Having already unveiled a slew of watches ranging from the uber-impressive Universelle grand complication to a compact Royal Oak with a turquoise stone dial, Audemars Piguet (AP) is also marking the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore. The commemorative editions started with the brand dropping the all-ceramic version of the original designed by Emmanuel Gueit. And they continue with the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph “End of Days” 43 mm, a tribute to the watch worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1999 film that was the brand’s first celebrity limited edition.
From the onset, it is clear this is not a remake. Instead, AP has restyled the Offshore 43 mm, combining the black-and-yellow livery of the original “End of Days” with an all-ceramic case. The result is a good looking sports chronograph that brings with it some of the original’s nostalgia – the original “EOD” was one of the hottest limited editions of its era.
The new “End of Days” is a massive upgrade from the original in terms of materials and finish. The ceramic case is far more robust than the original’s black-coated steel, while the movement is now a sophisticated in-house calibre.
But all that comes with a big price tag.
At US$60,300, the new “End of Days” costs almost double its titanium counterparts. The price premium for ceramic is pretty standard across the AP lineup, so while it is expected it is still substantial. At the same time, the new “End of Days” is limited to 500 pieces, a seemingly large number that doesn’t help make the price any more digestible.
Saving the world from the devil
The new Offshore gets its high-contrast palette from the original “End of Days” worn by Jericho Cane in the 1999 doomsday thriller, End of Days. Played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cane saves the world from the Antichrist. At the time, the Offshore was already several years old, but it had yet to catch on. Though the original “End of Days” met with lukewarm reception at launch, it became one of the most desirable watches of the mid to late 2000s when the Offshore craze was in full swing.
But more pertinent than the watch itself was the dozens of celebrity-linked limited editions that AP proceeded to launch in the subsequent decade-and-a-half watches conceived in collaboration with numerous sporting and Hollywood personalities, from Jay-Z to Lebron James to Arnold Schwarzenegger again (and again).
AP no longer does celebrity-linked watches with the same frequency, so the new “End of Days” is unusual relative to the brand’s current offerings. And it also serves as a farewell of sorts for outgoing chief executive Francois-Henry Bennahmias, who was one of the driving forces behind the brand’s turn towards celebrities during his time in charge of AP North America.
The new “End of Days” is essentially an all-ceramic take on the current Offshore Chronograph 43 mm. It has all of the same design elements, including the mega tapisserie-patterned dial as well as the chronograph registers situated at three, six, and nine o’clock.
While the regular production 43 mm models only sport a ceramic bezel, the new “End of Days” is almost entirely ceramic. The case, bezel, pushers, and crown are black ceramic, leaving only the crown guards and strap links in titanium. The dimensions of the case remained unchanged from the standard model, which means a diameter of 43 mm and a thickness of 14.4 mm.
Like regular production 43 mm chronograph, this contains the cal. 4401, AP’s own automatic flyback-chronograph movement. It has a refined, modern construction that features a full balance bridge, vertical clutch, and column wheel, along with a respectable power reserve of 70 hours.
Key facts and price
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph “End of Days” 43 mm
Diameter: 43 mm
Height: 14.4 mm
Material: Black ceramic
Water resistance: 100 m
Movement: Cal. 4401
Features: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, and flyback chronograph
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours
Strap: Calfskin strap with pin buckle
Limited edition: 500 pieces
Availability: At AP boutiques and AP Houses
Price: US$60,300 excluding taxes
For more, visit Audemarspiguet.com.
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