Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Review
Some new faces are added to an iconic collection of luxury sports watches from one of the most respected names in the industry.
AP is considered one of the more important brands in the industry and has always been making headlines but there is always room for more, especially when they introduce new watches to an already iconic collection. Of course, we’ll be talking about their Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph watches and particularly, their 42mm models.
Let’s begin with the things they all have in common. We’ll start from the inside and work our way out.
MOVEMENT: This watch is powered by the AP caliber 3126/3840 automatic movement. This self-winding caliber is comprised of 365 parts and contains 59 jewels. It resonates at 21,600vph or 3 Hz and holds its power for approximately 50 hours.
The Audemars Piguet 3126/3840 movement is based on the AP Caliber 3120 and has a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module, possibly one of Switzerland’s best-kept secrets according to a recent industry journal by FHH.
While this is usually kept quiet, this 118-year-old Swiss company which hails from Vallee de Joux also provides parts for (or works with) brands such as Breitling, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre Richard Mille, AP, Rolex, and even Patek Philippe. Their specialty lies in creating chronograph and calendar modules.
This chronograph uses a cam actuated mechanism as opposed to a column wheel which means that the action when starting the chronograph pushers will require a little extra push than that of the column-wheel mechanism which has a smoother less jumpy action to it. On the plus side, this type of chronograph is easier to service and the way it’s engineered allows for more play between servicing.
Some watch aficionados would snob anything but a column wheel chronograph mechanism since they are more labor intensive to produce, but the truth is that neither one is necessarily better than the other. And hey, if NASA approved a cam operated chronograph to be used in space flight, it can’t be all that bad.
The AP 31226/3840 caliber is immaculately finished with Geneva stripes, and 'perlage' (a circular brushed pattern finishing technique) on its various components and has an ornately engraved solid gold rotor.
This caliber features:
- Cam actuated chronograph mechanism
- Ceramic ball bearings for lubrication-free movement
- Diamond engraved beveled edges and inverse snailing on the bridges
- Hacking seconds stops the balance for precise time-setting
CASE SIZE: The case measures 42mm in width by x 54mm in height and is 14.21mm thick and wear significantly lighter on the wrist than the solid gold models.
Of the four AP Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm men’s watches that we are reviewing and comparing here, this is the only model with an alligator/crocodile leather strap unique for its ‘Havana’ brown leather with blue stitching. This strap and stitch color combination matches the colors used on the dial perfectly. The Cuban reference alludes to the unique hue of brown reminiscent of the color of the tobacco leaves used to roll Cuban cigars. Additionally, the black ceramic crown and pushers which adds a nice third color to the design.
While this is a nice sized watch for any man, one thing to point out about this model compared to the other three in this review is that the dial design has a built-in illusion of being smaller than the rest mentioned here. It also appears to be more crowded because of the use of two different colors for the dial and the dial flange.
This is typical for the RO Offshore collection and most people love the proportions. The stainless-steel case itself has a stylish brushed finish and is screwed down with 8 hex screws; one of the design elements that helped to make the Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore collection so popular to begin with.
White gold was used for the luminous hour and minute hands as well as the rims of the luminous numerals. While this series doesn’t offer the same level of water resistance as the Royal Oak Offshore Diver watches, it does have ample water resistance for some worry-free light swimming.
The Mega-Tapestry ‘Havana’ brown waffle dial has the iconic grid-like Méga-tapisserie texture that you would expect from an AP ROO and the chronograph sub-dials, running seconds sub-register and dial flange are a flat Caribbean blue with white numerals and markers. A tachymeter scale can be seen on the dial flange and a magnified date window is at the 3 o’clock position of the dial.
This model is monochromatic version except for the occasional flash of a red. These racing red accents are found on the tachymeter scale around the black dial flange, the chronograph hands, and the rubber strap. On this model, the black ceramic crown and pushers tie in beautifully with the brushed black ceramic bezel. The bezel also has a nice polished beveled edge to it.
This watch comes on a black rubber strap. There is an almost identical watch in this collection which has a black ‘Hornback’ crocodile leather strap and some would say this is just a version of that watch except that this model has a black ceramic bezel whereas the one on the ‘Hornback’ strap has a stainless-steel bezel.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, the bi-directional rotor used for self-winding is made of solid 22-carat gold. This weighted rotor can be seen through the transparent sapphire case back. It is finished beautifully and engraved with the AP logo and the Audemars Piguet family crests.
The dial is black with a Mega Tapestry texture also known to some as the waffle dial. The subdials are also black with fine concentric radiating circles. The luminous Arabic numerals are white with white gold rims to match the luminous white gold hour and minute hands.
In contrast to the almost monochrome model we just mentioned, this model is a vibrant shade of indigo blue with red chronograph hands. Like the other models we just covered, this one also uses white gold for the hour and minute hands as well as to contour the numerals.
The crown on this particular model is also ceramic with a brushed stainless-steel center engraved with the AP emblem. Unlike the other models we’re reviewing here, this one is blue to match the rest of the watch.
The indigo blue dial flange matches the blue waffle dial and rubber strap. The stainless steel case has a fine brushed finish with a polished beveled edge. There are 8 hex screws with a nice polished finish to break up the bezel design and offset the polished edge of the case.
While all the other models mentioned in this comparison and review use a stainless-steel case this model uses a super light-weight titanium case and a matching grey rubber strap. This choice of material combinations makes it very comfortable and to wear and easy on the wrist. This is a perfect option for someone that doesn’t care for that extra weight on the wrist sensation normally associated with wearing high-end luxury watches.
You’ll find a grey ceramic bezel on this model instead of the black and to match, the ceramic pushers and crown are also grey.
The slate grey Mega-tapisserie dial is easily accented with lighter grey sub-dials that have fine concentric circles in a radial pattern and use black printed indications. Like the Havana model mentioned at the beginning of this article, this watch appears to be slightly smaller because of the stronger contrast between the dial color and the dial flange, although not to the same degree as the brown model where there is a stronger difference in visual weight between the center and outer dial.
The rubber strap on this model has two tones of grey with a lighter grey for the primary color of the strap with a darker gray accent used on the edges. The strap is fastened with a titanium pin buckle.
This collection contains quite a few different models. Click on the button below to browse them all.
|Brand:||Audemars Piguet||Audemars Piguet||Audemars Piguet||Audemars Piguet|
|Series:||Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm||Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm||Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm||Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm|
|Case Material:||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Titanium|
|Clasp Type:||Tang Buckle||Tang Buckle||Tang Buckle||Tang Buckle|
|Crystal:||Scratch Resistant Sapphire||Scratch Resistant Sapphire||Scratch Resistant Sapphire||Scratch Resistant Sapphire|
|Warranty:||5-Year Warranty||5-Year Warranty||5-Year Warranty||5-Year Warranty|
|Show Price||Show Price||BACKORDERED||Show Price|