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We were treated to a hands-on inspection of the six new pieces in the new 42mm collection, including two lovely examples in rose gold as well as four in steel.  Like the original Offshore, the new collection uses bold colors on the dials, hands, and subsidiary registers, and all feature the trademark Mega Tapisserie texturing pattern.  Improvements from the original models include sapphire display backs (long demanded by the ROO faithful), as well as ceramic case elements, including the chronograph pushers and crowns.   Versions fitted on leather straps also now feature tang buckles instead of deployant buckles.  All are now fitted with the AP Calibre 3126 chronograph movement.

There is little doubt that this collection will expand greatly after the initial launch later this spring, but the first pieces available for purchase will be those pictured here.  Prices start at $25,600 for steel models on rubber, $26,000 on leather.  Rose Gold is $40,700 on leather and $69,200 on a bracelet.

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For those who appreciate the design and manufacture of the Offshore collection but have stayed away for reasons pertaining to image or size, now is the time to reconsider.  42mm is by no means a “small” watch, but it is incredible just how much a difference 2mm can make in terms of wearability, and as wristwatches in general trend towards smaller case sizes and svelte design, this new smaller ROO is likely to once again be king of the hill.  Anything larger will likely be passé.

To be honest, I’ve never considered myself a ROO fan, as my tastes run towards the slimmer and smaller end of the Royal Oak collection.  Yet when our friends at AP pulled out this new 42mm collection for me to see in the flesh, I admit that I was struck immediately by their beauty, as well as what they represent.  I am truly excited to see Audemars Piguet – long a perpetrator of the unnecessarily large and ostentatious wristwatch trend – coming back to their roots and offering sensibly sized and sophisticated sports luxury timepieces that honor their foundations as a modern brand.

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