Artisans inspired by artists
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Artisans inspired by artists

Audemars Piguet watchmakers reinvigorate Royal Oak Offshore's glittering music and movie pieces

Artisans inspired by artists
Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph 43mm inspired by the 'End Of Days' edition from 1999.

The original idea of the Offshore was to make it bigger and more virile than the revolutionary Royal Oak that Audemars Piguet introduced in 1972.

Designer Emmanuel Gueit indeed made the Royal Oak Offshore, launched at Baselworld 1993, a beast with a 42mm case.

Named after offshore powerboat racing, the oversized timepiece wasn't an immediate commercial success. However, it particularly attracted a younger and adventurous clientele.

Audemars Piguet put the spotlight on this model by associating it with the worlds of sport, music and entertainment.

This year its 30th anniversary is marked by limited editions related to the movies and music, as well as a quartet embellished with gemstones.

Firstly, a 43mm selfwinding chronograph pays homage to the Royal Oak Offshore "End Of Days" released in 1999 in collaboration with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Available in 500 pieces, the contemporary reinterpretation is housed in a black ceramic case with a titanium caseback and details such as studs and push-pieces. The choice of these materials gives the large watch a light and ergonomic feel.

New Lady Tapisserie pattern in salmon on the stainless steel version.

An extremely hard but not very malleable material, ceramic is meticulously finished to reveal its nuances and to match the complex lines of the Royal Oak Offshore case. Lines, angles and bevels are painstakingly hand-finished to achieve the signature alternating polished and satin surfaces.

The original's black and yellow aesthetics echoes on the dial and the calfskin straps.

Adorned with a new Mega Tapisserie pattern, the black face is accented by touches of yellow on the tachymeter scale, hour markers and blackened luminescent white gold hands.

On the caseback, the sapphire crystal reveals the movement and pink gold oscillating weight, which has been coloured by an NAC process to give it an anthracite grey hue.

Nine collaborations with Schwarzenegger gave six Royal Oak Offshore models. The Swiss brand also partnered with other celebrities, such as American rapper Jay-Z who co-designed a Royal Oak Offshore to commemorate 10 prolific years in the music industry in 2005.

Variations of the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph 37mm with baguette-cut gemstones.

Audemars Piguet's involvement in the world of music also includes supporting the Montreux Jazz Festival, this year held from June 30 until last Saturday.

Launched last year, Royal Oak Offshore Music Edition boasts a dial with a Tapisserie pattern recalling the motifs of an equaliser or VU meter.

A new 37mm version in black ceramic has contrasting titanium elements such as studs reminiscent of the pattern on jack plugs and fader-inspired crown guards.

The equaliser, made up of 10 different colours, enlivens the black dial whose motif is mirrored by the Mosaic pattern on the black, turquoise, yellow or green rubber straps.

The fireworks for the 30th anniversary celebrations are represented by four gem-set Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronographs with refreshed aesthetic details.

Audemars Piguet has removed the snailed zone on dials of former 37mm models. The truncated pyramids of a new Lady Tapisserie motif are slightly wider and the more prominent hour markers lend a sportier look.

Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph 43mm inspired by the 'End Of Days' edition from 1999.

Replacing the signature, the AP monogram is designed in harmony with the watch's proportions.

Brilliant-cut diamonds pave the bezels of the stainless steel and pink gold versions. The dial colours -- warm salmon and light blue -- are achieved using a PVD process that brings out the softness of each hue.

Another pink gold variation with a black face has a rainbow-coloured bezel. The 32 baguette-cut stones, including rubies, tsavorites, topaz, tanzanites, amethysts and sapphires, create a spectrum and an extensive play on light.

The yellow gold rendition is paired with a royal blue dial and illuminated by a gradation of colours on the bezel set with tsavorites as well as yellow and blue sapphires.

The precious stones have been carefully selected to meet the highest criteria in terms of clarity, cut and colour. The quality of the cut is as important to optimise radiance and sparkle for the commemorative selfwinding chronographs.

Variations of the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph 37mm with baguette-cut gemstones.

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