Watches: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 44mm Black & White Ceramic (+live pics)
By Thierry Ané on February 13, 2014
Back in 2011, Audemars Piguet had an amazing idea: introduce a series of Royal Oak Offshore models with a larger case size. Although I clearly like my original Offshore watches, I must say that their 42 mm case does not feel as sturdy today as it might have back in 1993. It is especially true if you place it on your wrist after having worn a chunky (but comfortable nonetheless) 48 mm Hublot King Power timepiece.
Of course, Audemars Piguet did not wait for Hublot to introduce large watches: the Shaquille O'Neal in 2007 or the Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy in 2011, to name but two, also boasted a substantial 48 mm case and Hublot never ventured near the 57.20 mm of the T3 that must have felt like a monster in 2003!
All these terrific models, though, were limited editions and the standard for a Royal Oak Offshore watch remained at 42 mm until 2011 when a steel, a pink gold, a forged carbon as well as a stunning platinum versions were unveiled with a redesigned case: beyond its new size of 44 mm, it is characterised by the presence of a sapphire back and more protruding chronograph pushers, clearly inspired by those of the Grand Prix. Extremely well received by the public and the press, the new Offshore collection welcomed a new member in 2013 with the black ceramic model. This watch and the Offshore Diver were the first two models from the Offshore line to receive a ceramic case.
On the new white ceramic watch, the case, bezel, crown and pushers are all made of a special white ceramic named “Super Ceramic” by the brand. I have already discussed its properties in my recent article about the Offshore Diver White CeramicWatches: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver White Ceramic (+live pics). Since last year, it seems that the Offshore Diver and the Offshore 44 mm are experiencing the same evolution. Like the diver model, the 44 mm white ceramic timepiece features a light silver Méga Tapisserie pattern. The flange and chronograph counters are dark blue and provide a superb contrast while adding a nice nautical touch to the watch. This model is presented with a white rubber strap secured by a titanium pin buckle.
The black ceramic version is simply an update of last year’s model. As you can see on the two images below, little has changed. The most noticeable difference is the colour of the flange: black on last year’s version, it is silver on the new model.
Both watches feature a titanium ring on the back with a see-through sapphire. It allows the owner to marvel at the beautiful Côtes de Genève decorations on the bridges of the self-winding 3126/3840 movement or to observe the blackened gold rotor as it spins.
Price-wise, the new white ceramic version retails at $41,700 and although I have no information on the slightly revamped black ceramic model, I assume it will keep the price tag of last year’s watch, that is $40,000.
It is an amazing watch that looks sensational on the wrist. The Offshore Diver White Ceramic and the Offshore 44 mm White Ceramic are clearly my favourite sports watches from the SIHH. I personally prefer the latter because of its bigger size and also because the dial incorporates more blue areas that work exceptionally well with the white of the watch. However, both models are amazing and will probably sell like hot cakes.
Please find below the rest of our live pictures of this stunning Offshore model.
For a technical description of the timepieces and additional pictures:
Additional timepieces mentioned in this article:
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 44mm Black Ceramic
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 44mm Forged Carbon
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 44mm Pink Gold
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 44mm Platinum
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 44mm Steel
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Blue White Ceramic
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Orange Black Ceramic
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix Forged Carbon