How many times did it take to push the limits of the legendary 30 years of top sports watches?

Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Offshore has always been on the path of breakthroughs and leading breakthroughs as a representative of the top luxury sports watch segment. With its bold aesthetics and pioneering fusion of craftsmanship and design, the collection has become an innovative masterpiece in the field of luxury sports watches, sought after by a young generation of trendsetters who are brave enough to explore and pursue breakthroughs. Looking back at the 30th anniversary of its birth, how many explorations, innovations, breakthroughs and re-breakthroughs have led to the creation of this treasure trove of diverse timepieces that still continues to open up new dimensions of innovation today?
On June 12, in Sanya, Hainan, with the wind and waves blowing, Audemars Piguet celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore with a gala event. On the evening of the celebration, singer and songwriter Xiao Jingteng, singer and actor Li Chenghyun, swimmer and Olympic champion Wang Shun appeared at the event, together with Ms. Peggy HU, President of Audemars Piguet Greater China, Mr. Clifford WONG, General Manager of Audemars Piguet China and many guests, to pay tribute to this legendary timepiece series, and infuse the scene with exciting activities such as the beach sound party and the sailing boat light show. The event was also filled with energy and excitement.
Looking back to 1993, the Royal Oak Offshore caused a great sensation when it was unveiled. With a series of bold, cutting-edge aesthetics inspired by the creative explosion of the 1980s and offshore rowing, it earned the moniker “The Beast” with its oversized case, extra-thick water-resistant bezel, and colorful rubber-covered crown, and has since gained the admiration of adventure enthusiasts and the younger generation who love extreme sports. The Beast has since made a name for itself, establishing itself as an independent brand that is bold enough to break with tradition and innovate without restraint.

Over the past 30 years, the Royal Oak Offshore, while inheriting the design of its large diameter, has continued to push the limits by applying a variety of new materials, such as titanium, forged carbon, ceramic, rubber, etc., which highlights the brand’s insistence on fine watchmaking craftsmanship and pioneering experimentation.
1. 30 Years of Legend, Pushing the Limits
Audemars Piguet is the oldest Fine Watchmaking brand still in the hands of its founding families (Audemars and Piguet). Since its founding in 1875 in Le Brassus, in the Joux Valley of Switzerland, it has always been guided by a meticulous spirit of research, by a mastery of craftsmanship that has led to subversive designs and aesthetics, and by the constant development of creative collaborations with artists.
Continuing the iconic design elements and shapes of the Royal Oak collection, the origins of the Royal Oak Offshore date back to 1989. At the time, German agent Dierk Wettengel wanted the brand to create a new collection for the 1990s inspired by offshore boat racing. So Steve Urquhart, then co-CEO of Audemars Piguet, registered the name “Offshore” even before the sketches were completed.
Soon after, Emmanuel Gueit, a young 22-year-old designer from Geneva, was entrusted with the task of designing a timepiece with a sporty design and a mechanical craftsmanship, and decided to opt for a larger case size than that of the Royal Oak – 42 millimeters, which was already an It was an oversize at the time. Emmanuel Gueit also took the bold step of introducing rubber for the two chronograph pushpieces, and rubberized the outside of the crown for greater operating comfort, making it a luxury sports watch. Emmanuel Gueit has also taken the liberty of introducing rubber for the two chronograph pushers and rubberizing the crown for greater comfort when operating the watch, making it one of the most innovative and cutting-edge luxury sports watches.
However, commercial success did not come overnight, and the unusual size of the case caused dissent within the Manufacture. After an initial period of skepticism and production delays, the design finally saw the light of day and was the first to gain traction in the Italian market, even experiencing a shortage of sales in 1994. The enthusiastic response from the younger generation led to the addition of the words “Offshore Offshore” to the names of subsequent models.

In addition to setting the trend for large luxury watches, the Royal Oak Offshore is also known for its bold and vibrant colors. In 1997, Audemars Piguet introduced colorful ideas for the first time to the collection, illuminating classic designs with unexpected and vibrant color schemes. Ref. 25770ST features a bright yellow and turquoise dial on a bracelet in the same color scheme, which is both harmonious and original, while the three subdials feature black rings with white Arabic numerals for improved readability.
In 1999, Audemars Piguet launched the first limited edition of the Royal Oak Offshore, the “Devil’s End” special edition Ref. 25770SN, to celebrate the release of the movie of the same name, End of Days. The movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film’s star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a collector of pocket watches and a Royal Oak Offshore owner. His love for Audemars Piguet led to this meaningful collaboration.
The chronograph features a black PVD-treated stainless steel case and Kevlar® fiber strap, and is limited to a highly sought-after 500-piece edition. The limited-edition collaboration raised $1 million for the charity organization After-School All-Stars, which supports sports and education programs for underprivileged children. The success of this first collaboration has led to a number of subsequent limited edition collaborations between Audemars Piguet and Schwarzenegger, such as the T3 model (Ref. 26029) in 2003, the NBA All-Stars model (Ref. 26158) in 2007, and the Legacy model (Ref. 26378) in 2011, with proceeds also supporting the Foundation.
The Royal Oak Offshore also continues to break new ground in its sporting DNA. It has designed and launched a number of dive watches that offer ocean-loving adventurers high-end timepieces combining cutting-edge aesthetics with exquisite craftsmanship. In 2010, Audemars Piguet launched the first Royal Oak Offshore diver’s watch, water-resistant to 300 meters, certified to ISO 6425, with an internal rotating bezel operated by the crown at 10 o’clock to record dive time, and with increased thickness of the water-resistant gaskets, the case, and the sapphire crystal to make it the most watertight watch in the collection.
Then, in 2016, the first Royal Oak Offshore Diver with chronograph function (Ref. 26703ST) was launched, with its colorful dial and strap design, adding infinite playfulness to an inherently elegant luxury watch. Not only does it look good, but it also performs well, with a horizontally symmetrical “bi-compax” subdial, a self-winding Manufacture caliber Calibre 3124/3841 with a power reserve of 50 hours, a 42 mm-diameter stainless steel case, and an anti-glare sapphire crystal caseback. The case is made of steel with a diameter of 42 mm and an anti-glare sapphire crystal caseback.
As François-Henry Bennahmia, CEO of Audemars Piguet, said: “Its oversized concept opens the door to street culture for Audemars Piguet and for the watch industry as a whole. The collection is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and will continue to surprise us for a long time.” The Royal Oak Offshore proves that it is always ahead of its time by exploring the possibilities of design and functionality, and by collaborating with a wide range of cross-disciplinary artists in harmony with global culture.

2. Let the legend continue again and set sail offshore
Legends know no boundaries, and are recognized by their interpretations. For the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore, Audemars Piguet presented a comprehensive exhibition on the creation and evolution of the Royal Oak Offshore through the artistic “Offshore Discovery Space”. A series of iconic timepieces from the 30-year history of the watch tell the story of the collection’s intersection with popular culture. Pieces on display include the first Royal Oak Offshore Ref. 25721ST from 1993, the Royal Oak Offshore “Devil’s Doom” Special Edition Chronograph from 1999, the first limited edition in collaboration with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the Alinghi Alinghi from Switzerland. The first limited edition with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1999, the Royal Oak Offshore “Devil’s Doom” Special Edition Chronograph, the Alinghi Sailing Team Special Edition (Ref. 26062FS), the Ladycat Women’s Sailing Team Special Edition (Ref. 26212CK) and the first limited edition in collaboration with basketball legends such as LeBron James and Shark O’Neal, as well as the first limited edition in collaboration with a number of basketball stars, such as the legendary LeBron James and the Sharks, such as the legendary Sharks. O’Neal, and limited edition watches with basketball legends such as LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal.
On this occasion, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore, Audemars Piguet is also launching a series of new models featuring ceramic. These latest creations are also on display. These include the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph, whose case and bracelet have been completely renewed in black ceramic for the first time, and the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Floating Tourbillon Chronograph, a new limited edition of 100 pieces in a two-tone black and green design.
Audemars Piguet was one of the first watchmakers to use ceramic for its bracelets in 1986. Audemars Piguet’s black ceramic is seven times harder than steel and white ceramic is nine times harder than steel. Production costs are approximately 10% higher than for black ceramic, and the machining of the ceramic bezel accounts for 30% of the production time for the entire outer part, with all polishing and grinding done only by hand. Audemars Piguet’s commitment to materials and craftsmanship has made ceramic watches a favorite among watch collectors.
Among the many new creations, the new Royal Oak Offshore Limited Edition Selfwinding Chronograph, launched on April 3rd, features a new interpretation in black ceramic that pays homage to Audemars Piguet’s 1999 Royal Oak Offshore “Devil’s Doom” special edition. A tribute to the Royal Oak Offshore “Devil’s Doom” special model created by Audemars Piguet in 1999 (Ref. 25770SN), this new timepiece is engraved on the titanium caseback with the inscription “Limited Edition of 500 Pieces”, and is limited to 500 pieces worldwide, making it a collector’s item of the utmost value.
This new model reinterprets the black and gold aesthetic of the original 1999 version in a modern and trendy aesthetic, featuring a black dial with titanium accents such as pins, pushers and caseback. The tachymeter, hour-markers and hands in white gold with a blackened finish and yellow luminescent coating give off a glittering shine. The ceramic of the watch body is made of zirconia powder mixed with a special binder, which is sintered at a temperature of over 1,000 degrees Celsius to reveal the material’s uniform color. Every line, angle and bevel is meticulously pre-polished and satin-brushed to achieve Audemars Piguet’s signature polished and satin finish.
This new model houses Audemars Piguet’s latest one-piece self-winding chronograph movement, Calibre 4401, with column-wheel setting and flyback function. The wearer can reset and restart the chronograph functions at the touch of a button, a patented operation that instantly returns the hands to a vertical position, a humanized design concept.

3. Walk with them, breakthroughs without limits
Inspired by the passionate offshore rowing competitions of the 1980s, the Royal Oak Offshore collection has been associated with water sports since its inception. To showcase this inspiration, Audemars Piguet’s 30th anniversary celebrations featured sailing, kitesurfing, sport yachting and wake surfing, among other marine sports, where guests were able to experience the offshore spirit of boldness and challenge themselves in a joyful adventure on the waves.
Therefore, the 30th anniversary celebration was held in Sanya, a city full of passion and freedom by the sea, where participants could experience the endless joy of offshore sports and fully integrate and showcase luxury sports watches and outdoor sports. During the celebration dinner, swimmer and Olympic champion Wang Shun and renowned singer and songwriter Xiao Jingteng shared their personal understanding and interpretation of the offshore spirit with the guests. Xiao Jingteng then showed his signature style of music performance, with passionate songs to push the atmosphere of the normal activities to the highest point, bringing guests a surprise visual and auditory feast. Sports and music have always been the most touching source of inspiration and rhythmic gene of Royal Oak Offshore Collection. Just like Wang Shun’s own swimming life, when he jumped into the pool and stroked forward, people also followed Wang Shun, striving for higher breakthroughs.
With more innovative models combining sports functions and groundbreaking designs, the Royal Oak Offshore has effectively met the aspirations and pursuits of different audiences at different times, and has demonstrated to the world its unremitting efforts to bring us surprises over the past 30 years. Looking to the future, the Royal Oak Offshore watch collection is set for a new era of excitement in the next 30 years.





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