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Introducing: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 41mm and Royal Oak Offshore 43mm Self-Winding Chronographs

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 41mm and Royal Oak Offshore 43mm Self-Winding Chronographs

Not every new release needs to be a cutting-edge concept watch pushing the boundaries of haute horology; sometimes its just about filling a notable hole in the collection. Audemars Piguet’s seven-piece drop does just that, welcoming the calibre 4401 chronograph movement into the Royal Oak and Offshore collections. And it’s about time.

The 4401 was first used in an Audemars Piguet watch in 2019, the Code 11.59 to be precise, and it’s still the most advanced automatic chronograph movement that the brand produces. These new collections though mark the first time it’s ever been used in the flagship Royal Oak line and its sportier cousin the Offshore.

Equipped with a column wheel and flyback function the 4401 is full of utility, the vertical clutch system also means that all the functions operate seamlessly without any jumping and a patented reset system ensures complete accuracy for the timing elements. It’s a solid calibre, with a 70-hour power reserve and while it’s not exactly new, it’s a welcome addition to more watches in the AP collection.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Chronograph 41mm

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Chronograph 41mm
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Chronograph 41mm

With the calibre itself out of the way, let’s jump into the watches themselves, starting with the pure Royal Oaks. There are two of them, presented in rose gold cases with either a blue or brown dial. The dials themselves feature the RO’s signature Grande Tapisserie design and the hour markers and hands are also in pink gold to compliment the case.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Chronograph 41mm caseback

There are a few small changes from previous iterations of Royal Oak chronographs, most notably the inclusion of a sapphire caseback to allow for viewing of the new movement and an adjustment to the subdials on the face to allow for greater readability.

The Specs

Ref: 26239OR.OO.1220OR.01 (18-carat pink gold, blue dial, 18-carat pink gold bracelet); 26239OR.OO.D315CR.01 (18-carat pink gold,  blue dial, alligator leather strap); 26239OR.OO.1220OR.02 (18-carat pink gold, brown dial, 18-carat pink gold bracelet); 26239OR.OO.D821CR.01 (18-carat pink gold, brown dial, brown alligator leather strap)    |   Case/dial: 41mm diameter x 12.4mm thickness, 18-carat pink gold case, blue or brown “Grande Tapisserie” pattern dial  |   Water resistance: 50m   |   Movement: In-house calibre 4401, automatic, 40 jewels   |   Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)   |   Power reserve: 70h   |   Functions: Hour, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph   |   Strap: 18-carat pink gold bracelet with AP folding clasp or hand-stitched alligator leather strap  |   Price: TBC

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Off-Shore Self-Winding Chronograph 43mm

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Off-Shore Self-Winding Chronograph 43mm

As to the Royal Oak Offshore, there are five versions being kitted out with the new movement. They all have 43mm cases in combinations of stainless steel, titanium or rose gold paired with ceramic (except for the pure titanium version). There have been a few small tweaks to the case design but it’s otherwise the Offshore we all know and love.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Off-Shore Self-Winding Chronograph 43mm

The dials and straps come in a range of colours such as black, grey and blue, the rose gold and black option has to be our favourite. The dials all use the Méga Tapisserie dials synonymous with Offshore come in black, grey or blue (our favourite is the rose gold and black), while the straps use AP’s new interchangeable system that we had a look at with the new Royal Oak Offshore Divers Collection.

The Specs

Ref: 26420So.OO.A002CA.01 (stainless steel, black dial, black rubber strap); 26420So.OO.A6000CA.01 (stainless steel, smoked taupe dial, light brown rubber strap); 26420TI.OO.A027CA.01 (titanium, blue dial, blue rubber strap), 26420IO.OO.A009CA.01 (titanium, grey dial, grey rubber strap); 26420RO.OO.A002.CA.01 (18-carat pink gold, black dial, black rubber strap)   |   Case/dial: 43mm diameter, stainless steel, titanium or 18-carat pink gold, black, smoked taupe, blue or grey “Méga Tapisserie” patterned dial   |   Water resistance: 100m   |   Movement: In-house calibre4401, automatic, 40 jewels   |   Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)   |   Power reserve: 70h   |   Functions: Hour, minutes, small seconds, date, flyback chronograph   |   Strap: Rubber with 18-carat pink gold AP pin buckle and interchangeable strap system   |   Price: TBC

We’ve seen Royal Oaks and Royal Oak Offshore self-winding chronographs before and we’ve seen the Calibre 4401 before so individually nothing stands out too much here. It’s a case of two known quantities being added together to create something new and you can’t fault Audemars Piguet on the execution. Any of the seven watches here would be justified additions to a Royal Oak collection.

More details at Audemars Piguet.

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