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Audemars Piguet  - New Royal Oak

Audemars Piguet New Royal Oak

Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph

Since 1972 and the launch of the Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet has combined Fine Watchmaking, sportiness and reliability in a way that no other brand has managed to do with such success and longevity. The watch that the Manufacture in Le Brassus has entrusted to us for this test bench is the ultimate expression of this approach, since it is the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph unveiled in June this year.

Exterior:

An entirely revisited case was specially designed for this prestigious model. Let’s begin by saluting the coherent choice of titanium. This material is definitely the most appropriate alloy for this kind of watch with a sporting vocation. Its resistance and especially its lightness are of paramount importance. An asset designed to ensure more than just comfort on the wrist, this lightness reduces the energy absorbed in case of impacts and is thus a very serious argument when it comes to protecting such a complex mechanism. While part of the Offshore family, the case with a comparatively modest 43mm has been entirely redesigned to offer remarkable aesthetics and ergonomics. The dial reveals the movement architecture without impeding legibility. The integration of the removable strap is perfectly adjusted and provides immediate comfort. The screw-lock crown and the elegant, easygrip pushers are in black ceramic. The movement is attached to the case by a ring that absorbs a maximum of shocks and vibrations, ensuring increased solidity and precision. True to its nature as a sports watch, this Offshore is water-resistant to 100m.

New Royal Oak

Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph © Audmeras Piguet

Movement:

Caliber 2967 is a selfwinding tourbillon flyback chronograph movement. Having already made its appearance in the recent Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection, it has been adapted here to the case diameter. To ensure unwavering reliability and precision, the bridges have been machined from titanium! While resolutely sporty in terms of its architecture, it features a combination of surface treatments and finishes worthy of the highest Fine Watchmaking standards. While it would be impossible to detail all the key features of this caliber in this column, one should note its 65-hour autonomy that is ideal for a selfwinding movement. The chronograph notably includes the flyback function. While the latter has in fact become totally obsolete from the standpoint of its initial role as a navigation aid for aircraft pilots, it nonetheless represents an important asset with regards to reliability, since there is no risk of breakage by activating the zero-resetting pusher when the chronograph is engaged. The selfwinding mechanism receives its energy from a 22K gold oscillating weight designed for optimal efficiency.

Tests:

Holding the watch in your hand and observing it carefully inspires absolute and immediate confidence in every respect. We therefore expected measurements corresponding to this feeling – and they turned out to be much more than that! The efficiency of the selfwinding system and the (verified) autonomy have already been mentioned. The timekeeping precision is amazing. Let’s remember that, just as in shooting sports, the essence of good setting is a narrow scattering – in this case of rate values. To continue with this analogy, these are all at the center of the target. The impact of the chronograph on the amplitude is so insignificant that it does not appear in our measurement table. In addition to the astounding precision revealed by our measurements, we were literally astounded by the poising of the tourbillon cage which does not show the slightest irregularity.

This new Offshore is a real lesson in Fine Watchmaking, of which the codes appear to have evolved for the better. Sportiness is not a question of sponsorship or design, but the result of research and development. To succeed in combining Haute Horlogerie and sportiness to such a degree of excellence is probably as unique as it is novel, because if you can afford such a watch, you can truly wear it every day, no matter what you do. To sum up my feelings at the end of this test bench, I would say that if my life depended on a watch, this Royal Oak Offshore Flying Tourbillon Chronograph might well be the one I would choose. And I would never have thought that it could be a tourbillon! 

As a World Tempus reader, we are delighted to offer you the latest digital version of this GMT magazine that you can download here. Happy reading!
 
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GMT n° 73 © GMT Magazine

 

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Audemars Piguet is one of the few independent family-owned watch businesses and has been based in Le Brassus, in Switzerland's Vallée de Joux region, at the heart of the fine watchmaking industry, ever since the company was first established in 1875.

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