Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Ref. 26237ST: Malaysia Price and Review

Written by

Audemars Piguet brings a classic back to life.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Ref. 26237ST

In 1972, Audemars Piguet unveiled the Royal Oak designed by Gerald Genta, disrupting the norms of how luxury sports watches looked like in the early 1970s. Featuring a unique octagonal bezel, sporty aesthetics and clad in steel, the Royal Oak was hard to miss amongst the other small, thin and gold-cased watches of that time. After taking the world by storm for almost two decades, the Le Brassus-based manufacture followed up with the iconic Royal Oak Offshore and once again surprised many.

Essentially an upgrade of the Royal Oak, the Offshore maintained the classical design of the collection but with a one key difference – the size. It measured 42mm in diameter and 15mm in thickness, an unheard-of notion back in the early 1990s. Nicknamed ‘The Beast’, the highly masculine and heavyset watch split views during its unveiling and just like its predecessor, took a few years to win over fans and chalk down a name for itself.

For its 25th anniversary, Audemars Piguet celebrates the Offshore collection with the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Re-edition 25th Anniversary Ref. 26237ST. This watch is a proper tribute to the 1993 original with very few changes to its overall design except for a few welcome tweaks.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Ref. 26237ST
First up is the 42mm cushion-shaped stainless steel case with a brushed finishing like the original. On the top, the iconic octagonal bezel is separated by a black gasket and is brushed vertically. However, the sides and hexagonal screws now come with a polished finishing. Another nod to the original that we really like is the blue rubber crown and pushers that add to the sporty aesthetics.

While previous iterations of the Offshore might have featured contrasting colour schemes, it’s pretty cool to see the re-edition take on a classical approach with an entirely steel colour way. And just like the original 1993 model, the caseback of the re-edition is in steel with the original Royal Oak Offshore logo engraved on it (below)—a departure from the 2017 Offshore Chronograph that had a see-through sapphire caseback.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Ref. 26237ST

Key differences of the re-edition and the original can be found firstly on the clasp of the steel bracelet. While the bracelet maintains its signature integrated qualities and mix of brushed and polished bevels, the clasp is now a more solid butterfly-folding version that offers a modern touch.

But the most major difference would have to be the self-winding Calibre 3126/3840 movement that has become a standard for AP’s chronograph models. This 3Hz engine features a 22k gold rotor and holds up to 50 hours of power reserve with a date function added on top of its chronograph capabilities.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Ref. 26237ST

If you look closely, you might also notice that the dial of the re-edition reintroduces the Petite Tapisserie pattern that was found on the original but has since been given up in lieu of a Mega Tapisserie pattern commonly found on more modern interpretations of the Offshore models. Hand crafted via a guilloche process, the blue dial pattern is extremely refined and detailed. Also like the original, the dial features white gold applied hour markers and classic Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.

While the re-edition is pretty much the same old beast albeit a few tweaks, we’re pretty happy Audemars Piguet decided against any gimmicky tricks for this tribute. Instead, the watch is a respectful nod to a collection with such history and panache. It just goes to show that once you’ve got something good going on, there’s very little that needs to be done to improve it.

 Case

42mm steel

 Dial

Blue with 'Petite Tapisserie" pattern

 Movement

Self-winding Calibre 3126/3840

 Bracelet 

Stainless steel with Audemars Piguet folding clasp

 Functions

Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph

 Price

RM100,700

 
Sim Wie Boon

Sim Wie Boon loves classy dress watches from timeless Swiss and Japanese marques. Wrist affections aside, he finds comfort in quiet rainy evenings with a hot cup of coffee and a stable internet connection.