Audemars Piguet, the vaunted manufacture from Les Brassus, wasn't doing so well at the end of the 1960s.
Their horological prowess aside, times were changing, customer tastes were evolving, and AP was stuck firmly in a very traditional past. Fortunately for us, their executives recognized this, and bet it all on the launch of an avant garde timepiece the likes of which the world had never seen.
Utilizing the talents of a designer named Gerald Genta, AP planned from the beginning to make this new watch, dubbed the Royal Oak, a contradiction to tradition, and it became the world's first luxury sports watch — made in stainless steel, no less. The gamble paid off: Genta became a household name, and the watch world clamored to get their hands on the Royal Oak’s cutting-edge design, which featured a sharply angled watch with integrated bracelet, micro-tapisserie dial, and ultra-thin movement.
In 1993, the Royal Oak line expanded to include the Offshore Chronograph, which drove the bulk of sales for AP in the past few decades. Debatably, the Offshore is responsible for carrying AP into the 21st century and ushering it into the powerhouse position in which it exists today.
This particular Royal Oak Offshore was made for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s evil-fighting ex-cop character in the 1999 feature film ‘End of Days,’ which probably explains its swagger. Housed in a black PVD 42mm case and utilizing the Jaeger-LeCoultre-based Calibre 2226/2840 movement, it features a triple-register chronograph layout with running seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour counters; rounded baton hands, Arabic indices; an outer tachymeter scale; and plenty of lume. Paired to a Kevlar Velcro strap and limited to 500 pieces, it also comes with its inner box, books, certificate of origin and papers, screwdriver, and extra nylon strap.
If Y2K were a watch, this would be it!
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