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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15710STOOA002CA01

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Stainless Steel

Audemars Piguet enthusiasts exhaled a collective "thank you" when the first Royal Oak Offshore Diver was introduced in 2010 - finally a watch to actually handle the sea; sportier than a regular Royal Oak, not as sporty as an Offshore chronograph, it was the perfect mashup. Aesthetically it was a subdued affair in brushed steel with a black dial and matching black rubber strap but the Diver collection has come a long way since then - forged carbon case in 2012, full black ceramic in 2013, full white ceramic in 2014, the current 2017 "Funky Colours" collection. It's a comfort then to the AP purists that the original black and steel is still holding down the fort. This ref. 15710ST.OO.A002CA.01 - released alongside a white dialed version in 2015 - is the current iteration of that first piece; with scant changes they look almost identical. On both is the black "signature" "Mega Tapisserie" dial found on all Royal Oak Divers, along with the flat, wide Royal Oak handset, the black inner diving scale and the "black rubber-clad screw-locked crowns" at 10 and 3. Powering this piece is the gorgeous and superb automatic caliber 3120, which is now viewable via a sapphire case back versus the solid case back of the original. Now there are loads of really inspired diving watches available, including spectacularly over-engineered examples that everyone loves, but this watch isn't that. The lineage of the AP Diver is really the crux of its appeal. With a depth rating of 300 meters it's ready for a hard marine life but really before this watch is anything else it's a Royal Oak, which is marvelous because that guarantees the classic case and that identifiable-from-across-the-room octagonal bezel. The cache of Audemars Piguet cannot be overlooked when considering a modern five-figure steel diving watch, which is fair, given the fact that the original Royal Oak essentially created the luxury sport watch market forty-five years ago. This Diver is what you buy when you want a subdued, classic, yet fully capable knock around haute horology timepiece. This probably isn't what a COMEX diver would reach for but if you find yourself fixing oil pipelines at 200 feet it won't let you down.

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