The brand name Audemars Piguet and the model name Royal Oak go hand in hand and without a doubt, the Royal Oak has been AP’s most popular watch. With its masculine octagonal case, exposed screws and integrated bracelet is one of the most distinctive watches in the market today. It is imposing and recognizable, and in my opinion, one of the best statement watches money can buy.
The Royal Oak is not only famous for what it looks like, but also how it was introduced. First released in the ’70s, the original Ref. 5402 was a bold stainless steel watch designed by Gerald Genta that created shockwaves because it was priced the same as a solid gold watch. People just could not accept that a pedestrian material such as steel could be priced so exorbitantly and consequently, it was not very popular. It was only after time that the public saw this as something genuinely original and avant-garde- fast forward to the 21st century, and the Royal Oak is an icon.
Riding on this wave, the Royal Oak reincarnated in 1993 as Audemars Piguet introduced a whole new variant of the model- the Royal Oak Offshore. Nicknamed ‘The Beast’ is was basically a Royal Oak on steroids and with watch sizing getting larger and larger, it was an instant hit.
Since then, there have been many iterations of the Offshores and while most of them were equipped with chronographs, in 2010, Audemars Piguet finally released a time-only Offshore, dubbed the Diver. The Ref. 15703 was in some sense long-awaited, as the purity of a time only dive watch with a countdown inner rotating bezel made sense.
Sized at 42mm with a thick stainless steel case, it is a hugely muscular watch with great presence. A mega tappiserie fills the black dial and thick baton hands and index markers complete the look. This watch is waterproof to 300 meters and comes on a black rubber strap. In my opinion, this is definitely a Royal Oak for any condition.