Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Watch sports a new dial, is sleeker

When the first Royal Oak Offshore was launched in 1993, it was accepted wholeheartedly for its large-sized watches – 42 mm diameter – and steel being the predominant metal of choice. The combination of a large-sized steel watch with sporty looks was groundbreaking , given that the collection boasted of the iconic Royal Oak’s aesthetic codes.

As I mentioned before, that stainless steel cases ruled the roost for a good part, but now the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Watches come in varied materials, and this one is crafted in a Titanium Case fitted with glareproofed sapphire crystal, titanium bezel, push-pieces and screw-locked crown, titanium pushpiece guards.

The new timepiece is sleeker, as typically you will find the Royal Oak Offshore watches in the 44 mm range. This new watch is a 42mm titanium case edition, with a new dial to match. We see the “Méga Tapisserie” pattern in blue, with three sub-dials.  

Audemars Piguet has shaken things up with this new watch, and we now see the three sub-dials positioned at the three, six and nine o’clock positions. Most Royal Oak Offshore chronograph models have the sub-dials at the six, nine and twelve o’clock positions.

There is a reason why this new ref. 26480TI.OO.A027CA.01 has the sub-dials positioning changed – under the hood is a the Calibre 2385, which supports the shift in positioning. The existing Royal Oak Offshore models which have the Calibre 3126/3840 under the hood, and which is why they have the chronograph sub-dials at the six, nine, and twelve o’clock spot.   

In my opinion, moving the sub-dial has caused one major issue – the date window gets missed completely! Did you notice it at the spot between the four and five o’clock markers? It kind of looks crammed in there. Maybe if they had used a white backdrop and black markings for the date, it would have been more visible. But for now it’s a blink-and-miss for me.

Apart from causing a shift in the sub-dial positioning, the Calibre 2385 also supports a thinner case size. This new watch is 12.8mm-thick, and if you compare it with the other 42mm Royal Oak Offshore chronograph watches, their thickness has been 14.5mm. The water resistance is 100M and the power reserve is of 40 hours.

Sporting the new blue “Méga Tapisserie” pattern, the three sub-dials in gray look nice and break the monotony of blue. The partially skeletonized hour and minute hands is something new that the watchmakers have attempted here. The blue seconds hand matches the contrasting hour and minute hands. The watch is teamed with a blue rubber strap.

You can pick this watch up for $26,800.