Audemars Piguet first introduced the 42mm Royal Oak Offshore back in 1993, but for 2014 the collection has received a major overhaul. There are six new models that will be replacing the current line-up in April 2014, and here we have hands-on photos of all six. They have a more refined feel all around, with a number of new details and changes to the cases and dials, included long-awaited sapphire case backs.
There are a number of big changes in the new 42mm Offshore collection. First off there is the lack of rubber on the case accents. Instead, Audemars Piguet has gone with black ceramic for these details, which include the push pieces and crown. Additionally, these have been resized for a fresh update to the case. The entire collection bears the reference 26470.
The dials are really nice across the board. There's the classic "Safari?combination, though the colors have been slightly tweaked and the fake watch has an overall more upscale feel to it. The Mega Tapisserie is crisp and the sub registers have circular graining for some added texture. The hands are now faceted, which gives the dial a brighter look that is very easy to read at a glance.
Turning the cases over, you'll find something conspicuously absent from these watches' predecessors: a sapphire case back. This lets you get a good look at the calibre 3126 modular chronograph movement (which uses an Audemars Piguet base calibre, of course). The rotors are all 22 carat gold and are decorated in typical AP fashion.
There are six pieces in the collection, four in steel and two in rose gold. The steel case can be paired with a navy and white, black and red, grey-on-grey, or "Safari?dial, all of which are accented by the black ceramic pushers. The rose-gold models both feature rose gold dials with black accents, but one is on a black alligator strap and the other on a solid rose-gold bracelet. All the straps feature tang buckles instead of the deployant claps found on the previous Offshores.
The new Royal Oak Offshore 42mm collection should be hitting retailers in early April 2014, and the price for the steel models is $25,600 on rubber straps and $26,000 on the hornback alligator straps, while the rose-gold model is $40,700 on the strap and $69,200 on the bracelet.
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