AP Royal Oak Offshore Review: The Beast’s Super Upgrade

Since 1993, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Offshore collection has redefined sporty luxury with its robust, forward-thinking design. 

Emphasizing extraordinary craftsmanship and cutting-edge materials, these watches differentiate themselves in the high-end market. 

Recognized for their unique style, limited availability, and lasting value, they present a viable investment opportunity. The 2021 additions to the series further amplified its bold and dynamic appeal.

For this review, we’ll focus on three of our favorite new chronograph models from the collection:

The Case

Ap royal oak offshore case

Designed as a sportier and more masculine evolution of the Royal Oak, the Offshore boasts a massive case, integrated band, and large, octagonal shape, keeping the porthole design of its predecessor.

Each of the above picks’ cases has a 42mm diameter and the trademark Royal Oak Offshore burly profile. However, they’re fairly slim- having a 15.3mm thickness- enough to make wearing them a breeze (if you have a larger wrist). They also have the eye-catching eight White Gold screws on their octagonal bezels that we’ve grown used to seeing on AP timepieces.

One major difference among the cases is their material. The black ceramic chronograph comes in a handsome black ceramic material that extends to the bezel, crown, and chronograph pushers. It’s brushed and polished for a sporty yet elegant appearance.

Meanwhile, the Pink Gold chronograph has a Pink Gold case that follows the pattern of the previous model. Its rubber chronograph pushers have a deep blue hue, while the crown is also Pink Gold but also has a deep blue band around it, breaking monotony while fitting in at the same time!

Lastly, the stainless steel chronograph boasts a durable stainless steel material. The finely brushed and polished steel extends to the crown but not the blue rubber chronograph pushers. This distribution gives the timepiece a well-calculated visual balance while concentrating on comfort and functionality at the same time (steel pushers wouldn’t be so enjoyable to operate after a while).

All the models have a glare-proofed sapphire crystal sitting above their dials and on the Titanium caseback, giving an unhindered view of the equally-powerful movements that power them (more on that later). As for their crowns, they have the AP logo and screw down to them to offer a conducive 100m water resistance rating.

The Dial

Ap royal oak offshore dial

The dial is one of the features where the new flyback chronographs differ among themselves- and also the original Royal Oak Offshore ‘Beast’ ref. 25721ST.OO.1000ST.01. 

But first, the similarities.

All the faces feature a distinctive “Petite-Tapisserie” pattern, which enhances the watch’s sporty aesthetics. Crafted with expertise, this signature design brings a touch of boldness and elegance to the timepieces. The Pink Gold chronograph is particularly special since it’s the first Pink Gold timepiece in AP’s lineup to have a ‘’Petite-Tapisserie’’ pattern!

Apart from the eye-catching pattern, the new Royal Oak Offshore dials boast an inner bezel with a tachymeter scale, white gold applied hour markers (Pink Gold applied markers for the Pink Gold chronograph), and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating. This combination ensures that the watch is fashionable and functional for enhanced readability in various lighting conditions.

Over to the differences.

The black ceramic chronograph has a matte black dial and a black inner bezel with printings done in white for easier legibility and top-notch contrasting. The last two watches have a blue inner bezel with white markings and a delicious night-blue dial, a respectful nod to the original 1993 Royal Oak Offshore’s dial. 

Also, the new timepieces’ dials have several differences from the original ‘Beast’’s:

  • The date window at 3 o’clock has a loupe glass above it that’s joined to the dial directly- not the movement.
  • The running seconds has shifted from 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock position and the hour register has moved from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock.
  • The subdials are now equally distant from the dial’s center, unlike before, where the upper counter was closest to the central hands pinion. 

The black ceramic chronograph has black counters with white markings and a small seconds hand, the Pink Gold model has Pink Gold counters with brown markings and a blue small seconds hand, while the steel version has blue counters with white markings and a small seconds hand.

The Movement

AP Caliber 4404

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore is known for its impressive movements, and the 2021 lineup features a significant evolution in this area. One key update is the introduction of the AP Caliber 4404, a new in-house movement from Audemars Piguet. 

It has a fitting 32mm diameter, allowing it to slide into the huge cases effortlessly. It has a premium column wheel and vertical clutch to ensure the chronograph pushers feel smooth when pressed.

It also has a patented reset mechanism that ensures each chronograph hand automatically returns to its vertical starting point. And a flyback function that enables wearers to start, stop, and reset the watch with one simple action.

That’s not all. It offers something beautiful to peek at through the caseback: A 22 Pink Gold oscillating weight with a delicate hand finishing and embossed AP initials. It’s all set to power the impressive machines with its 70-hour power reserve and 28,800vph frequency.

The Strap

Ap royal oak offshore strap

The AP Royal Oak Offshore models have bracelets that match their cases. They come in the same design as the other models in the Offshore collection. They merge with the case in one continuous motion, joined by links in the middle. The only enhancement is their folding clasps (that also match the individual cases’ materials).

Each of them also has an interchangeable strap system offered by the manufacturer. AP has used this easy-to-use mechanism on metal bracelets for the first time. Fitted onto the case studs and buckle, it allows wearers to quickly swap straps without any special tools and prepare their timepieces for various occasions and adventures.

What’s more, they arrive with a second interchangeable rubber strap- black for the black ceramic chrono and blue for the other two chronos. The straps have a special pattern and are equally sturdy and flexible, crafted from tried and tested materials for maximum comfort and enjoyment.

The Competitive Landscape

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore has been a standout timepiece since its introduction in 1993. This luxury watch faced stiff competition from other well-established brands in the market. Amongst the competitors were:

  • Patek Philippe Nautilus: A renowned timepiece that features a unique porthole-inspired design. Its luxurious finishing and attention to detail make it a sought-after model among collectors.
  • Vacheron Constantin Overseas: Known for its striking aesthetics and exceptional craftsmanship, the Overseas model boasts a sporty yet elegant appearance, perfect for various occasions.
  • Rolex Daytona: With its iconic design and solid history in racing, the Daytona stands as a symbol of precision and innovation. Its highly accurate chronograph movement has been a benchmark in the industry.

Since the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore launch, the competitive landscape has been evolving, with many brands focusing on diversifying their offerings. The transition toward larger case sizes and innovative materials has become popular in luxury watchmaking.

Adapting to these market changes, the Royal Oak Offshore series embraced contemporary design elements such as the ceramic pushers and crown, a 44mm case size, and the use of stainless steel, titanium, and pink gold for its construction.

The diverse range of available color combinations and strap options allows the series to appeal to a wider audience. With their interchangeable strap system, the wearable experience has only shown signs of improvement over time.

In conclusion, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore has managed to stay competitive by constantly reinventing itself and adapting to market trends. As the landscape continues to evolve, it’s expected that the series will maintain its standing in the luxury watch market.

Pricing

Watches in the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore collection typically sell for between S$23,190 – S$227,476 on the private sales market. 

  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm- Black Ceramic, Black Dial ref. 26238CE.OO.1300CE.01- S$113,569, according to AP’s official website.
  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm- Pink Gold, Blue Dial ref. 26238OR.OO.2000OR.01- S$122,091, according to WatchCharts.
  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm- Stainless Steel Dial ref. 26238ST.OO.2000ST.01- S$61,856, according to WatchCharts.

Why You Should Invest?

One reason to invest in the AP Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph is its timeless, bold design featuring an open-worked dial, luminescent hands, and an engraved bezel. A watch with such an appealing appearance is a perfect addition to any collection and will maintain its value in the long run.

Also, the market price of the 2023 AP Royal Oak Offshore models are currently higher than its retail price. When the market price is higher than the retail price, it suggests that the watch has appreciated in value in the secondary market. This can make the watch appear more attractive as an investment opportunity, potentially offering the chance for capital appreciation.

Final Word

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore is a remarkable timepiece that has captured the attention of watch enthusiasts worldwide, garnering admiration for its distinctive design and high-quality construction. With the bold variety of models available in its 2021 upgrade collection, it continues to be a force to reckon with in the luxury watch industry.

Key Takeaways

  • The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 42mm models’ most notable features are a dial with a ‘Petite-Tapisserie’ pattern, applied lume applied hour markers and AP hands, and the new AP Caliber 4404 movement.
  • The AP Royal Oak Offshore collection has managed to stay ahead of its competitors because of its watches’ high-quality materials, distinctive designs, high-precision movements, and innovative features.
  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore timepieces are a worthwhile investment for their expert craftsmanship, ability to retain value over time, and the generous profit they fetch in the secondary watch market.

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