You may have noticed a lot of Offshores recently, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s the 30th Anniversary of this oversized beast of a lineup. As a fitting salute to the original, Audemars Piguet’s has announced the first ever Royal Oak Offshore in black ceramic with matching ceramic bracelet, the new Selfwinding Chronograph ref. 26238C – now badder and bolder than ever. This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph burly (42mm wide, 15.4mm thick) watch pulls from the greatest hits of AP’s Offshores from the last 30 years but in never-before-seen combinations. In addition to the new inclusion of a black ceramic bracelet, you’ll notice a Petite Tapisserie dial pattern previously reserved for the ref. 26238 Selfwinding Chronograph models in gold or titanium.
This is also the first completely monochrome dial, which AP has said was difficult to achieve because of the different textures and materials used. The dial is then punched up in legibility with white hands and accents for contrast, with white Arabic numerals for the subdials and tachymeter on the rehaut.
Among the myriad releases we expect to see from Audemars Piguet this year, few are as anticipated as watches made to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore. The Offshore has always stood on its own as the unapologetically burly, often weird, and even sometimes unwieldy sibling of the Royal Oak family. That is until today.
With the announcement of the newest Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph in black ceramic alongside a brand-new Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT, two very wild and intense watches. The newest Royal Oak Concept (ROC) is, as all the concepts are, a particular beast representing the brand’s most futuristic watchmaking. Despite the “RD” name of the Research and Development watches from recent years, the Concept line has long been the main platform for Audemars Piguet’s R&D experimentation, and the new cutting-edge movement, the selfwinding Calibre 4407, is yet another example. Based on the integrated flyback chronograph movement calibre 4401, launched in a Code 11.59 in 2019, the new movement was modified to combine a flyback chronograph, split seconds, GMT function, and large date at 12 on the dial. While AP has used ceramic many times before, it’s still not easy to execute, especially when it comes to getting the mix of polished and satin-finished surfaces to come together.
Inside the watch is the Calibre 4404, a column-wheel Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph , activated by ceramic pushers. The layout of the subdials remains the same as historical watches, with a subtle update made in 2021 that puts the hours at the top so the chronograph can be read in order of hours, minutes, and seconds from top to bottom. The movement has the expected Cotês de Genève, circular graining, polished bevels, and other finishing we’ve come to expect from AP, with a 22-karat pink gold oscillating weight.