While Audemars Piguet has obtained quite a lot of flak in the past for what some collectors perceive as milking the Royal Oak fame a bit too much, I believe that the option available within the range is a great thing. Not everybody is able to afford a tourbillon chronograph, and not everyone wants only a time-only watch. At least the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak collection provides both as well as many other options, together with broadly similar aesthetics. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked Material Good watch comes with a bracelet of the identical material as the case and an extra alligator leather strap. It’s available at Audemars Piguet boutiques as well as the Material Great shop in NY for $297,000 for its pink gold variation and $261,000 for the titanium model. Audemars Piguet has been creating some of the most technically intriguing watches within their Royal Oak Concept collection for the last few years. Last year, they showed off the Royal Oak Concept Laptimer, an exceptionally complex chronograph with three pillar wheels that could measure sequential lap times. And earlier this year, they introduced the equally complex Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch, a second repeater exemplifying Audemars Piguet’s obsession with sound clarity and quality.Of program, it’d be cruel to show you pictures and tell you about this watch’s amazing sound without a video to allow you to hear it, and thus do play the movie over to hear it on your own. The second repeater complication is often regarded as one of the most difficult and… well, complicated to make – so imagine how hard it’s to make one from scratch. The next thing to remember is that Audemars Piguet didn’t just wish to produce a new minute repeater watch, they wanted to create one that would be the very best.
Nicknamed the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph “Novelty”, the 44mm version of Audemars Piguet‘s octagonal sports chronograph was not the focus of the new Royal Oak models unveiled at SIHH 2017, but nonetheless got a facelift with new dials (while keeping everything else the same). More significantly, a new version in titanium was added – the lightweight alloy’s debut for the “Novelty”.
The Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm in titanium (ref. 26400IO.OO.A004CA.01) features a contrasting black ceramic bezel, and paired with a dark grey dial as well as a grey rubber strap.
The facelifted Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph in pink gold (ref. 26401RO.OO.A002CA.02) now has a black dial with pink gold accents. The hands, hour markers, chapter ring as well as printed text are all in pink gold, giving the dial greater contrast compared to the earlier model, which was white on black.
And the last of the trio is the “Novelty” in black ceramic (ref. 26405CE.OO.A002CA.02). Unlike the earlier version that had a black and silver colour scheme, the new ceramic chronograph has a black dial with pink gold accents, as well as a touch of dark blue. The hands, hour markers and dial text are pink gold, while the chronograph hands are tipped in dark blue.
As before, the trio are all powered by the calibre 3126/3840, which is AP’s in-house automatic calibre topped with a chronograph module made by Dubois-Depraz.
Price and availability
The titanium model is priced at SFr27,500, while the black ceramic is SFr29,000. And the pink gold is SFr41,550.