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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tour Auto (2010) Luxury Watch Review

http://www.thewatchbox.com/watches/audemars-piguet#.VWpGcVqROFI Audemars Piguet appreciates fine machinery. That's why, from 2006-2012, AP honored the annual Tour Auto Optic 2000 vintage car rally with a commemorative model; this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tour Auto Limited Edition is one of only 60 built for the 2010 model year. Audemars Piguet and Tour Auto have a great deal in common. The mutual interest in history, high performance, craft traditions, and engineering is obvious. Less obvious is the form a watchmaker should choose to pay tribute to cars; the subtle cues of this Royal Oak Offshore Tour Auto are a study in delicate homage. AP employs a classic Tour Auto Optic 2000 color palette of red, white, and black to reference the event without stooping to clumsy co-branding. There is nothing on the classic 42mm case or signature Royal Oak "tapisserie" dial to betray a purpose beyond aesthetic appeal. “Branding” isn’t the point; a beautiful composition is. On the case back, AP gives up its game; the Tour Auto logo is engraved on the individually numbered backing plate. But that's the only giveaway. Otherwise, the Royal Oak Offshore Tour Auto Limited Edition is a study in an Offshore done right. AP swaps its usual hornback alligator strap for a supple calf leather model that lends the Tour Auto a light wrist feel and a more sporting character than the patrician 'gator imparts. As a bonus, the calf leather (with gorgeous contrasting white stitching and red accents) conforms more readily to smaller wrists and enables a secure fit not always possible when wearing a ROO with the hornback 'gator. The color scheme is handsome by any standard, and this LE ranks among the few Royal Oak Offshore models that could pull off formal attire if pressed into dress service. Yes, it has that kind of presence. Inside the case – Audemars Piguet’s caliber 2326/2840 employs its proven tandem of a Jaeger-LeCoultre cal. 889 automatic base movement and a Dubois-Depraz vertical-clutch chronograph module. Both JLC and DD are watchmakers at the top of their game, and they represent the go-to sources for premier engineering. Audemars Piguet’s vaunted artisans provide the finishing touch to complete the AP pedigree; exquisite movement finish ensures that this Tour Auto LE packs a motor to rival any vintage Ferrari. This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tour Auto Limited Edition presents in outstanding condition and can be viewed in high-resolution images on www.thewatchbox.com. Video and content by Tim Mosso.