Audemars Piguet add three new black-cased Royal Oak Offshore models with smoked fumé dialsJames Robinson
Audemars Piguet have been slowly but surely unveiling some quietly inspired new releases in 2020. First came the bite-the-back-of-your-hand beautiful [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph, then came a diminutive new Royal Oak 34mm. More recently, AP saw fit to bestow its much-lauded Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin with two new models – the dazzling Diamond Indexes In Platinum (15206PT) and Rose Gold (15207OR).
Now the Le Brassus outfit has set its sights on its ever-popular Royal Oak Offshore and, boy oh boy, have they turned the wick up. What Audemars Piguet have done is release three entirely new iterations … and quite a lot has changed.
For even the most laymen of watch enthusiasts, the dials of these new ROOs are instantly recognisable as being very different indeed. For a start, they’ve been given a smoked fumé treatment in three distinct colours – blue, green and grey, which have also been stamped with AP’s “Méga Tapisserie” pattern. The other BIG talking point is the bulbous exploded Arabic numerals that line the edge of these funky new dials. This is a big aesthetic departure from ROOs of the past, and it proves to be a compelling new look.
The cases of the opulent diver’s chronos have also been updated. While still measuring a commanding 44mm across and 14.4mm thick, the blue and green dial variants have been hewn from solid black ceramic, and the grey dial model utilises an 18k rose gold bezel and chrono pusher guards in conjunction with a case, chrono pushers and screw-down crown hewn from black ceramic.
Inside the new cases is AP’s manufacture Calibre 3126/3840. This in-house chronograph movement is comprised of 365 components, 59 jewels, and runs at an operating frequency of 21,600 vph (3Hz). It has 50 hours of power reserve. And, thanks to these ROOs being sandwiched in sapphire crystal, owners can appreciate the hand-finished, beautifully decorated aspects of the movement such as the skeletonised oscillating weight.
Attached to the latest ROOs is an all-new rubber strap, which features a bespoke textural finish. For the blue and green model, the strap is complementing in colour and is harnessed to one’s wrist via a titanium pin buckle. For the grey model, the textured rubber strap is black, and uses a solid 18k rose gold pin buckle.
These hot new additions to the Royal Oak Offshore family are, like so many other APs these days, a boutique exclusive. However, the effort required may be commensurate with the rewards; if you’re after the ultimate summer watch, we can’t think of anything that’s going to be much flexier.