Audemars Piguet is coming in hot for 2021, and AP is not pulling any punches. It is clear the plan is to usher in a new era of timepieces, and in particular the Audemars Piguet 2021 Royal Oak Offshore collection is home to two brand new innovations: an all new in-house caliber and the first-ever interchangeable strap system. The Royal Oak Offshore is a fan favourite among the collecting community, and it is one of the more commonly spotted wristwatches on famed athletes around the world. It is fair to assume these new watches will have fans of the brand worldwide lining up to reserve one for their wrists and collection.
Each of the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Divers are 42mm in diameter and cased in fan-favourite stainless steel. The iconic octagonal case profile takes on its most robust form, with a ceramic screw-down crown shouldered by crown guards securing the watch to depths up to 300 metres. To control the stepped inner bezel timing ring, a second ceramic screw-down crown can be found at the 10′ position. While the toughest form of the Royal Oak, it makes no sacrifices in terms of its finishing – an intricate harmony of satin brushed and high polished surfaces. For the most nitpicky and eagle-eyed collectors, you’ll be glad to know each of the bezel screw heads are perfectly aligned.
The “Trailblazing Khaki” is as explosive as its green grenade aesthetic. The Khaki green dial with “Méga Tapisserie” pattern is yet another killer green offering from the brand in 2021, and only further drives home its potential to be the colour of the year. The dial features pink gold hands and indices, as well as an applied AP logo at 12′. The date window at 3′ seamlessly blends into the dial, and does very little to interrupt its renowned pattern. The inner bezel timing ring, controlled by the black ceramic screw-down crown at the 10′ position is mostly black – with the first 15 minutes of the scale black on khaki and the remainder khaki on black. Each of the black ceramic crowns also have pink gold accents to match the tone of the dial.
The “Navy Blue” is also sure to be a crowd pleaser, as we are well acclimated with the colour of 2020. The navy blue “Méga Tapisserie” dial is paired with white gold hands and indices, as well as an applied AP logo at ’12 in white gold. The date wheel at 3′ is executed with a white on blue date disc to match its navy blue dial. Here, the timing scale of the inner bezel ring utilises a black-on-white colour pallet for the first 15 minutes of the scale, then inverses for the remainder of the ring. The black of the inner bezel ring perfect matches each of the black ceramic screw down crowns on the 300 meter water resistant case.
The “Pristine Grey” takes on a more muted aesthetic with its grey “Méga Tapisserie” dial. The dial blends into the stainless steel tone of the watch, as well as the grey ceramic screw-down crowns unique to this reference within the trio. The subtlety of the grey allows the navy blue of the inner bezel ring timing scale to really pop, with the first 15 minutes blue on white and the remainder white on blue.
As we dig into the straps within the collection, this is where we get into the first of two brand new evolutions to the Audemars Piguet 2021 Royal Oak Offshore Divers. Each of the watches are bundled with two rubber straps: one to match the tone of the dial and the other to match the color of the inner bezel ring. The “Trailblazing Khaki” is bundled with green and black rubber straps, the “Navy Blue” with blue and black rubber straps, and the “Pristine grey” with grey and blue rubber straps. While rubber is nothing new to the Offshore Diver, having bundled straps with an all-new interchangeable strap system is. The interchangeability system has been directly integrated into the case’s studs and buckle, leaving the aesthetics of the watch unaltered. This allows owners to quickly swap between strap pairings using fingers only – no watchmaker required.
For those who would like leather to dress up their diver on land, Audemars Piguet has also made three interchangeable calfskin leather straps available in beige, brown and black.
The second evolution, another first for the Audemars Piguet 2021 Royal Oak Offshore Divers, is a brand new in-house movement from Audemars Piguet: the AP caliber 4308. The caliber 4308 is equipped with a patented setting mechanism that brings stability and precision when adjusting the watch’s function. Its diving scale featured on the dial’s inner rotating ring is activated with a unidirectional click mechanism linked to the 10 o’clock crown. The sapphire caseback reveals the movement’s top-tier finishing, with Côtes de Genève, traits tirés, and circular graining impeccably executed by some of the best in the business. It also has a new dedicated oscillating weight in blackened 22-carat pink gold for some added stealth wealth to the movement. With a respectable 60 hours of power reserve, you can afford to let the watch rest between expeditions without worrying the movement will come to a halt.
The Audemars Piguet 2021 Royal Oak Offshore Diver / 42 mm Collection will be available beginning May 2021,