It’s known to all that here we concentrate mainly on mechanical and collectible watches. We write for collectors and replica watch fans with the target of telling the very best stories we can about this funny little world for one reason or another. While online we’re sometimes tied to the watch industry news cycles, with auction results, product releases, and reviews of new watches often taking center stage, here we give you all a chance, twice per year, to sit back, reflect, and focus on long form storytelling that is, if you don’t mind it.
There are tons of killer watch stories in our recently-released second volume, ranging from a sweeping history of the dive fake watch to a deep dive into why Patek Philippe’s Calatrava is so legendary to a technical explanation of some of modern horology’s best movements. However, after spending several months working on Volume 2, here are five of my favorite takeaways from our second issue.
When you ask Jason Heaton to pen a definitive history of the dive watch, you know that you’re going to get something unique. I was greatly and completely impressed, but not totally surprised, to learn that the world’s most famous SCUBA diver was so impressed with Doxa dive watches that he went into business with the company, selling them for a time via his company U.S. Divers. This story also contains some really beautiful underwater photography that you will not want to miss.
In his amazing story explaining the appeal of certain large, waterproof Universal chronographs, Ben devotes a lot of space to the balance and the quality of the cases used to make these cheap replica watches. The replcia Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 was one of the standout watches from SIHH 2018. But during his talk with award-winning chef Daniel Humm, AP CEO François-Henry Bennahmias revealed that when they first made up their mind to make an ultra-thin Royal Oak perpetual calendar many of the manufacture’s older watchmakers thought it was pure folly and not worth even trying. I, for one, am glad they gave it a shot.
Eventually, some of the very best watch writing in Volume 2 comes courtesy of our very own Jack Forster. In this issue, Jack writes a great story about how the complete calendar and the annual calendar have made a major resurgence in recent years, but the thing that really shocked me is a reference to Ian Fleming artfully describing a particular assassin’s Girard-Perregaux. I won’t spoil it, but you surely want to dig into Jack’s story to get the details.
You don’t need to be an Apple fan-boy to appreciate the top-quality industrial design that goes into making an Apple product. One replica watch that he finds especially appealing is the fake Patek Philippe Nautilus, but maybe not for the reason you’d dream of.
In 2018, Audemars Piguet introduced the Royal Oak Offshore to us, reference 15703 (a review can be found here). That watch made quite an impression on me to be honest. I am a sucker for the Royal Oak references, from the 5402 to the current 15202, so I actually surprised myself that I liked that Diver so much.
The Offshore collection is pioneering with exotic materials ever since the very first models and forged carbon is one of them. In 2007, Audemars Piguet used forged carbon for the very first time with their Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team model. The large second hand is the chronograph seconds-hand of course. The cheap replica watches has no hour recorder and no date feature and I personally like what it does to the dial. It keeps it clean and uncluttered.
This time, Audemars Piguet used the popular Royal Oak Offshore Diver (ref.15703, we reviewed it here) as a basis and transformed it into this forged carbon version, ref. 15706AU. The introduction took place during SIHH 2012 but was over snowed with the introduction of the new ‘Jumbo’ ref.15202 watch. Audemars Piguet decided to come colorful this year and will offer this timepiece in orange, green, yellow and blue. In the official press release, Audemars Piguet talks about tangerine, lime, citron and blue. Just so you know.
Like a extreme sports watch should in our opinion, there is no transparent caseback. However, spending just below $30K USD on a chronograph that doesn’t have a dedicated movement feels kinda strange. Just the ‘Royal Oak Offshore’ engraving we’ve seen on the previous Diver models and other Offshore models as well. As already mentioned, we’ve found the rubber strap to be extreme comfortable and we do prefer a tang buckle over a folding buckle for rubber and (alligator) leather straps. Inside, in-house developed movement caliber 3120 is fitted. This movement was introduced to the market in 2005 for the very first time, in the – then new – Royal Oak 15300.
History aside, we assume you know most of the stuff already, we were in the opportunity to have a closer look at the Royal Oak Offshore Diver made out of forged carbon. Although we have a weak spot for the caliber 2121 movement of the ref.15202 Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’, we do like the caliber 3120 a lot. After a couple of years, that should look pretty worn out is my own experience. Are there things we should rather have seen differently? Well, now we ask. Yes. We are not sure as we are no designers, but the bolts in the bezel have a lot of contrast with the bezel as a different material is used for them (white gold?). Although I have great respect for Replica Audemars Piguet‘s inventions and their craftsmanship in general, I have personally more interest in the more ‘toned down’ 39mm Royal Oak models than the bulky and loud Royal Oak Offshore collection and Concept watches.
Same goes for the links that connect the rubber strap to the forged carbon case. Again, we aren’t designers but we wonder how it should have looked if AP had chosen a different material for these parts. It also has become the base caliber for the Royal Oak Offshore chronograph models, where AP added a chronograph module on top. The Ref.15706AU Royal Oak Offshore Diver in Forged Carbon comes with a very soft rubber strap with a titanium tang buckle with the AP logo engraved.
Where the stainless steel Offshore Diver ref.15703 allows you to use a Royal Oak Offshore bracelet, combing the the forged carbon version with a stainless steel bracelet might not be a good idea. Keep in mind that you will have to either like the rubber strap or a (custom made) alligator strap to go with it.