A quiver of luxury brands, from Rolls-Royce to Sisley, are helping Hotel Byblos celebrate its half-centenary in Saint-Tropez this weekend. But the standout contribution to this august moment must be Audemars Piguet’s special summertime edition Royal Oak Offshore.
Most of the models have the Royal Oak’s now-trademark waffle-print (“grand tapisserie”) dial in deep blue or off-white to complement the stunning octagonal case with exposed screws. However, the most impressive variation on the Royal Oak theme has to be the open-worked tourbillon which has a skeletal slate grey dial and yellow gold applied hour-markers with a luminescent coating. Slip it on under your suede jacket and channel some serious Robert Redford back-in-the-day style.
Almost 50 years after Swiss horologer Zenith introduced the famed El Primero and Land Rover unveiled the high-end off-road Range Rover, the two brands are marrying their iconic creations in a novel timepiece.
The Chronomaster El Primero Range Rover Velar Special Edition unities the best qualities of both labels, striking a balance between tradition and innovation.
“The Range Rover Velar brings a new dimension of modernity, elegance and a touch of glamour to the Range Rover family,” said Gerry McGovern, chief design officer of Land Rover, in a statement on the occasion. “The Chronomaster El Primero Range Rover Velar Special Edition, created with these very same principles, comes with a bloodline like no other and is refined for every occasion. It will stir the emotions.”
The 42mm watch premiered at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, alongside the new Range Rover Velar. Inspired by the car, the piece is rendered in ceramized aluminum that evokes the chassis of the Velar model. It features a brushed gray dial that comes alive with copper-hued details, just like the automobile.
The new collection, which bears reference 26470, incorporates many updates. Rubber accents on the pushers and crown have been upgraded with black ceramic pieces. The brand new Mega Tapisserie dials have been properly received, and the snailed subdials add even more texture. Broader, faceted hour and minute hands improve legibility.
Fealty to Zenith’s timekeeping precision, a small seconds display stands at 9 o’clock, while opposite it, at 3 o’clock, resides a 30-minute counter. A date indicator hovers at 6’clock.
The case back with its transparent sapphire crystal cover draws the attention to a special satin-brushed oscillating weight that carries the logos of both Zenith watches chicago Replica and Range Rover.
Housing the automatic El Primero 400B movement with a power reserve of up to 50 hours, Chronomaster El Primero Range Rover Velar Special Edition ticks on a black rubber strap, coated in perforated black calfskin. The same hide covers the interiors of Range Rovers.
The Chronomaster El Primero Range Rover Velar Special Edition boasts a silhouette and technical characteristics that much resemble these of El Primero Range Rover Special Edition of last year.
The case’s crown, chronograph push-pieces, and push-piece guards have been slightly redesigned and resized; the rubber used for the crown and push-pieces of the earlier “26170” Royal Oak Offshore watches has been replaced in the new “26470” models with black ceramic. The dial’s Arabic numeral hour markers have a more sculpted look, with polished fillet borders; the subdials and round date window are also surrounded by polished borders. The brand new hands are faceted and have a luminescent coating. The colors from the date disks matches those in the dials for greater uniformity.
Audemars Piguet is marking the event with the 50th anniversary in the iconic Hotel Byblos Saint-Tropez by using a duo of new limited-edition watches, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore summer editions. The pair of watches comprise a rose gold men’s version limited to 50 pieces ($47,500), plus a women’s variation in steel that has a diamond set bezel that is restricted to 20 pieces ($29,000).
The latest iteration of this series is the Diver Chronograph. Available in four distinctly funky color options (yellow, green, blue, and orange), this bold and bright behemoth capabilities a brushed 42-mm steel case with 14.75-mm thickness, rubber bracelet, and black ceramic super-compressor and chronograph crowns and pushers. Within the outer, eight-screwed steel octagon is the inner rotating divers’ bezel, white gold applied hour markers, and two subdials for running seconds as well as a 30-minute chrono counter – all placed against the background of the “Méga Tapisserie” pattern on the dial. The prevalent Offshore hands sweeping across the dial use a color-accented minute hand, a wide hour hand, plus a lollipop-style chronograph seconds counter. Powering the watch – and visible through a sapphire caseback – is the automatic AP in-house Caliber 3124/3841, capable of the 50-hour power reserve and driven by a decorated, solid gold rotor. The observe is listed by Audemars Piguet at $27,900; even though it can be found for less depending on the color option and dealer.
Compared to the original Royal Oak, the Ref. 5402, this observe still retains many of the essential design elements in the lineage – an octagonal eight-screw bezel, integrated steel view head and bracelet, unique hands and hour markers, and faceted crowns – but it’s fair to say the Diver Chronograph did not set out as an homage to the A-Series.