alexa (Ref. 26421) | Audemars Piguet | Royal Oak Offshore | Tourbillon | Chronograph

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph 25th Anniversary (Ref. 26421)

Burak BAYRAM

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An addition to the new models announced under Pre-SIHH 2018 novelties came from Audemars Piguet. The brand introduced a limited edition version of its iconic Royal Oak Offshore Collection in order to commemorate the model family’s 25th birthday. The new timepiece attracts attention with its Tourbillon movement and aggressively designed case which makes it arguably the boldest looking Royal Oak ever.

Celebrating the 25th anniversary next year, the Royal Oak Offshore Collection is one of the first product groups to come to mind when it gets to luxury sports chronograph models. Debuted in 1993, the Royal Oak Offshore which is designed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Royal Oak model created by Gerald Genta, the legendary guru of the clock world, bears the signature of the famous designer Emmanuel Gueit.

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The first Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore - 1993

Royal Oak Offshore, showed up with a 42mm diameter Royal Oak case which is quite unusual especially concerning the era, is one of the most important product groups in the Audemars Piguet collection today. The iconic design that rocked the 2000s is considered one of the most successful model families in the world of watches, with its wide variety of versions and exclusive / limited production models since its first appearance on the market, although not liked by the designer of the original Royal Oak, Gerald Genta.

In fact, the Royal Oak Offshore concept has gone through some important updates and revisions throughout its 25 year adventure, as well as exclusive models that combined advanced technology and high-end watchmaking. However, no other version looked as bold as the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph 25th Anniversary. 

The new model comes in a 45mm diameter octagonal Royal Oak style case arguably being one of the most aggressive interpretations of the original design up to now. In addition to the 18K pink gold version the case is offered in stainless steel as well, which is an unusual choice considering the model's segment and price tag. The case is equipped with scratch resistant sapphire crystals on both sides and it is water resistant to 100 meters.

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The case, which is based on the original Royal Oak as with the rest of the product line, features some updates that boost the sporty appearance. The beveling on the lugs is wider than the previous models. The crown guards, which were revised to metal by the 2nd generation models, are also present in this model. The 18K pink gold version sports crown guards made of the same material with the case while the stainless steel version features titanium crown guards. 

The signature octagonal bezel with bolts is also present in the new model but in a slightly thinner and partially hollowed design compared to previous models. The bezel features both mirror polished and matt finished surfaces.

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Since the new model is designed in skeleton style, it is hard to talk about the dial. There are eight bridges on the dial with the thicker four holding the double barrels and the Tourbillon escapement. Designed with inspiration from geometric shapes, the dial offers an industrial image in both versions. 

The model is powered by the brand’s in-house movement Caliber Ref. 2947. Based on the former Ref. 2933, the hand-wound movement beats at 3Hz and offers 173 hours of power reserve when fully wound. The movement is pretty much visible thanks to the model’s skeleton style and sapphire crystals on both sides and equipped with an integrated column wheel chronograph feature in addition to the Tourbillon regulator.

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The new model comes on a black rubber strap. The strap is secured by a pin buckle made of stainless steel or 18K pink gold depending on the case option. Both versions are limited to a span of 50 units per each. The stainless steel version is available for SFr275, 000, while the 18K pink gold version is offered with a price tag of SFr310, 000.

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