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May 21, 2024

Audemars Piguet: Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Black Ceramic

To mark the 30th anniversary of the Offshore collection launched in 1993, Audemars Piguet presents a new version of its Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph 42 mm, housed in its first-ever black ceramic case with a matching bracelet and a black Petite Tapisserie dial.

Audemars Piguet: Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Black Ceramic

Since its creation, the Royal Oak Offshore collection has been dressed in a wide range of materials, such as titanium and forged carbon. In addition to steel or gold, these avant-garde materials offer the perfect balance between technical innovation and design, elegance and robustness. 

The new reference 26238CE continues in this vein as it is the first Royal Oak Offshore with a case and bracelet made entirely of ceramic. This material is also used for the push-pieces at 2 and 4 o’clock that operate the chronograph, as well as for the screw-locked crown at 3 o’clock. Only the eight white gold screws attaching the bezel to the case stand out, along with the eight luminescent applied hour-markers that punctuate the hours and the titanium caseback. 

HIGH LEGIBILITY

The dial is dressed in the same matte black colour as the case, bracelet, push-pieces, bezel and crown. It is decorated with the Petite Tapisserie pattern, a signature motif previously reserved for the 26238 references in gold or titanium. While past references had variations in tone, this new reference is the first to be totally monochrome in pitch black, which is particularly difficult to achieve due to the different materials and textures used. 

Audemars Piguet: Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Black Ceramic

To enhance legibility, a wide range of finishings have been developed for this timepiece. Each of the counters is accompanied by a white hand offering a distinct contrast that is further accentuated by a disc of white Arabic numerals. 

Audemars Piguet: Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Black Ceramic

Similarly, the circular date window at 3 o’clock and the three emblematic counters of the Royal Oak Offshore unfold around the two large luminescent hour and minute hands, small seconds at 6 o’clock, chronograph minutes at 9 o’clock and chronograph hours at 12 o’clock. This layout keeps the famous vertical arrangement of the collection. It also follows the subtle introduction made in 2021 where the hour and small seconds counters were switched to offer a top-to-bottom reading of the elapsed hours and minutes. 

OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE

This new black ceramic Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph is equipped with the latest integrated automatic chronograph, Calibre 4404, featuring a column wheel and flyback function that, unlike a traditional chronograph, allows it to be restarted without having to first stop and reset it.  

Audemars Piguet: Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Black Ceramic

The column wheel has a vertical clutch designed to allow smooth pressure on each push-piece. When the chronograph is started or stopped, the hands immediately start moving, without any delay or unexpected jumps. A patented reset mechanism also ensures that each chronograph hand instantly returns to its vertical starting position. 

The sapphire and titanium caseback allows the wearer to admire the operation of the chronograph’s column wheel below. When the reset push-piece is pressed, the hammers, directed by a lever, strike the central cam to reset the chronograph wheels and set the hands to zero. The wearer can also admire the 22-carat pink gold oscillating weight that has been engraved with the initials AP, echoing the historic versions of the Royal Oak Offshore. The movement also features refined finishes such as Côtes de Genève, circular graining, circular satin finishing and polished bevels. (Price €. 84,700)