In Watches

Stainless steel and silver, titanium matched up with anthracite.” While not the most talked-about 2009 novelty from Audemars Piguet (an honor that would clearly go to the incredible Jules Audemars watch with the ultra high-frequency AP escapement), the addition of some exceptionally hot Royal Oak Offshore chronograph variants certainly spiced up Audemars Piguet’s legendary sports watch collection, and whetted my appetite for these definitive high luxury classics all over again.

Strategic accents of red added to a dial always seem to heighten the presence of an already superb sports chronograph. The color has worked like magic for white gold models of the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph, and it’s equally effective with the 2009 stainless Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore chronograph variants. Upon the silvery Mega Tapestry background the minute subdivisions, chronograph central seconds hand, and the subdial hands evoke action, speed and performance. The red also treats the eye to another contrast – one just as intoxicating as the famous octagonal bezel and intricate finishes of the Royal Oak Offshore design.

The anthracite dial on the 2009 titanium Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph is equally appealing and projects a cool austerity; the rich charcoal color is perfectly matched to the “instrument” presence of titanium. I’d add to that that titanium has always been a fantastic material for the Royal Oak Offshore – the relationship between impressive size and feathery weight creates a contradictory drama that is nearly irresistible. But, whichever metal you choose, you’ll get the superlatively fine Royal Oak bracelet, or the stylish “Hornback” croc strap – undoubtedly one of the most beautiful – and distinctive – exotic leather straps to ever adorn a fine watch.

2009 marks another milestone: the complete integration of the in-house AP 3126 movement into the Offshore Chronograph model range. While the Jaeger-LeCoultre 889 caliber has been an excellent and refined Offshore motor for years, the Manufacture cachet arguably adds an extra dose of prestige to Audemars Piguet’s mightiest sports watch.

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