Watches: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver White Ceramic (+live pics)
By Thierry Ané on February 4, 2014
First, a warning: don’t expect me to be unbiased when it comes to discussing Royal Oak Offshore models. I am far too passionate about them for that. It does not mean, however, that I have lost my critical sense and that I would unconditionally praise all models that come out of the Le Brassus manufacture. To the contrary, my expectations are so high for these watches that the slightest faux pas from Audemars Piguet would turn me into the most cutting detractor.
That being said let me tell you that the new Diver Blue White Ceramic is nothing short of spectacular! What makes it absolutely exquisite is the material used for the case, bezel and crowns: an immaculate white “Super Ceramic” as the brand calls it. The legendary Royal Oak case with its octagonal bezel rarely looks that elegant. To reinforce the summery feel of this piece, the brand opted for a white rubber strap secured by a titanium pin buckle. The light silver-toned dial features the iconic Méga Tapisserie decoration. The only touch of colour comes from the hands, the hour markers and the first 15-minute zone of the inner bezel that are dark blue. This choice of colour is very clever as it gives a nautical note to this watch, which is very appropriate. If you think that an all-white watch is not suitable for a man, well it just means that we are wired differently and will have to agree to disagree: this is the ultimate Royal Oak Offshore for the poolside or the beach.
It is not just aesthetically stunning though: it is a real technical achievement. Without being an engineer specialised in inorganic crystalline materials, my horological journey taught me that black ceramic is relatively easy to obtain and work with and that the rest is more problematic. Of course, advances with ceramic are not new: to give only two examples, Chanel introduced several beautiful models for ladies like the J12 Moonphase in shiny white ceramic and Hublot managed to create a red ceramic for the Ferrari Hong Kong Edition. However, the red ceramic was only used for the bezel so far and the case of the J12 is entirely polished and of a much simpler shape than that of the Royal Oak Offshore.
The brand also tells us that in addition to being white, this “super ceramic” is extremely hard. With no less than 1850 Vickers it is more than 500 Vickers harder than the black ceramic used for last year’s Diver Orange Black Ceramic model and roughly nine times harder than steel. Imagine the difficulty to obtain the mixture of brushed and polished surfaces that make the identity of the Royal Oak Offshore watches!
For the rest, the watch follows in the footsteps of last year’s Diver Orange Black Ceramic model: it features a titanium case back with a see-through sapphire and houses the self-winding 3120 calibre with an engraved gold rotor. Even with its open case back, the watch remains water resistant to 300 meters. The Diver Blue White Ceramic will be a boutique exclusive (another one!) and will be priced at $23,9000.
When the brand introduced the Diver Orange Black Ceramic and the Royal Oak Offshore 44mm Black Ceramic last year, I immediately wished for white versions. I was therefore not really surprised by this launch but I can tell you that I am very impressed and very pleased that this Diver Blue White Ceramic joins the collection.
I have included a few live pictures of this stunning watch in this article and you will find plenty more at the end. But before that, I could not resist including a little medley of the evolution of the Royal Oak Offshore Diver watches.
Scuba Wempe Rose Gold in 2005
Scuba Wempe Steel in 2005
Scuba Bartorelli 125th Anniversary in 2008
Scuba Boutique Blue in 2006
Scuba Boutique Orange in 2006
Scuba Boutique Red in 2006
Diver Steel in 2010
Diver Forged Carbon in 2012
Diver Orange Black Ceramic in 2013
Diver Blue White Ceramic in 2014
Here are some additional live pictures of this beauty:
For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures:
Additional timepieces mentioned in this article:
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 44mm Black Ceramic
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Forged Carbon
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Orange Black Ceramic
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Steel
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Scuba Bartorelli 125th Anniversary Black PVD Steel
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Scuba Boutique Blue Steel
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Scuba Boutique Orange Steel
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Scuba Boutique Red Steel
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Scuba Wempe Rose Gold
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Scuba Wempe Steel
Chanel J12 Moonphase White Ceramic
Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Hong Kong Edition Black Ceramic