The year 2022 marked the commencement of celebrations for 50 years of Audemars Piguet’s iconic Royal Oak collection. With acclaimed watch designer Gerald Genta as the mastermind behind the collection’s stylish look, the Royal Oak is said to be the first steel sports watch the world was presented with. Continuing with the 50th anniversary celebrations, the luxury watchmaker has just released a new Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph (Ref. 26420CE.OO.A005VE.01), limited to 500 pieces. This timepiece pays tribute to the Offshore collection that has been pushing the limits for 30 years.
Those who have grown up in the 90s should remember a 1999 Hollywood action-horror venture, named End of Days, that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the film, Schwarzenegger was seen sporting the first special edition of the collection (ref. 25770SN), which was, in fact, released in 1999 for this particular film. While End of Days couldn’t quite set the BO on fire, the watch and its subsequent variants continued to fascinate horology enthusiasts. Honouring the 1999 model, Audemars Piguet’s new Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph comes in a 43 mm black ceramic case, complete with an octagonal bezel.
The watch includes eight titanium visible screws and two pushers at 2 o’clock, and 4 o’clock to start and restart the chronograph function. The new Royal Oak Offshore watch also features the famous black-and-yellow colour combination from the 1999 variant, along with a black dial and a new Mega Tapisserie pattern. The timepiece gets yellow, white gold, bar-shaped hour markers, a tachymeter scale and hour and minute hands, coated in black nickel with yellow luminescence, with a central seconds hand. The applied gold AP logo stands out at 12 o’clock while the chronograph gets black counters for the 12-hour counter at 3 o’clock, the 60 seconds counter at 6 ‘clock, the 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock and the date window at 4:30.
Powering the watch is self-winding Calibre 4401, which is fully integrated with a column wheel and a flyback function, offering a power reserve of 70 hours. Turning the watch over showcases the titanium, sapphire crystal, a skeleton caseback with a 22 ct pink gold oscillating weight in anthracite grey, Côtes de Genève decorations, the engraving of ‘Limited Edition of 500 Pieces’ and eight visible screws.
Finishing the watch is a black calfskin strap with textile effect and yellow stitching, along with a titanium pin buckle. The watch also comes with an additional interchangeable strap in yellow calfskin with black stitching.
All in all, the new Royal Oak Offshore collection reminds us how collaborations between films and watches can work wonders.