronograph, as a testosterone-took care of version of the Royal Oak, worked with the words “massive” and “deconstructed” as a top priority. At Baselworld 1993, some will most likely review that numerous authorities and insiders were frustrated by this oddity. Indeed, even Genta (who didn’t plan this version yet a specific 22 years old Emmanuel Gueit did) was stunned. A few, nonetheless, were astonished by this new concept.
What was so uncommon about this 1993 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph ref. 25721ST? First of all, it was huge – some nicknamed it “the beast” – with a 42mm breadth (far away from the norms, harking back to the 1990s), it was thick (15mm overall), it was precise, it was weighty and truth be told, regardless of whether all the famous plan components of the Royal Oak were included (the octagonal bezel, the 8 hexagonal screws, the raised bezel, the guilloche dial, the coordinated wristband, the general state of the case), the Offshore felt completely new and troublesome. It took the Royal Oak plan and “deconstructed” it, by making exceptionally noticeable the gasket between the case and the bezel for example. It was likewise bringing another idea, where new materials (in this case, rubber) were blended in with metals. Also, in the event that it required some investment for authorities to acknowledge this watch, it appropriately made a segment… and once more, numerous followed.
The unique plan, even after two facelifts (2006 and 2014 – see the last here ), has been kept alive and many various releases of this watch will later be planned ( jumpers , chronographs , tourbillons or even a grande complication , with an assortment of materials like artistic, carbon or gold ). In 2018, this watch will commend its 25th anniversary – and that implies that we can expect very some Offshore watches from AP at the SIHH 2018… But for the time being, we should zero in on one watch, the re-version of “the beast”, which makes a comeback in the assortment with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Re-release 25th Anniversary ref. 26237ST.
The Royal Oak Offshore Re-edition ref. 26237ST
Let’s go directly forthright: to the special case of a couple of minor subtleties, this re-release of the first Royal Oak Offshore is altogether indistinguishable from the first model – and it even sets aside a portion of the specialized and visual developments presented by the most recent models. Audemars Piguet has decided to stay consistent with the first, as far as possible. Consequently, no curve balls, then again, actually this watch looks now substantially more exemplary now than it probably been the situation, back in 1993.
First is the situation. On this Royal Oak Offshore Re-edition ref. 26237ST, we have a similar 42mm pad formed treated steel case, with a similar plan and a similar wrapping up. Vertically brushed on level surfaces, and illuminated by cleaned slants, it holds the assurance piece around the crown and the pushers. On top, isolated from the case by an enormous dark gasket, is a similar octagonal bezel, vertically brushed on top, cleaned on the sides, with 8 hexagonal screws.
The trust the evidence speak for itself is again altogether indistinguishable from the 1993 model. While the latest versions of the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph (launched in 2014) include ceramic crown and pushers in a differentiating tone, this re-release ref. 26237ST returns to elastic here too – in blue, much the same as the first model. Concerning the wristband, no progressions either, as the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 25th Anniversary includes the mark coordinated steel arm band, brushed on top, with cleaned slopes. One thing has been refreshed however, compared to the first version: the catch. No more edge catch produced using a slender layer of steel yet an advanced and strong “butterfly” collapsing fasten. Development is now and again a decent thing.
To end with the case, while the current Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph features a transparent sapphire back, this 25th-anniversary version adheres to the plain steel back with the first “Royal Oak Offshore” logo engraved. Under this caseback sits a notable in-house development, as utilized in most programmed Offshore Chronographs. This calibre 3126/3840 is a secluded development dependent on AP’s type 3120, on top of which sits a chronograph module (dial-side). This 3Hz self-twisting development, with a 22k gold rotor, brags 50 hours power save and, other than the chronograph, it likewise shows the date. The old style 6-9-12 format, additionally found on the 1993 model, is here kept, regardless of whether the development is unique (the old one included the calibre 2226/2840, a JLC-based development with Dubois-Depraz module).
As for the dial, we have here a practically precise of the 1993 model – I say nearly, as certain subtleties are somewhat different… The dial of the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 25th Anniversary 26237ST brings back the “Petite Tapisserie” design, while the other present day versions of the ROO are altogether utilizing a lot bigger example, the “Mega Tapisserie”. In this re-release, the blue dial is, much the same as a Royal Oak Extra-Thin , done by hand by means of a guilloche interaction (yet now done in-house and not rethought as it was the situation in 1993) considering a refined and very itemized dial. The hands, just as the white gold applied files, are additionally absolutely equivalent to the old release, with their natural adjusted shape.
The applied logo, the engravings, the tracks, the sub-dials with metallic rings… once more, all are indistinguishable. Same goes for the dark blue tone, which is found on the inner spine with tachymeter scale (with similar graduations as the original). One minor distinction: the second track on the fringe shows less graduations between the seconds, clarified by the diverse recurrence of the development (now 3Hz, contrary to 4Hz on the 1993 model). For the rest, this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 25th Anniversary is an amazingly precise tribute to the past.
Finally, on the wrist, this watch feels, as you can envision, very recognizable. Once more, what was named “the beast” 25 years prior is presently a watch that feels practically standard regarding size. The ROO is surely not a little and light watch, yet this 42mm case is presently practically limited, compared to a portion of the extravagance sports watches we can see on the market.
What to say about this Royal Oak Offshore re-release? All things considered, to put it plainly, Audemars Piguet nailed it… Simple as that. The brand didn’t fall into the snare of modernization or advancement. Indeed, the development and the fasten are unique, yet who can complain about that. Regarding style, it offers reverberation to what exactly is these days a symbol, what used to be a troublesome watch, which finished in being an innovator. Furthermore, frankly, it looks too cool. Cost will be CHF 25,000 and it is a non-restricted release. More subtleties on www.audemarspiguet.com .
Technical Specifications – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 25th Anniversary 26237ST
- Case: 42mm measurement – treated steel, brushed and cleaned – sapphire precious stone on the dial side, steel caseback – blue elastic clad push-pieces and screw-bolted crown – 100m water resistant
- Movement: Audemars-Piguet type 3126/3840, in-house – self-winding – 3Hz recurrence – 50h force save – 59 gems – hours, minutes, little second, chronograph, date
- Bracelet: spotless multi-interface coordinated arm band, steel collapsing clasp
- Reference: 26237ST.OO.1000ST.01
- Availability: Non-Limited edition
- Price: CHF 25,000