The Royal Oak Offshore Seflfwinding Tourbillon Chronograph is powered by Audemars Piguet’s new Caliber 2897, which is comprised of 335 parts, including 34 jewels. Boasting a high-frequency balance (21,600 vph) and a power reserve of approximately 65 hours, the movement is notable for its peripheral winding rotor, made of satin-brushed 950 platinum and mounted on ball bearings. This design shifts the mass of the rotor to the outer edge of the movement to improve the winding efficiency. This positioning of the rotor, which rotates a full 180 degrees, also helps to reduce the thickness of the movement (just 8.32 mm) and hence, makes for a slimmer profile for the overall watch (14 mm).
Caliber 2897, developed and built entirely in-house at Audemars Piguet’s manufacture in the Swiss village of Le Brassus, incorporates both a tourbillon and a column-wheel chronograph mechanism. It features numerous high-horology finishes, including beveled, polished, and chamfered components, and traditional Vallee de Joux watchmaking touches, such as rounded bridges, an S-shaped coupling yoke, a curved minute-counter bridge, and characteristic toothing on the column wheel. The tourbillon carriage, which takes a master watchmaker nearly three days to assemble, is made up of 85 parts and weighs a minuscule .45 grams; the tourbillon bridge is made of blackened titanium. The chronograph is equipped with a specially developed coupling yoke mechanism that eliminates the jerkiness of the chronograph hand that can occur when a user activates it with the “start” pusher. Audemars Piguet also added a shock-resisting hook to this hand-assembled chronograph mechanism — which, thanks to the peripheral rotor, is on display through the sapphire caseback.
The watch’s black ceramic bezel features the eight polished steel hexagonal screws that are a hallmark of all Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore watches. The case middle — like that of the manual-wind version of the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph — is constructed of forged carbon, an aerospace-industry material first applied to watchmaking by Audemars Piguet back in 2007. The ceramic/titanium chrono pushers are set within separate titanium guards, secured to the case by four visible screws. The black dial has the “Mega Tapisserie” motif common to Royal Oak watches and features an aperture at 6 o’clock for the tourbillon. Small seconds are on a subdial at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute chronograph counter is at 3 o’clock. The central sweep-seconds hand ticks off the chronograph minutes on an inner sapphire ring with a 60-minute scale.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Tourbillon Chronograph comes on a black rubber strap with a titanium pin buckle. It will be priced at $273,200.