To celebrate three decades of impeccable engineering and daring horological design, Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet has unveiled five new Royal Oak Offshore references that include four Selfwinding Chronographs in ceramic, pink gold and a limited “Music Edition”.
If there was one word that summed up the spirit of the Royal Oak Offshore, it would be “bold”. Originally launched in 1993 following the 20th anniversary since the launch of Audemars Piguet’s groundbreaking Royal Oak, the Offshore created an even bigger shockwave among the watch-loving set. Inspired by the rather large yet slim silhouette of the Royal Oak, the Offshore took the design to the next level. So much so it was given the nickname “The Beast” courtesy of the extra bulk in proportions including a large rubber gasket.
Where the Royal Oak drew inspiration from below the water’s surface via a diver’s helmet, for the Offshore creator Emmanuel Gueit set his sight above the waves, towards the exuberant energy of the 80s and popular yacht races that would inspire the name. Much like its predecessor, the Offshore was initially met with derision in some quarters when it first appeared. But its virile presence and unforgettable aesthetic found an appreciative audience in the younger generation who shared Offshore’s adventurous spirit.
Thirty years on that adventurous spirit is as powerful as ever and perfectly encapsulated in the latest expressions. Which also includes a reinterpretation of its original 1993 Royal Oak Offshore model that has been, for the very first time, crafted entirely in black ceramic that will be available from luxury timepiece destination Swiss Concept.
Back In Black
What better way to celebrate the anniversary of a legend but with the creation of another one? One of the new timepieces launched to celebrate thirty years since the first Offshore appeared, the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph 43mm in Black Ceramic with Yellow Gold reference offers a stunning interpretation of the original Offshore concept and an exciting standout in a collection that pays homage to its history. This unique reference is also the first time that the Offshore is crafted entirely from black ceramic.
When the first Offshore was launched back in 1992, it was a bridge between the two decades. The decadent and carefree spirit of the 1980s and the burgeoning refinement that marked the minimalism of the 90s. Fast forward to today, this combination of spirit and refinement is as in demand as it was when the first Offshore captured the attention of the world.
To celebrate the occasion, Audemars Piguet has turned up the dial on the details – literally. The Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph 43mm in Black Ceramic with Yellow Gold reference delivers its familiar exceptional engineering with striking, contrasting elements. Such as the Mega Tapisserie pattern on the dial and the white gold used for the eight screws along the signature octagonal bezel.
Every facet of the new Offshore reference resonates with a narrative of evolution. The juxtaposition of black ceramic and yellow gold exemplifies a harmonious conversation between classic and contemporary. In this timepiece, horological enthusiasts can witness the transition from pioneering heritage to a modern masterpiece, embodying the relentless pursuit of perfection that has characterised the Audemars Piguet brand throughout its storied history.
The Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph 43mm in Black Ceramic with Yellow Gold, a captivating synthesis of heritage and contemporary horological craftsmanship, will be available from luxury timepiece destination Swiss Concept.
A Legend Returns
A spirit of adventure and audacious in concept – is it any wonder that the Royal Oak Offshore caught the attention of one of the greatest action stars of his era, Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Continuing the celebration of 30 years of the Offshore, Audemars Piguet is bringing back a cinematic legend: the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph 43mm Black Ceramic, a limited edition version of the Offshore timepiece made specifically for Schwarzenegger to wear for his role in the 1999 film End of Days.
Its presence in the movie, on the wrist of Schwarzenegger himself, did much to propel the Offshore’s reputation within the culture of the time. Schwarzenegger himself contributed to the final design, specifically requesting a black watch with yellow numbers. And just as it did when Schwarzenegger first wore it in the film, the revived timepiece comes with a similar robust nature.
The new incarnation’s blend of ceramic and titanium make for a more lightweight wearing experience and is limited in number with only 500 of the new version made.
Into The Blue
French painter Henri Matisse once famously said that a certain blue enters your soul. What blue exactly, he never went on to explain. Perhaps that was deliberate, furthering the mystery. But it would be safe to say that the specific shade used for the new blue Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph 43mm is, dare we say, a timepiece that only comes along once in a blue moon?
Commemorating the 30th anniversary of the first Offshore, it’s a colour that rejoices while also bringing a sense of classic coolness.
Resting against a contrasting black case, the smoke blue bezel is matched with a blue calfskin strap. The hue is reflected in the depths of the face, where the Mega Tapisserie dial adds lush texture behind sapphire glass along with the push-pieces and crown. A ceramic case adds a physical lightness to the visually uplifting hue, including ceramic push-pieces within a lightweight yet robust titanium guard.
Beneath the surface, a Calibre 4401 provides the power with a handy 70-hour power reserve while water resistance is up to 100 metres.
A Tribute To The World of Music
The worlds of music, design and culture meet within the features of the Royal Oak Offshore ‘Music Edition’: a colourful, striking creation that seems to pulse with an inner beat. Music has been a key part of the Audemars Piguet story: the Swiss watchmaker had a pioneering role in chiming watches. The Music Edition, limited to 250 pieces, thus carries on a tradition of bridging the two distinct worlds of music and watchmaking.
The 37mm black ceramic expression incorporates a gradient “equaliser” pattern across the Tapisserie dial while knurled-textured studs bring to mind jack plugs while the titanium crown guards have been inspired by the fader on mixing consoles. Mimicking the motif of the dial is a black rubber strap decorated with a mosaic pattern.
Watches aren’t solely just tools to measure time. As pieces of design, they also exist as a type of time capsule. They represent a moment in time, while also conveying it in the numerals and the hands that move across the dial. The Offshore in particular sits at a juncture of multiple points of time: the decade of the 80s, when it was first conceived; the 90s when it was launched.
It was at this time, when the first Offshore was introduced, that the world of music underwent a revolution: hip-hop became the dominant genre and permanently shook up the industry. Just like this sonic shift, the Offshore was a shift in the perception of what a watch should look like: daringly bold, refined and unapologetically youthful in essence. This year, the Manufacture presents its ‘Music Edition’ model in 37mm, ideal for slimmer wrists with three additional rubber straps in turquoise, yellow and green similarly detailed with the same mosaic design.
Over The Rainbow
The final addition to the quintet of new Offshore anniversary pieces poses a question: how do we make the Royal Oak Offshore even more bold? The answer: an 18 karat gold case and matching bezel embedded with baguette-cut rainbow gemstones that include rubies, tsavorites, topaz, tanzanites, amethysts and orange, yellow, green, blue, violet and pink sapphires.
The sparkling cacophony finds a natural home in the refined symmetry of the Royal Oak Offshore’s 37mm Pink Gold octagonal case, one that recalls the neon hued era of its creation.
Into The Future…
The story of the Offshore begins not with the request or demand of a specific market. It was created as an act of rebellion. A “mammoth watch” that caused outcry while simultaneously finding its home in the imaginations of younger audiences who were excited by its proportions, and saw their own spirits in its daring nature.
Thirty years on, and this is still just the beginning of the Royal Oak Offshore.
Discover more about the Royal Oak Offshore collection at Swiss Concept Sydney, located at 90 Pitt St, NSW 2000