Conceived in the Research & Development department of the Manufacture Audemars Piguet, the new Royal Oak Offshore Diver with its impressively taut, virile lines boldly proclaims its sporting vocation. This instrument developed to meet the requirements of diving enthusiasts or those looking for timepieces able to cope with intensive use, decisively pushes the envelope in terms of performance. Rugged and resistant to the pressure sustained at depths of down to 300 metres, the Royal Oak Offshore Diver maximises the main technical characteristics of instruments intended for use in underwater activities, in order to guarantee users unfailing reliability at all times.
Fully compliant with the NIHS 92-11 (ISO6425) norm, this selfwinding model with its powerful design, built for subaquatic use in conditions where rough estimates are not an option, appears this year for the first time with a case, bezel and easy-grip crowns all made of deep black high-tech ceramics. Machining this avant-garde material, around seven times harder than steel and which only diamonds can scratch, calls for the use of special machines and tools equipped with diamond-tipped milling-cutters. The case middle is also treated to polished and satin-brushed finishes that represented a daunting technical challenge to achieve this degree of quality, due to the inherent resistant to abrasion of this composite material.
This reliable and efficient timepiece, for which the developers focused firmly on functionality, was thoroughly researched to ensure optimal suitability for use in diving conditions. For example, to improve the readability contrast in the ocean depths, for the first time its black dial bearing the traditional “Méga Tapisserie” pattern is fitted with a luminescent orange hand matching the diving scale appearing on the rotating inner bezel ring, which also features an orange zone between 12 and 3 o’clock. This vivid shade enables instant readings of all essential information.
The rotating dive-time pre-selection device, unusually positioned inside the case, is technically far more complex to make than a traditional unidirectional exterior rotating bezel. It offers the advantage of reducing the parallax error and protecting this element – which is vital for divers in monitoring the duration of their immersion – from shocks and aggressive external factors such as water, salt or grains of sand that might jam the bezel. To adjust this dive-time indicator, the Audemars Piguet watchmakers have developed a mechanism enabling it to be controlled via a watertight external crown positioned at 10 o’clock along the side of the case middle. This system as a whole represents a significant safety feature since, once the crown has been screwed back in, the dive time cannot be inadvertently modified.
Equipped with a system of innovative watertightness gaskets, it may be handled during immersion. This technology that has also been applied to the winding-crown will enable the diver to perform various operations under water if necessary.