AP Royal Oak Offshore “The Beast”
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph in stainless steel. Referred to as “The Beast”, this is the E series of the first Offshore model with reference 25721ST from 2001. The watch is accompanied by an AP box, original guarantee booklet (originally sold in Italy), and service paperwork. This example features its original blue Tapisserie dial in excellent condition retaining its original colour with very little ageing. This reference features a 42mm case diameter with integrated bracelet. The watch houses a self-winding calibre 2226/2840 chronograph movement.
The watch is in excellent condition was serviced by an AP authorised service centre in 2018. The case and bracelet have been professionally polished during service and has some light scratches from occasional use since. The watch has been tested and is keeping excellent time. In addition to this, the watch is fully functioning and therefore not in need of an immediate service.
Overall this is a great example of an increasingly sought-after model. The watch falls into the “Neo-vintage” category and with its blue Tapisserie dial and integrated bracelet it ticks all the classic Royal Oak boxes but with its own story. Not many iconic watches, in this case Genta’s Royal Oak, have been “updated” or taken a different form and then become iconic in their own right such as Emmanuel Gueit’s original Offshore. In our opinion, although these are large watches, hence “The Beast” nickname, they are under appreciated. Some of the world’s leading collectors and watch connoisseurs are avid fans of this model and this will spread to the wider collector community.
Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph "The Beast"
Self-winding Calibre 2226/2840
Original Steel Bracelet
In 1993, after four years in the making, the Royal Oak Offshore was introduced. Audemars Piguet gave its young designer Emmanuel Gueit the brief to redesign Gerald Genta’s Royal Oak that would attract a younger audience. This daunting task gave birth to the original Royal Oak that has now become an icon in its own right.
The name Offshore didn’t appear on the watch at first. Audemars Piguet was not entirely comfortable with it yet and so produced a small number of watches with the first 100 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore models only featuring the name “Royal Oak” on the case back. The watches numbered 101 onwards then featured the full “Royal Oak Offshore” engraving. This hesitance by AP was not unfound, Royal Oak Offshore did not go down well in the watch industry. Even Gérald Genta felt that Audemars Piguet had created a “walrus” based on his precious Royal Oak design. Somewhat hypocritical as Genta received similar comments about his Royal Oak and Nautilus design from conservative enthusiasts in the 1970s. To begin with Italy was in the lead when it came to actual sales of the Royal Oak Offshore, as often was the case. However within a few years, the Offshore accounted for a large portion of AP’s sales.
There were three versions of the original Offshore produced – numbered pre-series, D series and E series, with slight differences between them mainly to the case back engraving and bracelet clasps. In 2013, Audemars Piguet released a special edition for the Offshore’s 20th anniversary, ref. 26218ST limited to just 20 pieces. Five years later in 2018, AP produced the ref. 26237ST in 250 pieces for the 25th Anniversary. Finally in 2021, AP released the new Beast, ref. 26238ST, and due to the importance of this model to their history, included it in their main collection of watches alongside the 16202ST.