25 years: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 2018 Re-Edition of the 1993 Model
The first Offshore was a respectful homage to the original, replicating the original blue Petite Tapisserie dial much like its historical predecessor. The 2018 celebratory re-edition of the 1993 Model remains faithful to that model, keeping its steel case, blue rubber crown and pushpieces; save for the movement.
While the superlative Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin took a bit of the limelight off the 25th birthday of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore, it’s important to understand that without the Royal Oak Offshore and the revenues provided by this best selling hit, it would make cool, high horology concepts like the RD#2 a little harder to sell for one of Swiss watchmaking’s last independent brands. Audemars Piguet is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore with a 2018 Re-Edition of the 1993 model.
25 years Young: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 2018 Re-Edition of the 1993 Model
Not too long ago, it was intimated to us by Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias that there was some drama surrounding the birth of the Royal Oak Offshore. First, there were minor fisticuffs at the Le Brassus manufacture when a young designer named Emmanuel Gueit clashed with a veteran watchmaker over the potential of the then unheard of 42mm gargantuan beast. Second, the father of the Royal Oak himself, Gerald Genta had visited Audemars Piguet during the launch at Baselworld to decry the maison’s efforts at ruining his vision and design.
It’s a point of historical irony that Genta never experienced a sense of deja vu considering that his own magnum opus had itself experienced similar controversies – an octagonal watch in a metaphorical industry-wide circular “hole”; furthermore, a stainless-steel watch retailing for what prices approaching those of precious metal timepieces, the Royal Oak has had a legacy of disruptive firsts.
Following large footsteps, 21 years after the fact, the Royal Oak was primed for a remake and Gueit pioneered the idea of large behemoth watches into the collecting zeitgeist and its continued popularity belies its history of initial resistance within the company from the very top at the time, Georges-Henri Meylan. Nevertheless, cooler heads prevailed and the company already known for “breaking the rules” because they had mastered them, led the “Offshore” (because it was not so named at its birthed and certainly not marked as Offshores on casebacks as it is today) to a launch as a variation rather than as a standalone collection.
Since then, it has won a solid fan base and become a platform for innovation for the Le Brassus watchmaker and since then more than 120 references of the 42mm Royal Oak Offshore has been launched over the years in a wide range of materials including titanium, ceramic, forged carbon, gold and platinum.
2018 Re-Edition of the 1993 Model Price and Specs
The first Offshore was a respectful homage to the original, replicating the original blue Petite Tapisserie dial much like its historical predecessor. The 2018 celebratory re-edition remains faithful to that model, keeping its stainless steel case, blue rubber crown and pushpieces; everything save for the movement. In the original, the Offshore chronograph calibre was a 2126/2840 from Jaeger-LeCoultre, today it bears the selfwinding 3126/3840 movement that incorporates 25 years of horological upgrades and improvements.
Movement Automatic calibre 3126/3840 with 50 hours power reserve
Case 42mm stainless-steel case with 100 meters water resistance
Strap Stainless steel bracelet with AP folding clasp