What do you get if you put in a tourbillion, a chronograph and precious metals with a touch of luxury in a watch casing designed to take punishment? A magnificent piece of wrist candy destined for well-off adventurer-want-to-be. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph is such a watch. It has all the credentials for those that dream to have an adventure like “Indiana Jones”. Sadly though, it will not be subjected to what it capable off as the design is too beautiful to put it in harm’s way (expensive is another key reason!).
The all-black themed watch comprised of forged carbon accented by a black ceramic bezel held in place by the hallmark 8 screws. The two sub-dials are placed left and right of the centerline off the black waffle patterned dial. The dial is decorated with the traditional ‘Mega Tapisserie’ motif and features gold applied hour-markers and gold Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating. The exposed 60 second tourbillon escapement is situated at the 6 o’clock position.
Turning the watch over, you will be able to see the heart of the engine powering the watch. The highly decorated caliber 2897 has been specially designed for this watch. The 335 part movement has a complicated yet formal presence to it. With peripheral oscillating weight as an alternative to the typical winding rotor in automatic watches; it allows one to see and appreciate the beautiful movement unhindered.
It is interesting to note that the peripheral oscillating weight is made from satin-brushed, 950 platinum and mounted on ball bearings, a design which shifts the mass of the rotor to the outer edge of the movement so improving winding speed and efficiency. Note sure if this is a patented design but other watch makers should consider this system for its efficiency and making the inner gears more transparent.
I highlighted earlier that this watch uses a lot of precious materials. Here is a list of the materials used in this watch. The case itself uses multiple materials: forged carbon for the middle, ceramic for the bezel, titanium and ceramic for the push pieces, titanium for the guards, platinum for the peripheral oscillating weight and rubber for the strap. The tourbillon uses a blackened, titanium bridge.
At 44 mm wide, this watch has wrist-presence. I like this size as it fits nicely with my 7.5 inch wrist. With the Gerald Genta DNA is obvious in the shape, I definitely would consider this as a grail watch. With a production run of just 50, the retail price has been put at $285,600. For more info, please visit audemarspiguet.com
Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!) on his own free time. Read his articles here.