Watches: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2014
By Thierry Ané on April 22, 2014
Since 1999, Audemars Piguet has been the sponsor of the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, a 2000 metres thoroughbred horse race that takes place at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong around the end of April each year.
To mark this important event on the social horse racing calendar, the Le Brassus-manufacture has released some interesting limited edition models over the years using the different collections of its catalogue as a source of inspiration.
The careful observers of the watch industry and the brand's aficionados will certainly remember the beautiful two-tone Royal Oak Offshore Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2006 crafted in titanium and rose gold, the multi-purpose white gold Royal Oak Automatic Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2011 suitable for men and ladies, the refined Tradition Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2012 with its sophisticated pink gold case, or the sparkling Millenary Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2013 in white gold entirely set with brilliant-cut diamonds.
For the brand’s 16th collaboration with The Honk Kong Jockey Club, the question was certainly not to know whether a limited edition will be unveiled but rather to which collection the model will belong. It is the Royal Oak Offshore collection that Audemars Piguet put in the spotlight once again but this time around through a sub-line that has received a lot of attention lately: the Royal Oak Offshore Diver.
Since the 2010 re-launch with a simple steel version, this model received some interesting relooking with a forged carbon rendition with yellow accents in 2012, a black ceramic model with orange accents in 2013 and a white ceramic with blue accents at this year’s SIHH. All these iterations showed how versatile this model can be in terms of the materials and colours used.
With the Royal Oak Offshore Diver Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2014, the brand experiments once again with the versatility of its diver’s model, bringing it in a more luxurious direction. Indeed, the case of the watch is crafted in rarely used tantalum. This rare metal with a dark blue-grey colour is absolutely stunning, particularly when it is paired with pink gold as is the case with the bezel of this watch.
Featuring the well-known “Méga Tapisserie” motif, the dial of this elegant model is slate grey with pink gold hour markers and hands (except the minutes hand this is blackened) to match the colour of the bezel. With the attention to details the brand is so famous for, the lugs attachments are also in pink gold to provide a welcome contrast with the hue of the case and the anthracite grey of the large-scale alligator strap.
As with all the new Royal Oak Offshore models, this outstanding piece is equipped with a sapphire exhibition case back that lets you enjoy the beauty of the brand’s in-house 3120 calibre. In particular, the owner of the watch will surely marvel at the view of the highly decorated pink gold oscillating weight. For this special edition limited to 150 pieces the “Audemars Piguet QEII Cup” logo has been transferred onto the sapphire.
What else is there to say, except that this is Audemars Piguet’s design at its very best? In my opinion this model is by far the most beautiful Royal Oak Offshore Diver to date and probably one of the most beautiful Royal Oak Offshore models, period!
For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures:
Additional timepieces mentioned in this article:
Audemars Piguet Millenary Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2013 Pavé White Gold
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Automatic Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2011 White Gold
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Blue White 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 Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2006 Titanium and Rose Gold
Audemars Piguet Tradition Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2012 Pink Gold