As we welcome the first day of spring, it’s fitting to celebrate with something colorful to conjure images of balmy days ahead.
A boldly hued timepiece is just the ticket. Following is a brief overview of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Diver—a watch of many colors. The Royal Oak, touted as the first steel luxury sports watch, has been a mainstay of the brand since 1972, when it was introduced at what we now know as Baselworld. It debuted to much recognition, not only for its unique position in the sports watch market, but also for its unusual octagonal bezel punctuated by eight hexagonal screws surrounding a “tapisserie” dial. It was futuristic. It was daring. Collectors loved it and it soon became a smash, instigating the many versions that followed it. In honor of the Royal Oak’s 20thanniversary, its uber-sport watch cousin, the Royal Oak Offshore, made its debut two decades later. At 42mm, it, too, led the way for multiple variations—including complicated models—all the while maintaining the emblematic octagonal bezel with eight screws.
1997 Royal Oak Offshore Turquoise
Over the years, various colorful versions have been introduced, adding further interest to an already interesting line. In 1997, eightprototype Offshore modelslit up a temporary window display with explosive color, including yellow and turquoise. They were an instant hit with viewers, who placed orders for their favorite colors. A collection was born.
1998 and 2006 Royal Oak Offshore Gemset
Ninety-ninety eight saw the introduction of theRoyal Oak Offshore Gem-Setwith a deep blue dial. The bezel is studded with sapphires and diamonds, and the baguette-cut stones are ar- ranged in groups of four, matching the shape of the bezel. It marks the first time that a Royal Oak Offshore was gem-set, but not the last: At the request of Amer- ican Hip-Hop stars, a yellow gold Royal Oak Offshore is smothered in 445 di- amonds in 2006. This incredible time piece is driven by caliber 2326/2840.
The steel Gentleman’s Driver, also powered by caliber 3126/3840, conjures sports cars and steering wheels, dashboards and leather gloves, all underlined by contrasting colors and stylized numerals. Introduced in 2010, its padded strap in black and orange further emphasizes its sporty appeal. Two-thousand and twelve debuted the introduction of the Royal Oak Offshore Diver weighing only 110 grams, thanks to its ceramic and forged carbon case. Tough, lightweight and attractive, the watch is powered by caliber 3120.
In 2016, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Offshore Diver came on the scene in saturated shades of blue, green, yellow and orange, fitting the bill for those of us seeking a little late-winter uplift from a glimpse at the wrist. The watches shown here are driven by the self-winding AP 3124/3841 movement, crafted and decorated by hand and visible through the caseback. Function include hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph and rotating inner bezel with dive-time indication. The blue model features a blue “Méga Tapisserie” dial and inner bezel, high-contrast yellow mark- ers on the diving bezel, a diving scale and zone also in yellow, and white indexes with lumines- cent coating. It comes on a blue rubber strap. The green, yellow and orange versions have coordinating Méga Tapisserie dials, black inner bezels with color-coordinated markers and diving scale, black subdials and white indexes with luminescent coating, and each comes on a color-matched rubber strap. The watches are water resistant to 300 meters.