Nearly three decades after its introduction, the unapologetically masculine Royal Oak Offshore by Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet—which debuted in 1993 as a bigger bolder, more brazen younger brother to the original Royal Oak—remains wildly popular.
This summer, the self-winding chronograph has spawned three new versions outfitted in 44 mm black ceramic cases with colorful dials—in smoked blue, green or gray. The first two come with matching ceramic bezels and titanium push-piece guards; the smoked gray dial version, on the other hand, comes with an 18-karat pink gold bezel and push-piece guards.
Each model features Audemars Piguet’s signature “Mega Tapisserie” pattern on the dial, along with new Arabic numerals in place of the Royal Oak Offshore’s traditional applied hour-markers.
The “ROO” was a boundary-defying watch from the get-go. Nicknamed “The Beast,” the 42 mm-wide and 15 mm-thick stainless steel model weighed nearly two-thirds of a pound, and boasted pushers and a crown clad in rubber. Keep in mind that it came out before the industry’s “size craze” took off in earnest, and is often credited with paving the way for the colossal timepieces of the early aughts (here’s looking you at, Big Bang).
The more conservatively sized models remain the go-to for seasoned collectors, but the 44 mm model has been continuously sought-after—and the introduction of three new versions suggests it still desirable despite its hefty size for AP fans looking for a more in-your-face timepiece.
Powered by in-house self-winding caliber 3126/3840, which brims with 365 components and at least 50 hours of power reserve, the newest versions of the Royal Oak Offshore come on color-coordinated textured rubber straps.
By VICTORIA GOMELSKY
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