August 19, 2010
by Ariel Adams
Please enjoy the original article below by Meehna Goldsmith – a watch matchmaker. She calls Los Angeles home but travels the world spreading the horologic gospel and finding people their perfect watch match. She contributes to publications such as the Financial Times, American Express Magazines, Robb Report Watch Collector, International Watch, and as the U.S. correspondent for HH Magazine, the publication of the Fondation De La Haute Horlogerie.You can visit her on her website www.meehnagoldsmith.com.
Audemars Piguet expands their Royal Oak Offshore line with the introduction of the Diver. While other Royal Oak Offshore models were built to endure your sporty adventures, there hadn’t been one that could accompany you underneath the sea. With the Diver, AP’s remedies that situation.
AP takes a cool, minimalist approach to its diver with just the essentials of time, date and a bezel to keep track of your dive time. They are quite capable of wowing us with complications but while you’re fish gazing and marveling at the wild plant forms swaying below, you don’t have a lot of need for those fancy extras. AP made the right choice in keeping this dive watch simple and functional.
The baton hands are thick and prominent against the black “Méga Tapisserie” pattern that has become AP’s signature in the ROO collection. Ensuring visibility in the inky depths, the hands as well as the hour markers have a generous coating of lume on them. It’s worth noting that the hour and minute hands are made out of white gold, which is a sumptuous detail typical of the brand.
The majority of dive watches choose an outer unidirectional bezel to mark dive periods. AP went with an inner rotating bezel, which not only keeps the shapely octagonal case intact but also provides a more secure solution. You don’t want an accident or miscalculation when you’re a long way from a breath of fresh air. Unscrewing the crown at 10 o’clock operates the inner rotating dial ring with increments demarcated at five-minute intervals.
Characteristic of the Offshore collection, metal – in this case, stainless steel – intermingles with rubber in the molded crowns and strap. The overall look is athletic and sleek with a profile of only 13.75mm. The black-and-gray color combination also gives it a versatility that can wear from completely casual to looking right at home in a more serious setting.
Though this watch is built to take the punishment of sea and salt, Audemars Piguet put their premier in-house calibre 3120 inside, making this a very luxurious piece of diving equipment. It’s really a pity that you don’t get to see the beautiful swoops, curves and hand finishing that went into this automatic movement. In order to maintain water resistance, dive watches of necessity need a solid case back. Still, it’s not surprising that a classy operation like Audemars Piguet didn’t budge on their standards because they know what ticks inside–and so will you.
But then again, AP is known for making waves, if you’ll forgive the unintentional pun. Back in 1972, they introduced the Royal Oak, which is the Offshore’s progenitor. The Royal Oak established the category of high-end sports watch and brought a new sheen and panache to the formerly frowned upon stainless steel.
The Diver meets all Swiss watch industry norms as well as international requirements for diving with a depth rating to 300 meters. Most people wear a dive watch for the sporty looks and because they have an appreciation of the technical achievement. They don’t often plunge to the depths of the ocean to check out the accuracy of the specs. However, if you want to test the Diver’s mettle, AP invites you to do so. On their website they show a world map of urban diving spots, helping you to plan your next underwater excursion.
Priced at $15,200, the Diver is by no means an inexpensive purchase. But AP delivers the goods with applicable function and style. Moreover, it’s powered by what’s considered one of the best automatic movements on the market, making their first entry into this category a real winner.[Ed. note – I loved wearing and photographing this piece. A great dive watch. Simple good looks with AP quality. Like Meehna said, not cheap, but not still lower on the AP range of prices. Great daily wear.]