Take a look at the new high-tech flyback chronograph that combines the appearance of ROO with a mechanism based on Code 11.59
Love it or hate it, call it a hype series, but the truth is that Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (and all its descendants) is still one of the most desirable series on the market. It is also by far the most important series in the Audemars Piguet catalog, but the brand has not simply stood still. Consider how much it has evolved from the original reference. 5402 was launched in 1972, and the signature DNA still exists. Twenty years after its first release, the Royal Oak received a more masculine Royal Oak offshore update, which once again caused a sensation. Now, in 2021, we are fortunate enough to spend some time with one of the newest and most complex models in the series, (take a deep breath) Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Automatic Flying Tourbillon Flyback Chronograph 26622TI.
It will take some time to understand all the details of this very technical and complex iteration of the Royal Oak Offshore. It also marks a step in a new direction for the ROO series, with updated appearance and movement. As our editor Rebecca elegantly described, “This 43mm ROO has improved the performance of the chronograph by incorporating a flyback chronograph and enhanced the wonders with a flying tourbillon.”
But this is not only the mechanical miracle of the watch that makes it ticking, but the characteristics and appearance of AP ROO are equally important. The size of this Royal Oak Offshore “Tourbi-Chrono” is a classic of the series, with a diameter of 43 mm. Of course, it’s not small anyway, but it’s still a bit wearable for most people. In fact, it closely matches the size of the new Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph. The 26420 launched earlier this year, although it is now one millimeter tall.
The case is made of grade 5 titanium and has been finely granulated sandblasted to give it a technical, almost tactile look and feel. This lightweight material is also used for guards and studs around the bezel, buttons. It is combined with the ceramic buttons of the chronograph and the ceramic six-sided screw-in crown. Compared with the previous Royal Oak Offshore, the polished chamfer on the edge is enlarged. It is also worth noting that the bezel and the sapphire crystal glass curve slightly from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock. Some similar architectures have also been seen on the controversial Marvel Royal Oak Concept Black Panther.
If you examine the 26622TI more closely, you will find other things. Considering that grade 5 titanium will have a very different gray tone when polished, brushed or sandblasted, the watch will look different in different light. As shown in the picture, from one angle, the top surface of the bezel looks almost smoky gray, in sharp contrast with the polished chamfers, while from another angle, it looks lighter but still matte . This closing action also continues into the movement, which we will talk about later.
Lift the veil of movement
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Automatic Flying Tourbillon Flyback Chronograph 26622TI has no real dial, you can see most of the front of the movement main board and running gears. In the chronograph circle, the 30-minute counter on the left and the 12-hour counter on the right are contrasted with red markers and hands. The central chronograph second hand is finished in the same red hue.
The small dial moves slightly upward from the horizontal axis of the dial to give way to the large one-minute flying tourbillon regulator at 6 o’clock. On the other side, we have the AP logo applied. The time is indicated by a large and striking platinum hand with a Super-LumiNova stripe in the center. The chronograph is started, stopped and reset by buttons on both sides of the crown. Of course, as a flyback chronograph, it can be reset to zero during operation.
Powering this watch is a redesigned version of the brand’s in-house flying tourbillon flyback chronograph movement, which was first introduced in Code 11.59 in 2020. Originally called caliber 2952, it is now labeled calibre 2967. The biggest difference is not the technical details, but the construction and design. It uses a more technical, almost industrialized configuration of new splints and splints, adding a modern feel to the watch.
The watch is adjusted by a flying tourbillon and only hangs on the back. It is worth mentioning that AP uses a cantilevered tourbillon, which is a technical term, only a few years now. We first saw it on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Women’s Watch in 2018. The escapement uses a rhodium-toned balance wheel, which is consistent with the predominant gray tone of the rest of the watch. An interesting aspect of the structure of the 2967 movement is the use of black PVD coated titanium splints and splints.
Audemars Piguet pays great attention to the decoration details here again. On all splints and the slopes of the splints, the PVD coating is peeled off and polished by hand to contrast with the black surface. It also has titanium alloy inserts to provide greater contrast. Finally, the 22k white gold rotor that drives the barrel is also painted with black PVD. All in all, the movement gives the watch a high degree of depth, which perfectly fits the characteristics of the watch.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Automatic Flying Tourbillon Flyback Chronograph 26622TI with black rubber strap and AP-shaped folding clasp. The watch has a grainy texture and feels very good to the touch. It also comes with a secondary large alligator leather strap, and the interchangeable strap system allows you to easily swap one for the other.
For me, this watch is about angle, texture, contrast, and the role of light. Even in parts made from the same base material, AP has demonstrated its expertise in finishing. The result is an interesting contradiction between contemporary design, modern materials and traditional hand-painting techniques. The alternating brushed and polished finishes of ceramic buttons are a perfect example. Yes, this is a big and bold work, but the workload of elevating it to be more than just a testosterone packaging tool is very admirable and a typical representative of AP philosophy. watch luxury
Technical specifications-Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Automatic Flying Tourbillon Flyback Chronograph
Case: 43 mm diameter x 15.5 mm high-sandblasted titanium case, bezel, push-button guard and studs-black ceramic push buttons and screw-in crown-front and rear anti-glare sapphire crystal glass crystals-100 meters water proof
Dial: Skeleton – black inner bezel with seconds scale – black counters at 3 o’clock and 8 o’clock – red chronograph hands and markers – flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock – 18k white gold hands with luminous inserts – Black titanium splint
Movement: AP manufactured 2967 movement (based on Code 11.59 movement 2592)-automatic winding-21,600vph (3Hz frequency)-526 components-65 hours power reserve-hours, minutes, flight Tourbillon, flyback chronograph
Strap: Interchangeable black rubber strap and black hand-stitched large alligator leather strap, both with sandblasted titanium folding clasp