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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 26470ST Luxury Watch Review

http://www.thewatchbox.com/watches/audemars-piguet#.VYDEnlqROFI Behold the new face of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore. But look closely, because AP knows better than to perform wholesale surgery when an icon needs a facelift. With subtle ceramic upgrades, stronger crown guard definition, and an enhanced dial to match, the newest rendition of the 42mm stainless steel Royal Oak Offshore looks better than ever. This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore was the new model that "made waves" among AP's SIHH 2014 "ROO-reboot" references; steel, blue, and orange define its rugged good looks. Navy blue, shocks of orange, and the Offshore's legendary hand-finished steel bring the watch to life in person and electrify on the wrist. While often depicted on a blue rubber strap, this reference of the Royal Oak Offshore cuts a stunning profile in a full-metal jacket. Audemars Piguet's stainless steel bracelet integrates the look in a fashion that bridges the gap between the Offshore and the traditional Gerald Genta-designed Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. More than a visual triumph, the bracelet provides an ideal counterbalance to the weight of the watch head, and the resulting ergonomic improvement over a strap-clad Offshore is pronounced. And the visceral thrill of so much substance on the wrist rivals the thrill of piloting a Rolls Royce down the highway or taking the helm of an 80-foot maxi yacht. Compared to the previous 26170ST Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore, the new 26470's 42mm steel case is a study in evolution. The delicate silicone pusher and crown shrouds have been supplanted by scratch-resistant ceramic; the crown guards have grown larger and feature new character lines to provide a visual break in the broader ferrous shoulders of the latest Royal Oak Offshore. A traditional Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore octagonal bezel frames the new "ROO's" revamped dial. All numerals feature a larger applied white gold base beneath the luminescent paint, and the hands have been enlarged to sport an angled polished facet on each flank of the lume strip. At three o'clock a new applied white gold "AP" logo replaces the former printed image. The Royal Oak Offshore's "Mega Tapisserie" hobnail grid dial gains additional space between the square ridges of the grid. Each of the squares has been reduced in size to present a less crowded image with greater visual distinction between each intricately-cut element. Subdials receive a makeover of their own. As in the previous reference, each of the three silver metallic subdials is calibrated in a pattern distinct from the other two. However, new printing and a more pronounced chapter ring guilloche adds new levels of detail to these critical supporting elements. At three o'clock, the 2014 Royal Oak Offshore's distinctive "sunken date" gains a polished metallic frame and a new date disc that it color keyed to the dial itself. Previous versions of the Offshore tended to default to a white date disc regardless of dial color. Beneath the revitalized 42mm Royal Oak Offshore dial, Audemars Piguet fits the in-house caliber 3126/3840 like collectors have never seen it before; beneath a sapphire case back! 2014 marked the debut of the first series-production Royal Oak Offshore models with clear display case backs. And the immaculately-finished Audemars Piguet automatic movement was worth the effort. From its free-sprung balance to its 22-karat rose gold winding rotor, the caliber 3216/3840 is a masterpiece that must be seen to be enjoyed in full. See this movement - and the entire Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 26570ST - in high-resolution images on www.thewatchbox.com. Video and content by Tim Mosso