Mounted on a matching green interchangeable rubber strap, this sporty new black ceramic iteration of its Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph brings intricate hand-craftsmanship, in concert with cutting-edge technology. In 2021, the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph marked the beginning of a new generation of Royal Oak Offshore with a 43 mm diameter. This year, the Manufacture launches a new version crafted in black ceramic. With this new limited edition of 100 pieces, Audemars Piguet’s mastery of materials and colours takes another step forward on the occasion of the collection’s 30th anniversary.
The manufacturing of the ceramic case follows a complex industrial flow, requiring meticulous programming, dedicated tools and skilled personnel. Zirconium Oxide (ZrO2) powder is combined with binder content, the composition of which remains a closely guarded secret. This feedstock is given preliminary shape by five-axis computer-numerically controlled (CNC) milling machines, before the binder is removed.
Each component obtains its hardness and final colour by sintering at approximately 1,000 °C. The component is then hard machined with diamond-tipped tools before being pre-polished and pre-satin-brushed. Ultimately, all the components of the black ceramic case are hand-finished with the Manufacture’s trademark alternation of satin brushing and polished chamfers. This juxtaposition of finishing techniques gives life to the multifaceted case which toys with the light with each move of the wrist.
This labour of love now extends rearside, too, as the timepiece encompasses a ceramic caseback for the first time in the 43 mm Royal Oak Offshore collection. This fine component, engraved with “Royal Oak Offshore Limited Edition of 100 Pieces,” frames a sapphire-crystal display window revealing the inner work of Calibre 2967 and its blackened 22-carat pink gold oscillating weight matching with the case colour.
The 2023 iteration presents a dramatic evolution of the selfwinding Calibre 2967 launched in 2021. This 526-part flyback chronograph movement is regulated by a flying tourbillon, whose single underlying bridge holds the rotating cage at 6 o’clock. While calling on historic Haute Horlogerie techniques, this movement also sports a contemporary, 3D architecture which offers an exciting canvas for aesthetic experimentation.
The architectural black PVD-coated titanium bridges, finished with satin-brushing and hand-polished angles, are enriched with vivid green inserts endowed with an even aluminium coating, achieved through an electrolytic process called “anodisation.” Lastly, the bright external polished chamfers highlight the bridges’ titanium base and add depth to the multi-layered movement.
The two translucent chronograph counters, outlined with a black outer ring, leave the view of the two-tone movement unencumbered, while 18-carat pink gold hands, illuminated with luminescent coating, glow on their journey around the dial. Furthermore, a green anodised inner bezel, keeping in with the bridge inserts and strap, serves as the minutes track, while red chronograph hands add a racy flash of colour.
This limited timepiece is fitted with the Manufacture’s interchangeable strap system complementing the latest generation of Royal Oak Offshore models. This system has been directly integrated into the case’s studs and buckle. The ease and efficiency of the new system allows wearers to change the straps and buckles of their new timepiece themselves with a quick click and release. The double-push system also grants optimum security when the watch is worn on the wrist.
The watch’s green rubber strap can be swapped out for the second black rubber strap coming with the model. Owners benefit furthermore from the ‘AP’ folding clasp in lightweight, satin-finished titanium.