Insider: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26470ST.OO.A104CR.01. Hands-on with ‘The Elephant’ in the Room.

Released during the SIHH 2014, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26470ST.OO.A104CR.01 is a replica watch that is not as popular as we now think it should be. This particular second generation Offshore —42 mm case with ceramic crown/pushers and display case back—, wasn’t our cup of tea upon its release at the SIHH 2014; nevertheless, today, it is one of our favorite second generation Royal Oak Offshores. Quickly nicknamed ‘The Elephant’ by replica watch collectors, this particular Offshore features a very unique color scheme in grey and black, that is for sure much nicer when admired under plain natural light.

The Dial

A true chameleon in all the extent of the word, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26470ST.OO.A104CR.01 ‘The Elephant’ is fitted with a slate grey mega tapisserie dial with black registers and black Arabic numerals with black luminescent coating. Its dial layout, is now much cleaner than that on older Offshores as the numerals have been thinned out and the date aperture has been framed with a ring.

Depending on the lighting conditions, the dial will show different gradients of grey and beautiful captivating hues. This is one of those dials where the lights at the authorized dealers don’t help at all. If you have the chance to play with the Offshore ‘Elephant’ under natural light, we are confident you will fall in love with it. The dial features running seconds register at 12, a 12-hour chrono register at 6, a 30-minute chrono register at 9 o’clock and a date aperture at 3 o’clock, all rounded out by a matte black flange with tachymetric scale and white gold hands.

The Pushers & Crown

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26470ST.OO.A104CR.01 features the newly redesigned beefier crown guards as well as ceramic chrono pushers and ceramic screw-down crown.

The Strap

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ‘Elephant’ is equipped with a grey hornback alligator strap with stainless steel pin buckle. The strap tapers to 20 mm, therefore, this strap is completely different in width —4 mm narrower at the buckle— when compared to that on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Divers or the 44 mm Royal Oak Offshores.

The Movement

Like all other modern Royal Oak Offshores released after 2007 —with the exception of the Rubber Clad—, the Offshore ‘Elephant’ is powered by the calibre 3126/3840 —based off the Audemars Piguet in-house automatic calibre 3120 with a Dubois Depraz chrono module on it. The movement is fully visible via the display case back, also a new feature on the second generation of 42 mm Royal Oak Offshores released at the SIHH 2014. This automatic movement composed of 365 parts, beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph —3 Hz— to provide a power reserve of 50 hours. This 59-jewel movement, also features the signature solid gold oscillating weight engraved with the crests of the Audemars and Piguet families.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26470ST.OO.A104CR.01 wears true to its size and extremely nicely. A relatively ‘stealth’ looking replica watch for those embarking on special missions to Asia or Africa where the largest earth mammal inhabits. Without a doubt, this is a replica watch that needs to be seen under natural light to be fully appreciated. While many feel that this color combination is the least desired within the AP Royal Oak Offshore lineup, in our book, this is the perfect second generation AP Offshore to own.

Sticker Price $26,000 USD. For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.