Looking back at a quarter of a century of Audemars Piguet's iconic timepiece.
The Royal Oak Offshore collection appeared as a larger, more rugged sibling of the Royal Oak in 1993.
Since then, it has won a solid global fan base and has become a platform for innovation, constantly evolving into many different versions. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Audemars Piguet is issuing a re-edition inspired by the 1993 model, incorporating all the knowledge and techniques of 2018 while remaining faithful to the timeless design of the original.
This is accompanied by two new limited series of the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph: one in stainless steel and one in 18-carat pink gold. The rest of the collection has joined in the party spirit with a raft of new colours, features and details.
UNIQUE, LIKE ITS WEARER
For many cultures, the opal is a lucky charm. It is also a fragile stone, exceptionally challenging to work. The cut and polished opals used in the new Millenary model are chosen with extreme care. Only the most precious, white stones are selected for their vivid iridescence. Each one is unique, with its own fire: essentially made from silica and water, the opal’s silica spheres are arranged in more-or-less compact structures that dissect light, transforming it according to the angle of observation. The white opal dial is framed by the 18-carat pink gold case with Frosted Gold finish on the case sides, bezel, inner bezel and lugs. The Frosted Gold effect is set off by a pink gold Polish mesh bracelet.
A VINTAGE TOUCH
Two new Millenary models come in white gold and pink gold with mother-ofpearl dials and diamond-set bezel and lugs. The innovative feature: matching, Polish woven gold bracelets. The beautifully crafted bracelets are made in the classic Polish style to give a supple mesh that fits comfortably on the wrist, like a second skin. Both Milanese and Polish mesh bracelets are made from long, gold-wire ‘springs’ that are woven together to obtain a chainmail structure that can be sawn, welded and assembled by hand. The difference between the two lies in the way the wires are rolled up. With the Milanese bracelet, the wires are arranged in the same direction resulting in a simpler construction. With the more complex Polish style, the wires are arranged in alternate directions, giving a richer, smoother finish.
REINVENTING THE CALENDAR WATCH
Complications and ultra-thin models: two time-honoured Audemars Piguet specialties meet in the Royal Oak RD#2. It has taken five years to develop the new ultra-thin 5133 calibre with perpetual calendar. The challenge has been to re-engineer a three-storey movement into a single level, making it ultra-thin while combining and re-arranging functions to boost ergonomy, efficiency and robustness. This patented system features a recordshattering 2.89mm central rotor. At just 6.30mm, the redesigned case shaves almost 2mm off the Royal Oak Extra-Thin Jumbo, making the Royal Oak RD#2 the thinnest selfwinding perpetual calendar on the market today. This is the latest chapter in Audemars Piguet’s quest for world firsts which goes back over a century.
The first Royal Oak Concept models for women since the birth of the collection in 2002 – and the first Audemars Piguet flying tourbillon. Haute Horlogerie is in union with Haute Joaillerie in these two generously dimensioned 38.5mm wristwatches available in 18-carat white gold, either set with brilliant-cut diamonds or baguette-cut diamonds. With the added fascination of a dynamic complication that appears to float … Satin-finished bridges, polished angles and white lacquered decorations are visible through the sapphire crystal caseback, and on the dial, there’s a glimpse of the openworked barrel at 11 o’clock, a snowflake amid diamond-set icicles.
FIRST MUST EVOLVE
The Royal Oak Offshore collection strides into the future with two new series, each limited to 50 pieces, that reimagine the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph. The 45mm case – a first for the Royal Oak Offshore – gives these pieces a very robust feel. It houses a brand-new technical movement design that embodies Audemars Piguet’s expertise and bold approach. Used previously in Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronographs, the movement has been entirely reimagined exclusively for the occasion. With a new architectural construction featuring sandblasted titanium bridges and satin-brushed chamfered edges, the movement looks as if it were suspended from the bezel.
A WORK OF ART
The new 37mm Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked features calibre 3132, first introduced in 2016 in our 41mm Royal Oak case. By incorporating two balance wheels and two hairsprings that are assembled on the same axis, the system oscillates in pure harmony. This patented mechanism involves a complex fabrication procedure that improves precision and stability, while allowing the beating heart of the watch to be visible from both sides of the case. The movement is rhodium plated to softly highlight the golden regulating organ and the upper balance bridge. The indexes and hands match perfectly this refined set. Additionally, all the finishing operations on the bridges and mainplate are done by hand: beveling, chamfering, polishing, satin-brushing and circular satin-brushing.
The Villeret Valentine’s Day 2018 model is limited to 99 pieces