WITH A NEW BLACK CERAMIC CHRONOGRAPH INSPIRED BY THE LIMITED EDITION “END OF DAYS” FROM 1999
Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet is pleased to announce the launch of its new Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph. This black ceramic model pays homage to the Royal Oak Offshore “End of Days” (ref. 25770SN) released in 1999 in collaboration with Arnold Schwarzenegger, which started the trend for multiple partnerships with celebrities. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the collection, this new contemporary model presents a black aesthetic punctuated by yellow details. Limited to 500 pieces, this timepiece pays tribute to the collection that has been pushing the limits for 30 years.
The Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph celebrates the 30th anniversary of the collection with an ultra-contemporary ceramic design. © Courtesy of Audemars Piguet.
A DOUBLE CELEBRATION
When launched in 1993 at the Basel Fair, the Royal Oak Offshore made quite an impression with its massive proportions (42 mm in diameter and 14.04 mm thick) and bold design. It was not until a few years later, however, that its success would really take off. The Royal Oak Offshore quickly made connections with different fields far removed from Haute Horlogerie, such as the worlds of sport, music and entertainment. Arnold Schwarzenegger was entrusted with the first special edition of the collection which was released in 1999 for his film End of Days (ref. 25770SN). It was an immediate success, projecting the Offshore collection into the limelight and launching a tradition of special editions.
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the collection this year, Audemars Piguet is paying tribute to the key model that marked a turning point in the destiny of the Offshore with its new Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph inspired by the 1999 model.
“In 1999, the collaboration with Arnold Schwarzenegger for the Royal Oak Offshore End of Days started putting the collection on the map of a wider public for the first time. For the 30th anniversary of the Offshore, paying tribute to this specific timepiece is an obvious choice.”
François-Henry Bennahmias CEO Audemars Piguet
A BLACK CERAMIC AESTHETIC
This new Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph model is presented in a 43 mm case, which is in line with the models introduced in 2020. This edition is made entirely of black ceramic with the addition of titanium details, such as the studs, push-pieces and case back. There are also eight steel screws that attach the octagonal bezel to the case. The choice of these materials gives the watch a light and ergonomic feel despite its generous proportions (the total weight is only 103 grammes).
The ceramic – an extremely hard but not very malleable material – used by Audemars Piguet has been meticulously finished to reveal its many nuances and to match the complex lines of the Royal Oak Offshore case, while meeting the Manufacture’s high-quality standards. Ceramic is partly made of zirconium oxide powder combined with a specific binder and its homogeneous colour only appears once the material is fired at a temperature exceeding 1000oC. Each component is then pre-polished and pre-satin-finished. Lines, angles and bevels are painstakingly hand-finished to achieve the Manufacture’s signature alternating polished and satin surfaces.
As a nod to the black and yellow aesthetic of the original 1999 model, the new Offshore features a black dial decorated with the new-generation Mega Tapisserie pattern and is illuminated with touches of yellow on the tachymeter scale, as well as on the hour markers and the blackened white gold hands enhanced with yellow luminescent coating. The applied gold AP logo stands out at 12 o’clock, while black counters grace the dial at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock.
This new Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph model comes with a black calfskin strap featuring a textile effect and yellow stitching. Thanks to the watch’s integrated interchangeable system, the owner can easily change his or her strap for a yellow calfskin version with black stitching.
This new reference is powered by the Manufacture’s latest selfwinding chronograph movement, Calibre 4401, which is fully integrated with a column wheel and flyback function. This function allows the chronograph to be reset and restarted with a single press of the push-piece – a patented process that allows the chronograph counter hands to instantaneously return to the vertical position. The column wheel works in conjunction with the vertical clutch and when started or stopped, the seconds hand responds immediately, without jerking. Additionally, gentle pressure is enough to activate the push-pieces, further enhancing the ergonomics of the timepiece.
The oscillating weight is visible through the sapphire crystal case back. Crafted in 22-carat pink gold, it has been coloured by NAC process to give it an anthracite grey hue. The sapphire case back also reveals the movement’s refined decorations, including Côtes de Genève, circular graining, sunray finishing, circular satin finishing and polished bevels. Last but not least, the titanium case back is engraved with the words “Limited Edition of 500 Pieces”.
A LONG FRIENDSHIP WITH NUMEROUS COLLABORATIONS
Over the years, the Royal Oak Offshore has built its image through numerous collaborations with with strong personalities from the worlds of sport, music or cinema. These human encounters have enriched the collection, allowing it to evolve with time.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, a collector of pocket watches, former bodybuilder turned actor and then Governor of California visited Le Brassus in 1997. He was already under the spell of the Audemars Piguet model launched in 1993, and a few months later, during a meeting in Santa Monica with François-Henry Bennahmias who was then a young salesman, his collaboration with AP was sealed.
The Royal Oak Offshore End of Days (ref. 25770SN) was lauched in 1999 and celebrated the release of the film of the same name. The watch had a masculine aesthetic with a steel case covered with a PVD treatment – the first in the brand’s history – and a Kevlar strap. Several pieces of this limited edition of 500 pieces were sold to benefit Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Inner City Games Foundation, which provides sports and educational programmes for disadvantaged children. The success of this first collaboration marked the beginning of many other limited editions with the American-Austrian actor - which total nine to date, including six Royal Oak Offshore models – but also with other celebrities such as Jay-Z or LeBron James.
Today, the new Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph marks a return to the roots and a contemporary tribute to the history of the collection.