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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 26470OR.OO.1000OR.01

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 26470OR.OO.1000OR.01

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Rose Gold
Rose Gold

Looking at today's market it's almost impossible to remember a time when chronographs weren't some of the hottest things running in the watch world, and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph has played an undeniable role in that. Along with the Rolex Daytona it's peerless in the luxury sport chrono category, and for a very specific reason: both of these watches have been continuously updated and adapted and refreshed with endless colorways, dial combinations, case metals and gem sets to amazing appeal among enthusiasts and collectors. Manufacturers like Lange & Sohne, F.P. Journe, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and a handful of independents produce gorgeous, haute horology chronographs but none of them can touch the Offshore - or Daytona - for sheer design audacity and wrist presence. What's marvelous is that the Offshore didn't evolve into the big, bold watch that is a piece like this ref. 26470OR.OO.1000OR.01 - from its debut in 1993 the Offshore has always been an aggressive, whale of a three-register chronograph that telegraphed huge personality. This particular ROO - collector parlance for Royal Oak Offshore - was one of two new 42mm pink gold pieces - along with four others in steel - to be unveiled at the 2014 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH). The conspicuous case, octagonal bezel and Mega Tapisserie dial are signatures of the Offshore so it's the color ways that usually hit home for collectors but a pink gold ROO is always special and this one is nothing if not sumptuous. The pink gold on pink gold on black combination on a matching pink gold bracelet is outta sight and just heavy enough and just over the top enough to get you out of a tight spot in any foreign country in the world, should the need arise. Like a solid gold Rolex it can be considered a currency of characters the world over. If you're a long time fan of the ROO you'll notice that these 2014 watches have slimmer numerals and fatter hands than previous pieces, and for this gold edition AP chose to fill them all with black lume. What other watch manufacturer is using black lume? This watch, like the other five is also the first Offshore to sport ceramic pushers and crown, and a sapphire case back through which to view the AP in-house automatic caliber 3126. Really getting down to movement business, the 3126 was available on a handful of earlier limited and special edition ROOs but in 2014 it was employed on a full time basis and these were the first watches to get it. For the technophiles, it replaced the caliber 2326, which itself was based on a Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 889. This is panache in tangible form and a watch that requires and announces personality in equal measure. This is no place for the timid.

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