Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Off Shore 25807STSold
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Off Shore 25807ST
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It’s funny how things occur in cycles. For instance, when the Royal Oak was introduced in 1972, its bold design, industrial materials, and steep price caused outrage in the conservative Swiss watch scene. Yet, when the Royal Oak received a bold redesign to celebrate its twentieth anniversary, the very same nay-sayers were outraged once more.
In honor of the Royal Oak turning 20 in 1992, Audemars Piguet tasked young designer Emmanuel Guiet to revamp the iconic Gerald Genta design. The new Royal Oak Offshore spinoff line finally made its way to market in 1993, having been delayed a full year due to production issues.
While the Offshore remained faithful to the Genta aesthetics with the octagonal case, integrated bracelet, and tappisserie pattern dial, it increased the model’s diameter to a whopping 42 mm and introduced, for the first time, a chronograph complication. Due to the new chronograph module that sat atop the automatic movement, the Offshore gained considerable thickness as well. Moreover, Guiet pushed the line into a more sporty direction by introducing the Offshore’s now iconic rubber details. This updated design was so formidable that its first iterations gained the moniker ‘The Beast’ among collectors.
To say that the watch was divisive is an understatement. As the story goes, Gerald Genta—the designer of the original Royal Oak—was so appalled by the Offshore’s looks that he publicly criticized the company for associating it with the Royal Oak name. While industry veterans were quick to dismiss the Royal Oak’s younger cousin, it began to attract a cult following among a younger generation and has over time carved out an important place for itself in Audemar Piguet’s line-up.
One of the more enigmatic pieces from the Offshore line is the slightly smaller ref. 25807ST. Measuring in at a relatively tame 39 mm, it is the same size as the original ‘Jumbo’ Royal Oak. Nevertheless, it successfully retains the Offshore’s bulky looks due to its increased thickness, slightly wider bezel, and the addition of crown guards. While the Offshore line is commonly associated with the chronograph complication, the 25807 introduced a more toned down triple-calendar complication instead.
This quirky Offshore features a black dial with Audemars Piguet’s iconic ‘petite tapisserie’ pattern. The dial features two rectangular apertures right under the brand’s signature that display the day and month, while a centrally mounted hand tracks the date across a ring on the perimeter of the dial. To accommodate this pointer-date functionality, the seconds hand is cleverly moved to a separate sub-register at the six o’clock position.
This 25807ST dates back to 1997 and has just returned from a full service at our trusted Audemars Piguet service center. The watch is in sharp condition and comes with service papers as well as an extract from the Audemars Piguet archives.
In 1970, Audemars Piguet instructed Genta to come up with an unprecedented steel watch. As the story goes, he found inspiration whilst seeing a diver at work with an old-fashioned diver’s helmet near Lake Geneva. Staying up all night, Genta drew the design for a circular case with an angular, octagonal bezel, eight visible screws, and an integrated bracelet. The Royal Oak was presented in 1972 as the most expensive steel watch available and it caused an uproar: why was a distinguished maison d’horlogerie putting out a sports watch, let alone in such a pedestrian material? Some experts even predicted that the Royal Oak would put Audemars Piguet out of business. Though it took a while to catch on, the Royal Oak is now one of the most iconic and long-lasting watch designs, and has spawned an entire product line. It wouldn’t be the first time that Genta would prove a brand’s owners, customers, and industry experts wrong.