This year, Audemars Piguet celebrated the 40th anniversary of the original Royal Oak. Next year marks two decades of the larger, sportier Royal Oak Offshore, and Audemars Piguet plans to commemorate the milestone with the release of the extremely limited Royal Oak Grande Complication. The watch makes its debut at the SIHH watch fair in January, but the company has offered a tantalizing glimpse of it now.
Audemars Piguet launched the Royal Oak Offshore in 1993, but the family-owned watch company, based in Le Brassus, Switzerland, has a history of making grand complications that stretches back to 1882. That historic expertise is on prominent display in this timepiece, which includes three “classic complications:” a split-seconds chronograph, a minute repeater, and a perpetual calendar.
The movement that unites all of these functions, along with the hours, minutes and small seconds, is Audemars Piguet’s self-winding Caliber 2885, which has an astonishing 648 parts, 52 jewels, an amplitude of 19,800 vph, and a power reserve of 45 hours. It has a column-wheel mechanism for the chronograph, metallized sapphire moon-phase indicators for the calendar, and, for the repeater, a striking mechanism sounding on two gongs placed on the same level. It also includes hand-finished cut-out parts and bridges, with contemporary finishing such as sandblasting, rounded off and polished bevels, satin-brushed flanks and circular grained recesses. The rotor is made of solid gold with a black coating.
The intricate details of the movement are visible from the front, behind a sapphire dial, and from the back, through a fitted caseback window. The dial has white-gold applied hour indices and the familiar Royal Oak hands, coated with luminous material. The subdial borders are white and the inner bezel ring is light silver-toned. The case is 44 mm in diameter and made of titanium, with a black ceramic bezel, crown and chronograph push-pieces. The strap is black rubber and has a titanium pin buckle.
Audemars Piguet says it will only produce three pieces of the Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication. Prices have yet to be announced.
Receive all the news, features and reviews from WatchTime for free! Sign up to our free weekly newsletter and get all the news delivered to your inbox.
Click below for a video of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph…