At the beginning of 2021, Audemars Piguet introduced us to the new Royal Oak Offshore Diver. It perhaps goes without saying that not much has drastically changed over the previous iteration, however, there were some new colours, along with some minute details that would ordinarily go unnoticed. A few months ago, we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the bold, brash and loud, Offshore that I admittedly dismissed a few years but now I’ve slightly softened to the idea that, I just might be able to pull this off. As noted previously, this new Offshore that AP have released points to a more restraint on the colour palate, with some warm earthy tones.
As mentioned in our first brief look at this new Royal Oak Offshore, AP have not so much recreated said timepiece but have gone with the same winning formula with a few subtle changes. The new Offshore comes in three new colours: khaki, blue and grey sport, with a new dial aesthetic – that isn’t instantly noticeable but does make the dial appear cleaner. Looking closely at the dial you’ll notice that it now only bears the AP logo just below the 12 o’clock as opposed to the full “Audemars Piguet” text, a rather simple change but one that is most effective atop of the mega tapisserie dial. You’ll also notice the indices are shorter in length but wider adding to its brutish appearance.
I’m always a little apprehensive when it comes the size of the Royal Oak Offshore but to be honest, it just because I’m a little too used to the size of my much smaller vintage pieces. The case measures 42mm in diameter and 14.2mm in thickness, crafted out of stainless steel with all flat surfaces featuring a satin brushed finish, while all bevelled edges have been given a mirror polished finish. This new Royal Oak Offshore is water-resistant to 300 meters and like previous iterations sports an exhibition case back.
The usual inner rotating bezel and crown at 10 o’clock is there with a rubber strap that matches the dial of the watch. While we are on the subject of straps, Audemars have also gone a step further with theirs this year and added a feature that is becoming more popular. AP have added an interchangeable strap system for the latest additions to the Royal Oak Offshore collection. The ease and efficiency of the new system will allow you to change the straps and buckles yourself with a quick click and release. The rubber straps are available in green, blue, grey and black and in addition there is a further three calfskin leather straps in beige, brown and black, for when you want to change things up a little.
On the movement front, there has been quite the change and so these Offshores are now powered by the new calibre 4308, which can be seen through the sapphire case back. The new self-winding automatic calibre 4308, features a new instant-jump date indication and boast 60-hours of power reserve, and is equipped with a patented setting mechanism. Looking through the sapphire case back, you’ll notice AP have lavish much attention to detail on the new calibre 4308 such as, such as “Côtes de Genève,” “traits tirés” and circular graining, as well as a new dedicated oscillating weight in blackened 22-carat pink gold.
On the wrist this new Offshore Diver is an absolute pleasure to wear, its stainless steel 42mm case does not feel overly hefty and in all honest neither does it feel as large on the wrist as the numbers may suggest. Okay, you may have a little trouble trying to tuck it under a shirt sleeve, but I truly don’t think this is a watch made for those types of occasions. The Royal Oak Offshore is clearly targeted at the active, outdoorsy kind of person and the ruggedness of it suggests this.
As already mentioned, the layout of the dial has seen some minor changes, but these tweaks overall make the dial look a little more refined. The use of the small AP logo below 12 o’clock is a welcomed change and offers a cleaner look. The use of wider and shorter hour markers that don’t encroach upon the minute track, opens up the dial a little bit more too. And then there is the marker at 12 o’clock – that once you’ve seen it, you can unsee it – which I think actually looks more like a zero than two markers side-by-side, but nonetheless still looks cool.
These new diving instruments are big and bold and yet Audemars Piguet have managed to make this new ROO Diver still look refined. The thoughtful use of colours and minute details make this, 300m water-resistant, divers watch a little bit special in my humble opinion. That said, the only problem I see is choosing which colour dial to go with, but either way any colour you opt for is just as good as the other. Remember when there was just one Offshore Diver? Stainless steel, black dial and rugged – that is still my favourite.
The new Royal Oak Offshore, as mentioned, is available in stainless steel with a Khaki, Blue, Grey dial on a matching rubber strap and is priced at £23,100. For more information, visit the Audemars Piguet website.