Introduced in 1993, the ROYAL OAK OFFSHORE model, representing an ultra-sporty extrapolation of the ROYAL OAK, has in turn become a watch industry icon thanks to its powerful lines and sophisticated structure. This year, AUDEMARS PIGUET enhances the charisma of this line by welcoming its first-ever exceptional Grande Complication movement.
The mechanical selfwinding heart of the Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication comprises three advanced functions, forming what is considered in the industry as the basis of a Grande Complication movement. Its traditional mechanical selfwinding movement combines minute repeater, split-second chronograph and perpetual calendar functions. In concrete terms, in addition to showing legal or civil time, this 44 mm-diameter masculine watch is thus also equipped with a minute repeater mechanism, a rare complication enabling it to sound the hours, quarters and minutes on demand.
Moreover, it houses a perpetual calendar complication which, as its name implies, ensures a perpetual display of the calendar information as well as lunar cycles. Last but not least, it affords the possibility of performing timing operations and reading off intermediate or “split” times thanks to the split-second complication which has become an authentic Audemars Piguet signature in all the Grande Complication models that the Manufacture has produced since 1882.
This classic work of art, expressed in highly contemporary terms by Audemars Piguet, establishes itself as a synthesis of Haute Horlogerie. It is a material embodiment of the talent and the expertise of the finest watchmaking artisans exercising their craft in the Grandes Complications department of the Manufacture.
Epitomising incredible mastery of the watchmaking art, the 648 parts of the mechanical selfwinding Calibre 2885 are finished with meticulous care. The purpose of contemporary finishes such as sandblasting is to magnify the more traditional treatments such as bevelling and straight-graining. To reveal the exceptional nature of the openworking or “skeletonising” performed by the watchmakers, the parts composing this beating heart are rendered partially visible by the use of a transparent sapphire crystal dial and the fitting of a display back. The latter notably reveals the solid gold oscillating weight featuring an anthracite coating which accentuates the overall contemporary touch that the watchmakers have decided to give this model.
Endowing such a purely traditional movement with a firmly future-oriented approach most definitely implies that in order to break the rules, you must first master them. The movement in fact represents a material expression of this abstract principle. However, it is precisely the fact of adapting this Grande Complication movement to today’s world that lends this timepiece its truly iconic dimension. This is doubtless because, above and beyond mere words, this contemporary horological opus in titanium and ceramics, issued in a three-piece limited series, remains a creation individually executed by a single artisan who will devote more than 820 hours of painstaking craftsmanship to this task.
Finishes such as bevelling, recesses, sinks and sandblasting call for countless hours of fine craftsmanship and incredible dexterity, in a process amounting to around one-third of the price of the movement. Among the techniques used to make this movement visually appealing, bevelling is undoubtedly the most highly appreciated manual technique, as well as that which requires the greatest accuracy. This exercise, which calls for years of experience, consists in using a file to cut down the edges of components and in polishing them with a slightly curved burnisher, so as to highlight the rim by enabling the light to play across the bevels.
These finishes serve historically functional purpose, by protecting the movement against dust and humidity, and thus any risk of oxidation. Nonetheless, these finishes and decorations will only effectively magnify the beauty of the mechanism if the technique involved in this art is fully mastered. It is indeed a form of art fully mastered by Audemars Piguet and continually applied to our products. Functionality meets aesthetics in these infinitely delicate operations. This aesthetic treatment of the mechanism powerfully reveals this meticulous workmanship, executed to perfection at Audemars Piguet. Each part has been treated with infinite care.
Some components, such as the hammers of the minute repeater striking mechanism which are visible through the case-back, combine two finishes entailing highly complex execution : a mirror polish that is so fine that artisans even joke among themselves that “a glance is enough to scratch it” ; along with a bevelling featuring interior and external angles embodying the ultimate expression of the artist’s mastery. These specific angles, which can be easily pinpointed in the mechanism, may be viewed as the secret signature of the artisan, and provide undeniable proof of the authenticity of a work performed by hand because no machine could possibly produce this type of finish.
This exceptional titanium watch, featuring a black ceramic bezel, crown and pushpieces, also comes in a pink gold version. In the latter configuration, this luxurious and sporty instrument rife with superlatives is issued in a three-piece edition only, complete with a white rubber strap, an 18-carat pink gold caseband topped by a black ceramic bezel, along with white ceramic pushers and crown.
Each detail of this modern timepiece demonstrates the extent to which the Audemars Piguet Manufacture masters its classics to perfection and is capable of lending an unmistakably modern touch to tradition.
Calibre 2885, selfwinding
Total diameter: 31.60 mm (14 lines)
Movement thickness: 8.95 mm
Number of jewels: 52
Number of parts: 648
Minimum guaranteed power reserve: 45 hrs
Cadence of the balance : 19,800 vph
Ref.26571RO.OO.A010CA.01: 18K pink gold case (44 mm), glareproofed sapphire crystal and case-back, black ceramic bezel, white ceramic crown and pushpieces, water-resistant to 20 m.
Ref.26571IO.OO.A010CA.01: Titanium case (44 mm), glareproofed sapphire crystal and case-back, black ceramic bezel, crown and pushpieces, water-resistant to 20 m.
Ref.26571RO.OO.A010CA.01: Sapphire dial, white counters, pink gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating, light silver-toned inner bezel ring.
Ref.26571IO.OO.A010CA.01: Sapphire dial, white counters, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating, light silver-toned inner bezel ring.
Minute repeater, perpetual calendar, split-second chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds.
Grande Complication movement entirely openworked and assembled by hand
Column-wheel chronograph mechanism
Striking mechanism sounding on two gongs placed on the same level
Metallised sapphire moon-phase indicators
Customisable oscillating weight
Hand-finished cut-out parts (polished bevels, beadblasted, matt surface underneath)
Hand-finished bridges (rounded-off and polished bevels, satin-brushed flanks, circular-grained recesses)
Ref.26571RO.OO.A010CA.01:White rubber strap with 18K pink gold pin buckle.
Ref.26571IO.OO.A010CA.01: Black rubber strap with titanium pin buckle.
26571RO.OO.A010CA.01: 3-piece limited edition
26571IO.OO.A010CA.01:3-piece limited edition