Despite the industry-wide focus on its much-discussed, much-debated new Code 11:59 collection, Audemars Piguet actually did launch several other noteworthy new timepieces in 2019, most of them extensions of the manufacture’s Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore families. From the latter series hails three new Selfwinding Chronograph models with colorful ceramic case elements and color-coordinated camouflage-motif rubber straps.
Audemars Piguet began dipping into a bolder color palette for the Offshore series — launched in 1993 as a bigger, more technically oriented version of the original Royal Oak — in 2017, with its “funky color” models, and experimented with a military-look camouflage design last year (you can check out that watch here). This year’s new Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph models use colored, high-tech ceramic for the bezel, chronograph pushers, and screw-locked crown. Ceramic, as most watch aficionados are aware by now, is harder than steel, temperature and scratch-resistant, and hypoallergenic, and adding color to it is a long, complex process that involves achieving just the right pigmentation. The chocolate brown ceramic used for the octagonal bezel of the only rose-gold model in the new series, is a standout, used here for the first time by Audemars Piguet.
The other two models use satin-finished steel for their cases, with ceramic bezels and details in blue or military green. The colors of the bezels are also echoed in the watches’ dials, which feature the “Mega Tapisserie” motif emblematic of the Royal Oak Offshore, and in the camo pattern straps, which are made of robust rubber and integrate seamlessly into the cases’ lugs. The tricompax dial layout offers subdials at 12, 9, and 6 o’clock and a round date window at 3 o’clock. Surrounding the dial, with its gold hands and applied hour markers, is a rhodium-toned outer scale, while the flange hosts a white-on-black tachymeter scale.
The case, both steel and gold version, is water-resistant to 100 meters. Inside, beneath a clear sapphire caseback, beats Audemars Piguet’s manufacture Caliber 3126/3840, a self-winding, chronograph-equipped movement with 59 jewels, a 21,600-vph frequency, and a minimum 50-hour power reserve. Each of the models comes with an additional color-coordinated strap (in brown, blue, or khaki green) to swap out with the camo strap for a (slightly) more understated look. Prices are $32,200 for the steel-and-ceramic models, and $48,300 for the rose-gold-and-brown-ceramic model.