The new Code 11.59 collection was under the spotlights but Audemars Piguet presented many more pieces during the last SIHH. I wanted to highlight the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm in titanium because it is different from the rest of the collection.
In fact, it embodies a new stylistic approach for the Royal Oak Offshore 42mm. I consider it as a sort of "synthesis" watch. Imagine a piece that would combine the diameter of the Offshore 42mm, the dial lay-out and movement of the Royal Oak Chronograph and the Offshore 44mm pushers. And you get this brand new chronograph. But in the same way that on a CD which gathers the best hits of an artist we may find sometimes unpublished tracks, this Royal Oak Offshore presents a singularity thanks to these original main hands which give it a more contemporary style.
The outcome, though composed largely of elements that we know perfectly well, is surprising. The watch appears as a kind of "enfant terrible", an unexpected meeting point between the Royal Oak and the Offshore. To achieve such a result, the designers had to work on the integration of the AP2385 movement (the Frédéric Piguet 1185), which is a relatively small movement (26mm) in a 42mm case. So they widened the bezel and positioned a peripheral flange that dives into the dial. They succeeded in their objective: the date doesn't seem to be lost on the dial.
This is the reason why this watch doesn't leave indifferent. Either one appreciates this renewal of the genre and the new style brought to the Offshore collection, or one finds it too stocky, too chunky when observed from the front.
I am clearly in favor of the first option. I appreciated the integration of the pushers, the discreet date window (even if I would have loved to see it removed), the relative thinness of the case (this is the true asset of the AP2385 movement) which with a height of 12.8mm is below the usual case height of the collection and the range of colors, which combines with happiness blue and gray as well as small details such as the hands or decorations of the subdials that fit the watch into a more contemporary dimension.
I also love the blue edging on the pushers and the crown, the color of the titanium case that goes perfectly with the gray of the subdials as well as the wearing comfort of the rubber strap.
On the other hand, the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm Titanium suffers from performances of the AP2385 movement which are now too short. Its power reserve is only forty hours for a frequency of 3hz. We are therefore far from the current standards and especially from the capabilities of the chronograph in-house movement that we find in the Code 11.59 collection and which offers a power reserve of 70 hours for a frequency of 4hz. That said, the new 4401 caliber has a thickness of 6.8mm meaning 1.3mm more than the Frédéric Piguet 1185. Its use may not have allowed to meet the requirement of thinness of the case. On this specific point, the choice of the Frédéric Piguet 1185 remains the most judicious. In addition, it may be more relevant to launch a new movement through a new collection before using it, once proven, in the core collections of the brand.
Not a surprise: the watch offers a solid caseback which is the best solution in this context.
One thing is certain: the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm Titanium is very attractive on a daily use. In addition to its wearing comfort accentuated by the lightness of titanium, the watch offers nice pushers to operate (their shape has not only an aesthetic interest), a good legibility of the data and a water resistance of 100 meters.
I was very seduced by this new interpretation of the Offshore chronograph in 42mm. The watch becomes more refined while retaining enough punch not to encroach on the field of the Royal Oak Chronograph. Although I would have liked more mechanical ambition by taking advantage of the new caliber, we must not forget that by using the Frédéric Piguet 1185, Audemars Piguet offers an integrated chronograph movement to a 42mm Offshore. The question now is whether this novelty of the SIHH 2019 will become an exception or on the contrary the harbinger of a profound aesthetic transformation of the collection.
+ an aesthetic evolution that makes the Offshore Chronograph 42mm more refined
+ the pleasure that the pushers give when we use them
+ the comfort on the wrist
+ the carefully chosen colors
- a power reserve too short
- the movement too small for the case makes the dial visually tiny compared to the case