Watches: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Doha Edition
By Thierry Ané on January 9, 2014
Jean-François Bennahmias, CEO of Audemars Piguet, may have said several times that he wants to recentre the brand’s offer and reduce the amount of new models, I don’t really see that happening in practice as new limited editions of either the legendary Royal Oak or its big sporty sister the Royal Oak Offshore are still unveiled on a regular basis. So much the better! I love these two models and nothing would sadden me more than seeing only one or two limited versions a year…
This time, the brand celebrates the opening of a new boutique in Doha with 100 pieces of a beautiful Royal Oak Offshore timepiece. The 42 mm titanium case is paired with the legendary octagonal bezel, crafted in black ceramic. The watch comes with a refined grey alligator strap secured by the famous AP folding buckle. A satin brushed slate grey dial with anthracite counters completes the all-grey look of this watch, only disturbed by the red second and chrono hands.
Like many other models in this collection, this timepiece is powered by the automatic 3126/3840 calibre. What is more unusual for an Offshore model, though, is that the movement can be admired through the sapphire exhibition back. The beautifully engraved gold rotor spins in plain view above the bridges with Côte de Genève finish.
In addition to celebrating the new boutique in Doha, the watch commemorates the 135th anniversary of Qatar with the inscription “Qatar 135th Anniversary” on the back and the number “135” of the otherwise white tachymeter scale painted in red.
Given that I love the Royal Oak Offshore in general and that I have a soft spot for grey watches, you won’t be surprised to hear that I truly like this new model. I appreciate that, like the Royal Oak Leo Messi, the brand did not use the Tapisserie motif for the dial but opted for a satin brushed surface instead.
I believe that there is more contrast in the Royal Oak Offshore Doha Edition than on the Royal Oak Leo Messi: the slightly darker grey used for the chronograph counters and the red index hands make all the difference. The colour of the alligator strap is also perfect: it is brighter than the strap used for the Royal Oak Leo Messi so that you can clearly see that it is grey and not mistake if for a black alligator strap and it is dark enough relative to the strap of the Royal Oak Offshore LeBron James watch to remain elegant in all situations.
Lastly, I really like the fact that this model features an open back: who cares about the anti-magnetic properties of the original Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore: we want to see this beautiful movement!
If you are a Royal Oak Offshore collector, I think that this is a model you would not want to miss…