I’ll be back: The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph pays homage to Arnie’s “End of Days” modelLuke Benedictus
- The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph celebrates the Offshore’s 30th anniversary
- This black ceramic model pays homage to the Royal Oak Offshore “End of Days” (ref. 25770SN) released in 1999 in collaboration with Arnold Schwarzenegger
- The new 43mm model repeats the high-contrast aesthetic of yellow on black
It’s fair to say that End of Days was not the most warmly regarded film in the Arnold Schwarzenegger canon. “A head-on collision between the ludicrous and the absurd” was the verdict of film reviewer Roger Ebert on the 1999 movie that saw Arnie take on the devil himself in order to stop Beelzebub from spawning a master race of satanic followers. Still, Ebert’s two-star review was far kinder than the general consensus: the Rotten Tomatoes website gave the film an 11% rating.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore proved similarly contentious at first. Designed by Emmanuel Gueit, who was just 22 at the time, the 42mm watch was considered gigantic when it was released in 1993. The biggest critic was the father of the Royal Oak, Gerald Genta, who famously burst in during the watch’s presentation to publically accuse Gueit of ruining his design.
Given the initial reception of both the film and the Offshore model, you wouldn’t hold out much hope for the product that linked the two: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore “End Of Days”. Outside the world of mathematics, after all, two minuses rarely make a plus. Except the result turned out to be far more positive than expected.
Limited to just 500 individually numbered pieces (it should really have been an allocation of 666), the Royal Oak Offshore “End Of Days” was one of the very first horological collaborations with a celebrity. As Francois-Henry Bennahmias says in the video below that celebrated the Offshore’s 25th birthday, Arnie made specific demands regarding the design: “The watch has to be black and I want yellow numbers,” he reportedly said. The result might not have been subtle, but that design coated in black PVD, makes the yellow hour markers and luminescent Arabic numerals leap out against the petite tapissiere dial. Here was a watch as big and as bold as the action-hero on whose wrist it would appear.
The Offshore eventually proved to be a success, too – its aesthetic starting to resonate with a market that was slowly warming to larger timepieces (Zach charts the evolution of the model here). As that trend took hold, Schwarzenegger’s Offshore became something of a cult classic. And now to celebrate the anniversary of the collection, Audemars Piguet are releasing the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph, a black ceramic model that pays homage to the Royal Oak Offshore “End of Days”.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph
Released in another 500-piece run, this new model is presented in a 43mm case in line with the Offshore models introduced in 2020. This latest edition is made entirely of black ceramic with the addition of titanium details, such as the studs, push-pieces and caseback, while eight steel screws attach the octagonal bezel to the case. The choice of these materials suggests the watch will have a light and ergonomic feel despite its bulky proportions (the total weight is a meagre 103 grams).
Celebrating the black and yellow aesthetic of the original 1999 model, the new Offshore features a black dial decorated with the new-generation mega tapisserie pattern and is illuminated with touches of yellow on the tachymeter scale, as well as on the hour markers and the blackened white-gold hands. The applied white-gold AP logo stands out at 12 o’clock, while black counters grace the dial at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock.
This new reference is powered by the Manufacture’s latest selfwinding chronograph movement, Calibre 4401, which is fully integrated with a column wheel and flyback function. This function allows the chronograph to be reset and restarted with a single press of the push-piece – a patented process that allows the chronograph counter hands to instantaneously return to the vertical position. The column wheel works in conjunction with the vertical clutch and when started or stopped, the seconds hand responds immediately, without jerking.
The oscillating weight is visible through the sapphire crystal case back. Crafted in 22-carat pink gold, it has been coloured an anthracite grey hue. The sapphire caseback also reveals the movement’s refined decorations, including Côtes de Genève, circular graining, sunray finishing, circular satin finishing and polished bevels. Last but not least, the titanium case back is engraved with the words “Limited Edition of 500 Pieces”.
This new Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph model comes with a black calfskin strap featuring a textile effect and yellow stitching. Thanks to the watch’s integrated interchangeable system, the owner can easily change the strap for a yellow version with black stitching that also comes with the watch.
End of days? More like a whole new lease of life.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph pricing and availability:
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph is available in a limited-edition run of 500 pieces for a price soon to be confirmed.
|Model||Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph|
|Case Dimensions||43mm / 14.4mm thick|
|Case Material||Black ceramic|
|Dial||Black dial with Mega Tapisserie pattern, white gold applied hour markers|
|Straps||Black and yellow calfskin|
|Movement||Selfwinding Calibre 4401|
|Power Reserve||72 hours|