What’s left of the “dial” is essentially a satin-brushed, ruthenium-toned ring around the border and the two anthracite sub-dials. There is a rehaut printed with a minute chapter ring as well. In my experience, legibility is not the strongest suit to get a skeletonized watch, but that’s less of an issue in the case of this watch. The usage of pink gold applied hour markers and pink gold baton-shaped palms, both full of lume, should provide sufficient legibility in most lighting conditions. The “Audemars Piguet” logo is printed onto the surface of the sapphire crystal on front, which gives it a nice floating effect.The sub-dials are easy with white printed white and text baton-shaped hands. The sub-dial in 3:00 indicates chronograph minutes and the one at 9:00 shows constant moments. 1 potential issue with legibility has to do with the chronograph seconds hand, which is black with a lumed white hint. Between just how thin the seconds hand is and the colour, reading the chronograph elapsed time might be more cumbersome than individuals may like. It’s not easy to say for certain until we get our hands on a tangible case of the watch.I’ve left the situation and bracelet description for the last because those are some of the most recognizable areas of the watch. This is the exact same Gerald Genta design that’s so popular among many collectors but with 44mm by 13.2millimeter case measurements. This is a somewhat large watch with a broad bezel on both the front and back. All the straight lines and sharp angles also give it a bigger look. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph is offered in two case substances — titanium and rose gold. There will be the obvious visual differences in both materials but what I find more interesting is that ceramic is generally a light material with high tensile strength, while gold is a compact but soft material. What this signifies is that the experience of wearing every variation should be substantially different, and that I personally find this intriguing.
Nicknamed the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph “Novelty”, the 44mm version of Audemars Piguet‘s octagonal sports chronograph was not the focus of the new Royal Oak models unveiled at SIHH 2017, but nonetheless got a facelift with new dials (while keeping everything else the same). More significantly, a new version in titanium was added – the lightweight alloy’s debut for the “Novelty”.
The Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm in titanium (ref. 26400IO.OO.A004CA.01) features a contrasting black ceramic bezel, and paired with a dark grey dial as well as a grey rubber strap.
The facelifted Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph in pink gold (ref. 26401RO.OO.A002CA.02) now has a black dial with pink gold accents. The hands, hour markers, chapter ring as well as printed text are all in pink gold, giving the dial greater contrast compared to the earlier model, which was white on black.
And the last of the trio is the “Novelty” in black ceramic (ref. 26405CE.OO.A002CA.02). Unlike the earlier version that had a black and silver colour scheme, the new ceramic chronograph has a black dial with pink gold accents, as well as a touch of dark blue. The hands, hour markers and dial text are pink gold, while the chronograph hands are tipped in dark blue.
As before, the trio are all powered by the calibre 3126/3840, which is AP’s in-house automatic calibre topped with a chronograph module made by Dubois-Depraz.
Price and availability
The titanium model is priced at SFr27,500, while the black ceramic is SFr29,000. And the pink gold is SFr41,550.