Audemars Piguet Unveils Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Tourbillon Chronograph Watch

Jan 19, 2011
Audemars Piguet unveils its new Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Tourbillon Chronograph watch created to reflect the finest watchmaking traditions. The watch catches the glance due to its sophisticated and powerful design matching the codes of the iconic Royal Oak Offshore collection.

The heart of the new Audemars Piguet watch is a new 100% in-house self-winding movement – the Calibre 2897 fitted with a tourbillon and a column-wheel chronograph. The 335-part movement demonstrates consummate artistry with its rounded cut-out of the bridges, the S-shaped lever, the curves of the minutes-counter bridge and the signature toothing of the column wheel. Operating at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour, it offers a 65-hour power reserve.

The finishing of the movement parts reflects the well-maintained traditions of Fine Watchmaking. Some movement surfaces demonstrate a perfect polish called a mirror or specular polish. The polished surfaces catch the light and give birth to unique optical effects due to a variety of polishing operations. The interior and external corners have cut-down sharp edges between the surface and the flanks to form polished bevels. The bevelling or chamfering is fulfilled completely by hand on all parts. The movement bridges and mainplate are rhodiumed, bevelled, circular-grained, beadblasted and hand-drawn with file strokes.

The peripheral oscillating weight provides the automatic winding. It is sculptured in 950 platinum and mounted on ball bearings. The weight of the rotor is shifted to the outer edge of the movement, this way improving winding speed. The watchmakers made a recess in the case-middle to allow the 180° oscillating weight to rotate a full 360°. They also optimally sized the large 180° segment, this way improving the efficiency of the automatic winding. It was positioned on the periphery of the movement, not increasing the overall thickness and maintaining the slim profile of the movement. The beauty of the movement can be admired via the transparent case-back.

The tourbillon with its blackened titanium bridge is presented via a dial cut-out at 6 o'clock. A weight of just 0.017 grams is used to balance the carriage which weighs just 0.45 g. The escapement weighs just 0.12 g. The whole assemblage incorporates 85 parts.

Calibre 2897 is equipped with a column wheel responsible for coordinating the start, stop and reset phases. The watchmakers came up with an ingenious coupling yoke principle to avoid the chronograph hand jerking when the timing starts. A hook was added to the coupling yoke that acquired improved shock-resistance when the chronograph is switched on. The activation of the chronograph functions is implemented progressively for gentle and accurate tactile perception.

The design of the new Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Tourbillon Chronograph watch immediately makes one feel its sporty masculinity. The signature octagonal bezel is secured by eight polished steel hexagonal screws.

The bezel is crafted from highly resistant black ceramics. Its vertical satin-brushing of the surface produces a distinctive contrast with the polished chamfers. The case-middle is produced from extremely light forged carbon.

The push-piece guards have two titanium parts fitted to the case with help of four visible screws. The push-pieces also incorporate two parts - a base and a top used as a contact surface.

The black dial is embellished with the signature “Mega Tapisserie” motif of straight parallel lines and taut shapes. It is completed with silver-toned counters and applied and facetted white gold hour-markers provided with luminescent coating.

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Tourbillon Chronograph watch is secured to the wrist on a grooved rubber strap fitted with a titanium pin buckle.

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posted by: / Jan 19, 2011

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