January 19, 2015
by Ariel Adams
At the watch trade show SIHH 2015, Audemars Piguet has quietly released a few extremely loud watches that are full pave diamond-covered versions of various Royal Oak Offshore collection timepieces. While Audemars Piguet has historically been known for purist watch making and traditional design, the brand today is split between offering luxury lifestyle timepieces as well as those rich with Swiss watch making heritage. Those who are mostly interested in the latter will likely scoff at Royal Oak watches in all diamonds, but it is true that Audemars Piguet – especially the Royal Oak Offshore – is an extremely popular watch with individuals who enjoy showing off status and wealth.
2015 sees three versions of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore in all diamonds – including a few models with matching full diamond-set bracelets. The watches all emphasize large baguette-cut diamond stones as well as a few versions highlighted with various colors for style, as well as legibility. The largest of the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore pieces with diamonds is the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm Ref. 26403BC.ZZ.8044BC.01. There is also a version of the 44mm model on a black alligator strap with the reference 26403BC.ZZ.D002CR.01 that has about 18 carats of diamonds and a few onyx stones on the dial used as hour markers.
Given the base watch’s modern design I really never could have envisioned this new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm (aBlogtoWatch hands-on debut here) fully covered in diamonds. In pictures, it is easy to tell the 44mm wide version from the smaller 42mm wide version because of the more elaborate and angular chronograph pushers (versus simple and round pushers on the smaller case).
Each of these full pave watches come exclusively in 18k white gold cases, where up to literally a few dozen carats of diamonds will be set. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm will have 53 carats of stones on the case and bracelet and another 6.53 carats of stones on the dial. That is almost 60 total carats of diamonds and hundreds of baguette-cut diamonds. Unfortunately, the jewelry version of this and the other Royal Oak Offshore watches alters the water resistance of the cases to only 20 meters. You might want to call it a “Royal Oak Onshore” in that case.
Inside the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm and 42mm watches is the Audemars Piguet caliber 3126/3840 automatic chronograph movements that operate at 3Hz with a 50 hour power reserve. The back of the watch has a sapphire crystal caseback with a view of the movement. The smaller ladies versions of the Audemars Piguet Quartz Royal Oak Offshore watches contain calibre 2176 quartz movements.
If the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 44mm model is too large for you but you still want a full pave watch case and bracelet, there is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm ref. 26473BC.ZZ.8043BC.01 that has a full white gold case and bracelet covered with diamonds in a very similar style as the slightly larger version. The 42mm has over 600 diamonds and about 55 carats of stones. Audemars Piguet is also offering a few strap versus bracelet variants of these “exceptional” Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm models for 2015 in carious colors.
Like the 44mm wide Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph on the strap the 42mm models with all the diamonds are available with a black alligator strap and matching dial elements (ref. 26473BC.ZZ.D002CR.01), as well as an additional blue version with diamonds accented with blue sapphires.
Women get three versions of the diamond-covered “exceptional” Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watches. The reference 67543BC.ZZ.D002CR.01 has a black alligator strap and green emeralds on the dial with about 290 diamonds (16 carats) and another 12 baguette-cut emeralds. There is a similar ladies Royal Oak Offshore with a pink alligator strap and matching pink sapphires on the dial.
The ultimate diamond-covered new for 2015 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore is also 37mm wide in a full 18k white gold case and bracelet totally covered with diamonds. This is the reference 67543BC.ZZ.9185BC.01 and it has about 46 carats of diamonds all over it. While each of these full pave Audemars Piguet Royal Oak offshore watches is not a limited edition, they are strictly limited production and sold on order only and most often exclusively via Audemars Piguet brand boutiques. audemarspiguet.com