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AUDEMARS PIGUET – Royal Oak Offshore Diver

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This model is water-resistant to 300 metres and thus well able to withstand the incredible pressure exercised in the depths of the ocean. It belongs to the prestigious category of diver’s watches, the kind that have earned their pedigree on the wrists of combat divers and professional underwater explorers. It is sure to delight subaquatic enthusiasts, while also finding favour with non-divers well acquainted with fine technical and sporting watchmaking accomplishments. They will see it as a sturdy, reliable timepiece that is resistant to strong pressures, shocks, as well as to magnetic phenomena, presented within a collection that has already proved its mettle in the world of sports watches: the Royal Oak Offshore collection.

Geared for extreme conditions

The Swiss watch industry norms (NIHS) that also comply with international standards lay down a certain number of specific criteria that must be met by a watch if it is to be termed a “diver’s watch”.

Time preselection device

The NIHS 92-11 norm (corresponding to ISO 5425) calls for a time preselection device. Moreover, in order to prevent any reading errors, the latter must be protected against any unintentional rotation. The Royal Oak Offshore Diver is equipped with a diving scale on an inner rotating dial ring that is activated via a unidirectional click mechanism linked to the 10 o’clock crown. The wearer can only turn the device by deliberately unscrewing the crown. Since this is an inner dial ring rather than a rotating bezel, the case middle also serves as a rampart to protect the rotation mechanism. In compliance with the 92-11 norm, the device features a minutes scale on which five-minute periods are clearly highlighted. 

The time, the time measured on the inner dial ring and the movement operating indication must be readable in the dark from a distance of 25 cm. The dial of the Royal Oak Offshore Diver has been duly optimised to meet this requirement. The baton hour-markers along with the hour and minute hands are facetted and luminescent. The hour hand is distinguished by two additional bands of luminescent coating on the side, while the movement of the equally luminescent seconds hand guarantees that the watch is operating as it should. All these indications are accentuated by the black “Méga Tapisserie” motif characteristic of the Royal Oak Offshore collection. Finally, displaying the diving scale as close as possible to the dial minimises the risk of accidentally modifying the dive time, and also facilitates dive-time readings.

Watertightness and resistance to salt water

The case components – particularly the gaskets, the thickness of the back and that of the crystals – have been adapted to guarantee watertightness to depths of 300 metres. The 92-11 norm demands watertightness to at least 100 metres. The caseback screws, the intermediate bolts and the distinctive Royal Oak Offshore hexagonal screws seal the case as securely as a submarine hatch. When immersed in a saline solution, the Royal Oak Offshore Diver passes the test with flying colours, since the case is not modified in any way and the moving parts continue to run smoothly.

Antimagnetic property, resistance to shocks and to thermal variations

The movement of the Royal Oak Offshore Diver est is protected by an antimagnetic strongbox-type case construction. The balance-spring, which is of course particularly sensitive, is thus preserved from the influence of magnetic fields, as well as from shocks and from thermal variations. The movement rate is thus more accurate. Moreover, no trace of condensation or misting appears when tests are performed at varying temperatures.
Resistance to external forces

The attachments must be able to withstand forces of up to 200 N. The size of the pin buckle has been specifically increased to ensure such resistance. The studs and the rubber strap also guarantee this secure hold.

A pure, uncluttered selfwinding model

For its new diver’s watch, Audemars Piguet has opted for a pared-down approach. This is a straightforward selfwinding model without any complications. A diver’s watch in all its pristine simplicity. It is equipped with the stellar Manufacture Audemars Piguet selfwinding movement: Calibre 3120. Constantly fine-tuned and perfected, the latter is distinguished by its impressive reliability. To ensure its precision, the heart of the movement is a variable-inertia balance with a flat balance-spring oscillating at a rate of 21,600 vibrations per hour. The adjustment is performed by means of eight inertia-blocks that ensure excellent stability and appreciable long-term constancy of rate. The cross-through balance-bridge guarantees enhanced shock-resistance in that it is secured not on just one side, but on both sides of the mainplate. The direct-drive central seconds hand avoids any backlash of the hand.

Calibre 3120 is also particularly user-friendly, particularly thanks to the instant-jump, fast-adjustment date display, as well as the 60-hour power reserve. Time-setting is also facilitated by the fact that pulling out the crown immediately activates the stop-seconds lever and accordingly brings the seconds hand to a halt.

Nonetheless, the crowning glory of Calibre 3120 is undoubtedly the care lavished on its craftsmanship. Hand-assembled in the workshops of Le Brassus, it boasts exceptional quality of execution and finishing. The bridges are meticulously chamfered and polished to ensure clear-cut, shining edges. The jewel sinks are diamond-polished. The wheels feature chamfered spokes and diamond-polished jewel sinks. Even the screw rims and slots are chamfered. The hand-crafted decoration includes a mainplate circular-grained on both sides and bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif. Finally, the monobloc 22-carat gold oscillating weight bears the Audemars and Piguet family crests and the AP monogram.
The quintessential sports watch

The sense of power and distinction exuded by the Royal Oak Offshore Diver stems both from its performances and its appearance. The inimitable and legendary octagonal shape has become an emblem of sports watches. It appears here more forcefully than ever. Loyal to its origins, the case is of course in stainless steel. It is worth remembering that Audemars Piguet actually invented the first high-end sports watch in 1972, which it named Royal Oak, and that it achieved the unprecedented feat of raising steel to the rank of a noble metal on a par with gold. In 1992, the octagon then took on its extreme-sports appearance with the advent of the Royal Oak Offshore. This collection makes ample use of rubber that is often associated with steel, and sometimes even with gold. Its dials feature a distinctive criss-cross or grid pattern named “Méga Tapisserie”. The Royal Oak Offshore Diver picks up these codes and majestically reinterprets them. The satin-brushed or polished finishes of the case enliven the steel and create a play on contrasts. The 10 o’clock crown accentuates the technical nature of this model with distinctive features including an octagonal bezel fitted with eight polished hexagonal screws, while the black rubber joint beneath the bezel echoes the rubber-moulded crowns and the strap. 


Stainless steel case
Water-resistant to 300 metres

Proprietary Calibre 3120, selfwinding
Total diameter : 26.60 mm
Casing diameter: 11.5 lignes (26 mm)
Thickness: 4.25 mm
40 jewels
278 parts
22-carat gold oscillating weight
Up to 60-hour power reserve
Cadence of the balance: 21,600 vibrations per hour
Variable-inertia balance with eight inertia-blocks and flat balance-spring
Geneva-type mobile balance-spring stud holder
Three-position winding stem
Finishing: all parts finely decorated; mainplate circular-grained; bridges rhodium-plated, chamfered, snailed and adorned with Côtes de Genève. Diamond-polished jewel sinks; wheels with chamfered spokes and diamond-polished jewel sinks; chamfered screw rims and slots
Oscillating weight engraved with the AP monogram and the Audemars and Piguet family crests

Stainless steel
Black rubber crowns
Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 13.75 mm
Back with medallion bearing the legend Royal Oak Offshore
Water-resistant to 300 metres

Black with exclusive “Méga Tapisserie” motif
Inner rotating ring with diving scale
Applied grey hour-markers with luminescent coating
Facetted white gold hour and minute hands with luminescent coating

Black rubber with oversized stainless steel pin buckle

Hours and minutes
Dive-time measurement


Written by Dummy Geek

March 4, 2010 at 10:38 am

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