Released in 1993, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore was the sequel to Audemars' most successful and historically significant watch, the Royal Oak. Designed by 22-year-old watch designer, Emmanuel Gueit, the Offshore's raison d'etre was to establish a foothold in the increasingly youth-oriented luxury sports watch market that was opening up. As AP had recognized that younger collectors were beginning to spend more money, they decided they needed a watch to market to these individuals, and the Offshore was that watch.
While the Royal Oak itself was already classified as a luxury sports watch, it wasn't necessarily a watch you would wear during strenuous activities. Gueit's objective was to create a timepiece that could withstand the youth's active lifestyles and stand up to punishment. To achieve this, the Offshore was given several upgrades compared to its predecessor that, rather ironically, succeeded in garnering the same initially negative reaction from the public as the Royal Oak all those years back.
These upgrades were primarily functional but succeeded in having a visual impact on the Offshore. To start with, the case was enlarged to 42mm and given crown guards. On top of this, the iconic bracelet found on the Royal Oak was changed ever-so-slightly as the links tapered to ensure a more comfortable fit on the wrist. Also, the waterproof gasket underneath the famous octagonal bezel was enlarged to increase the water-resistance of the Offshore. Finally, looking at the dial of the Offshore, it was fitted with a tachymeter scale along its rehaut and 'Mega Tapisserie' pattern throughout, different to the Royal Oak's 'Grande Tapisserie'.
Offered here, we have a 2019 Bucherer Edition of the Offshore. Released just one year ago, the Bucherer edition is the only two-tone Offshore. Merging a pink gold bezel with a steel case and pink gold links that attach to a rubber strap, this is a gorgeous mix of golden elegance and sporty design. Limited to just 300 pieces, this is an exclusive timepiece that very few will ever get to own. While the Offshore has certainly succeeded in becoming a sporty timepiece, the Bucherer Edition is perhaps a move back towards the original luxury sports watch roots of the Royal Oak. Creating luxurious timepieces has always been easy for Audemars Piguet and for their long-standing retail partner Bucherer, they have only done it again.