Still, detailing is up there, with a beautifully crafted, solid gold winding rotor with embossed AP initials and coats of arms. Thanks to some clever use of the eight structural screws and that outline that frames the sapphire window, the movement appears to fill out the case better than it actually does – it is a rather small 29.92-millimeter-wide and 7.16-millimeter-thick movement inside a 42-milimeter case, after all.
Altogether, there are 364 parts and 59 jewels in the Audemars Piguet Caliber 3124/3841 that runs at 3 Hertz for about 50 hours without winding – expect the more modern 4 Hertz to come in a new, fully in-house chronograph caliber… well, later. Functions include hours, minutes, running seconds at 3 o’clock and a 30-minute chronograph counter at 9.
In all instances, attached to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph is a rubber strap, matched to the color of the dial. While the straps felt very comfortable right from the moment of first putting the watch on – no unnecessary stiffness or abrasive feel from the supple material used – in my experience, brightly colored rubber straps tend to get dirty way too easily, with bright yellow ones picking up the slightest amount of dirt and showing it around the edges of the strap. While there are no out-of-the-box bracelet-equipped models of the new Diver Chronograph, I would love to see one of these more vibrantly colored dials paired to a stainless steel bracelet, as that would make the colors of the dials stand out even more.
As I said in the beginning, the new Diver Chronograph is an addition to a successful collection that should have been around for a while now – AP just has taken their time with it and released it now. And while we have been seeing an increasing number of major brands phase out and update their latest models more and more frequently, the timing of this release tells me that we will have to wait some more before Audemars Piguet delivers a fully integrated, in-house chronograph movement.
The lack of a blue-blooded chronograph movement may turn some away, and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph’s steep price of $27,900 is indeed a high barrier, at nearly double what the non-chronograph diver ran for when it debuted… Still, with all this noted, the Audemars Piguet workmanship, a case quality scarcely matched by others even at this price point, and a colorful and striking Royal Oak vibe will more than likely suffice to convince many that what is one of the coolest and perhaps most “polarizing” AP’s of late will be a worthy acquisition. audemarspiguet.com