Perhaps unsurprisingly in the year of the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary, Audemar Piguet’s 2022 release slate has gone in heavy on earnest and attractive Royal Oaks like the “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Ref. 16202. However, while their classic Royal Oak releases have been pretty serious pieces of watchmaking, the newly unveiled Royal Oak Offshore Music Editions are a much needed injection of fun.
There are five new references being introduced: two in titanium at 37mm and 43mm diameters, two gem set white gold versions also at 37mm and 43mm, and lastly a black ceramic number at 43mm. The cases are all based on the 2021 revamp of the Offshore collection except that there are several nods to music studio equipment hidden in the new design. The crown guards have been shaped like faders on a console and the lug studs have a knurled texture like audio jacks.
However, where the Royal Oak Offshore Music Edition really drops the bass is on the dial. The iconic Tapisserie engraving has been turned into an equaliser/VU meter display. It’s a really fun and unexpected take on the traditional design and works surprisingly well as a motif. It’s also a natural fit for AP as they’re the favoured watches of producers, rappers and music artists the world over. There are three versions of the dial split across the three case materials on offer.
The titanium models have a blue base with the equaliser motif printed onto it, which is the same for the ceramic model but with a black base. The white gold versions take things to another level entirely though, as the equaliser display is created entirely from different coloured gems set into an aventurine dial. Rubies, peridots, tsavorites, green, blue and orange sapphires have all been used to create the distinct layers of the pattern.
The same selection of gems is also present on the white gold bezel. They’re all set with AP’s new “Harmony” setting, which is a form of invisible gem setting that can be used for smaller, finer gems.
Below the musical surface of the Royal Oak Offshore Music Editions are two different calibres depending on the case sizes. The 37mm models house the automatic Calibre 5909, which is a new time-only version of the time and date Calibre 5900 that debuted earlier this year. The 43mm models contain the Calibre 4309. The 4309 is a larger movement with a higher power reserve of 70-hours compared to the 5900’s 60-hours.
Of the five references in the collection, my favourite is the Black Ceramic edition. I find the sharp contrast between the black dial and case and equaliser design to be more satisfying than the blue versions. Although there’s no denying that the gem version is visually spectacular. In terms of pricing and availability, the two titanium models are limited to 500 pieces each at £24,600 for 37mm and £26,700 at 43mm.
The Black Ceramic is more exclusive, limited to 250 pieces at £34,100. Lastly, the white gold models aren’t limited editions but they are price on request.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Music Edition
- Ref: 77600TI.OO.A343CA.01 (titanium with “mosaic effect” blue rubber strap)
77601BC.YY.D343CA.01 (white gold with “mosaic effect” blue rubber strap)
15600TI.OO.A343CA.01 (titanium with blue rubber strap)
15600CE.OO.A002CA.01 (black ceramic with black rubber strap)
15601BC.YY.D343CA.01 (white gold with blue rubber strap)
- Case/dial: 37mm diameter x 12.1mm thickness (“mosaic effect” rubber strap models) or 43mm diameter x 14.4mm thickness (rubber strap models), titanium, 18k white gold or black ceramic case, blue or black dial with printed VU meter, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating or blue aventurine dial set with coloured “Harmony”-cut stones forming a VU meter, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating (white gold models)
- Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
- Movement: In-house calibre 4309
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 60h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
- Strap: Interchangeable blue, black or “mosaic effect” pattern rubber with titanium AP pin buckle or 18k white gold AP folding clasp (white gold models), comes with three additional straps in turquoise, yellow and green rubber for all versions
- Price/availability: £24,600 (37mm models) and £26,700 (43mm models), titanium models limited to 500 pieces each
£34,100, limited to 250 pieces (black ceramic)
Price on request (white gold models)