Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver White Ceramic
Audemars Piguet is huge into developing and using new materials in their watchmaking. Tantalum, forged carbon, ceramic… AP has used some fascinating metals and composites. But, if the 42 mm Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver White Ceramic (reference number 15707CB.OO.A010CA.01) is any indication, it seems like 2014 is Audemars Piguet’s year of white ceramic, or as should I say Super Ceramic (it’s a real thing, look it up).
A few months ago, we told you about the nearly-completely-ceramic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon, one of AP’s novelties for Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2014 (SIHH). With a price tag somewhere in the very ritzy neighborhood of $200,000, the AP Concept GMT Tourbillon is just a wee bit out of reach. But, at $23,900 (still a lot of cash, trust me, I know), the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver White Ceramic has a similar look and is made of the same ceramic material for far, far, far less moolah.
The case, bezel and crowns of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver White Ceramic are hewn of (you guessed it) white ceramic. This particular white ceramic (aka Super Ceramic) is 370 percent harder than AP’s black ceramic (1850 Vickers versus 500 according to hardness test ASTM E-384) and over 900 percent harder than steel.
The ceramic of the Royal Oak Offshore Diver White Ceramic is so hard, in fact, the watch’s bezel takes about eight hours to mill. The middle case takes roughly twelve hours. To make the same pieces out of steel would take about 45-minutes and an hour-and-a-half, respectively. Diamond-like hardness takes time.
In terms of movement and mechanical innovation, the AP Royal Oak Offshore Diver White Ceramic has none. It has the same internal rotating bezel as the other AP Divers. Visible through sapphire display back, it uses Audemars Piguet’s workhorse Calibre 3120 movement at its core, complete with 60-hour power-reserve, date indication and 22kt gold rotor. As of right now, AP is producing 37 watches powered by the Calibre 3120 movement across the Royal Oak, Royal Oak Offshore, Millenary and Jules Audemars lines, including the forged carbon and black ceramic Royal Oak Offshore Divers. So, yeah, no big news there.
As any good dive watch, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver White Ceramic is water resistant to 300 meters. And, as I said, it prices out at $23,900, a bit more than the black ceramic AP Diver. For more info, visit AP’s product page here.