Not content with kicking the year off with SIHH the Richemont group have added the all singing all dancing Hong Kong based Watches & Wonders to their lineup (Not that AP are part of the Richemont family – they’re just buddies). This is a good thing for Australian watch lovers for whom the grueling long haul flight to Geneva, and the exclusivity of SIHH, is a little off-putting.
It’s also good because it means we get shiny new models in the latter half of the year, like this slamming new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Tourbillon Chronograph – reference 26550AU.OO.A002CA.01. (takes deep breath).
Long and unwieldy model name aside this new AP ROO STC (see what we did there) is an impressive piece of kit. Limited to 50 pieces, it’ s the first ROO Tourbillon to be powered by the automatically winding caliber 2897.
The 44mm case is made from Forged Carbon, with a ceramic bezel and chronograph pushers, and titanium crown guards. It’s also surprisingly thin for an an automatic tourbillon, coming in at 14mm thick. Technically it’s an impressive construction, and in line with the sort of hi-tech material fusion that the ROO line (the ROO is kind of like a supercharged Royal Oak collection, first released in 1993 – a forerunner for the oversized sports watch trend). The dial also has a lot of cool stuff going on, featuring the iconic Royal Oak Tapisserie dial finish (only in ROO scaled Mega Tapisserie), exposed tourbillon at 6, and a cut out at 1 through which you can view gear train – and the oscillating weight (made from platinum don’t cha know) is visible through the sapphire chapter ring on the outer edge of the dial.
But all that detail is beside the point. The point is immediately clear when you look at this watch. It’s a beast. And while such a brash and bold timepiece might not be your flavour, if you like that kind of thing you can’t help but be entranced by the shimmering chunk of black Forged Carbon, ceramic and titanium. It’s a watch that just oozes badass-ness.