The March 2011 series of disasters in Japan really sucked for them, and it still sucks for them. It was like a triple play of Armageddon leaving even Godzilla offering to help pick up the rubble. Joking aside, much of Japan is in bad shape - though the country is help together by the people's pride and cultural ability to survive and thrive after disaster strikes.
As is the case with most all natural disasters, entities both private and public come to help. Corporations like to hold special events or create special products to aid recovery causes. Are these actions commercially driven? Sure, but it is the thought that counts right. Japan has always been a healthy market for Audemars Piguet and now, about six months after the fact when Japan is still in recovery mode, AP has launched two money raising charity programs. Oh, and worth noting is that Audemars Piguet will not charge for labor fixing any AP watches that may have been damaged as an effect of the disaster in Japan. Check with AP for more details on this.
The first cool thing is the release of a new limited edition Royal Oak Offshore timepiece set called the "Ginza7" (Ginza 7) These will be two separate watches, each limited to 200 pieces, the sale of which will help the Japanese Red Cross. The first watch is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Ginza7 (ref. 26180ST.OO.D101CR.01) Stainless Steel and the second is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Ginza7 Forged Carbon (ref. 26205AU.OO.D002CR.01). The watches are both 42mm wide are pretty much standard AP ROO watches in terms of specs and design. Unique here are the dials and the casebacks.
The two limited edition Ginza7 watches have very different dial designs. I like them both but I really wish someone would tell me watch the "7" in "Ginza7" stands for. The Stainless Steel model has a very classy looking mostly black dial with silvered indicators and hands. All the hour indicators are blacked out though. 7 o'clock however is set with diamonds (on both models). Attached to the steel version is a nice alligator strap.
Second is the Royal Oak Offshore Ginza7 Forged Carbon model - my favorite. I am still really keep on AP's pretty awesome forged carbon and like the dial that mix a series of looks. The black hands (with light borders) and gold ringed subsdial are my favorite parts. The bezel is in ceramic. Again, both are limited to 200 pieces each and will be available soon. See pricing info below.
In addition to the two limited edition watches (and a special auction of each), Audemars Piguet will auction off 40 AP wall clocks. Each of these clocks has been signed by a celebrity (from all over the world). Many of these are current Audemars Piguet brand ambassadors. The 40 clocks are currently on display in Audemars Piguet's Ginza boutique in Tokyo. The auction results of these clocks will also go to the Japanese Red Cross.
Looks like AP is poised to be ready for Japan when they are ready to spend again. The national demeanor there isn't exactly in the luxury buying mood yet... but you can't spell Japan without "AP." Prices for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Ginza7 Stainless Steel is $30,200 and $38,500 in forget carbon. Check out the dedicated site in Japanese here.