The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chrono White
One of the highest risk any luxury brand is, in my opinion, exposed to when it is exploring new materials and colors, is not about losing its loyal customers for, by making such a choice, is probably seeking for new ones but, rather, lose its product awareness. If that luxury product is an icon as the Royal Oak is and the brand is Audemars Piguet, even the smallest design change has to be fine tuned.
This concept works even better when the color used for that product change is white, as this is a color which tends to flatten out any product's design feature such as chamfering a sharp edge, hide a surface's complex geometry or diminish that mirror light effect which is familiar with any stainless steel timepiece. If you're not persuaded by this statement try and compare a white car alongside a grey one, for example, and judge by yourself.
Yet, if you take a look at this photos and strap on your wrist the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chrono White 44mm “white”, it still remains a 100% Royal Oak Offshore Chrono. I've added the term “white” as this timepiece is simply classified as a Royal Oak Offshore Chrono 44mm, which is just the name of the entire collection, and is cataloged as ref. 26402CE.OO.A002CA.01.
The amazing white is that of white ceramics. This makes the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chrono White 44mm the first Chrono Offshore ever to adopt both case and a bezel in such material. The same material Audemars Piguet has adopted for the chrono pushers and the winding crown. A Royal Oak Offshore which is even more prestigious of any stainless steel Offshore, if you're aware that making a ceramic Royal Oak requires far more time (and a higher cost as well) than making a traditional Royal Oak, while producing less pieces. And for sure far more resistant, as ceramics ensures a hardness, in terms of scratch-proof, which is far superior than any stainless steel one, just a bit lower than what diamonds ensure. The major outcome, as with any other ceramic timepiece, is that this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm will never age; this is something you need to take into consideration when buying a stainless steel timepiece and have to deal with scratches and even tiny strains which will occur over time.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chrono White 44mm's dial is light silver-toned and worked Mega-Tapisserie, a motif which is naturally linked with Audemars Piguet and usually highlighted just to separate it from the “Grande” and “Petite Tapisserie” ones, forgetting each of them requires a very long and complex process made by custom machinery. On this dial are encased three blue chrono counters, as blue is the inner bezel.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chrono White is powered by the in-house 3126/3840 caliber, which has 365 parts, the balance wheel vibrating at 3Hz and ensures at least 55 hours of power reserve. It is visible through the transparent case back which is made out of titanium, as are the chrono pushers, reminding me the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon (here our review), a timepiece Octavio Garcia, Creative Director at Le Brassus, had introduced to me in Geneva and from which this new timepiece draws, clearly, its inspiration.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter®