Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
Just released by Audemars Piguet are five new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph in what was the collection’s original, and I believe best, case size of 42mm. Earlier this year, AP announced a refreshed version of the ROO Chronograph in a 43mm case with new in-house caliber 4401 movement and interchangeable straps. Now, we see these five new Royal Oak Offshore Chronographs in the smaller 42mm case get the same upgrade and refinements. Yes, that makes for a total of 10 new Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronographs this year. While I’ll focus on the brand new 42mm models here, I have added information on the larger 43mm collection, as well. And if it gets confusing, an easy way to differentiate is recognizing the horizontal (3,6,9) chronograph subdials on the 43mm and vertical (6,9,12) subdials on the 42mm.
All five new 42mm ROO Chronos have the new self-winding integrated flyback chronograph Calibre 4404 movement which is essentially identical to the Calibre 4401 seen in the 43mm models. The only difference between the two is that the 4401 has a horizontal (3,6,9) chronograph sub-dial layout while the 4404 has a vertical (6,9,12) sub-dial layout which requires an extra plate in the movement. An integrated column-wheel flyback chronograph with vertical clutch, the 4404 operates at 28,800 vph and has a 70-hour power reserve.
The two models that come on a strap both have the Méga Tapisserie dial, with the blue-dial version coming in a titanium case and the khaki-green version coming in a steel case. The remaining three have the more intricate Petite Tapisserie dial, and I have to say that the steel model with “night blue” dial is a fitting successor to the original Royal Oak Offshore Chronongraph AKA “the Beast.” The titanium model has a gray dial and the solid pink-gold model has the same “night blue” dial as the steel version.
All five of these Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronographs measure 42mm-wide and 15.2mm-thick with 100m of water resistance.
If you missed the news of the 43mm version, it was redesigned this year with a fresh case and slight refinements like larger polished chamfers on the case edges and more curves on the bezel, as well as chronograph pushers. Of the five 43mm versions released, three are done in steel cases with ceramic bezel (with dial colors in black, smoked light brown, and gray), one is done in an 18k pink-gold case with ceramic bezel and black dial, and one is in titanium with a blue dial and titanium bezel. All have Méga Tapisserie dials and come on an interchangeable rubber strap.
That’s a total of 10 new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph models released in 2021, and this is just a warmup for AP. 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of the classic Royal Oak, so the revamp of the sportier Offshore line is likely the tip of the iceberg. The new Calibre 4401 and 4404 movements, refined cases, and interchangeable straps make for a seriously improved Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph collection.