When the hammers hit the gongs, this membrane vibrates and behaves like the sound board of a guitar, dramatically amplifying the sounds of their gongs. Additionally, the true titanium case back is slightly raised to cover this membrane and contains apertures along the border to allow sounds to escape. This results in one of the loudest minute repeater watches we have ever heard. And interestingly, the watch seems even louder when it is worn to the wrist!At the end of the afternoon, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch is yet another successful showcase of the brand’s almost breathtaking technical know-how and unique design sense. It is a thoroughly modern take on one of horology’s oldest complications, and also we can see that in the instance of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph view, it’s been thoroughly improved.And should you think that all this will not come cheap, you would be right. Though the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch is not a limited edition, it’s a princely price of $597,400.
Three years ago Audemars Piguet gave its bestselling sports chronograph a major overhaul with an in-house movement as well as ceramic buttons and crown. Now a quartet of new models unveiled at SIHH 2017 joins the second generation Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph line-up, including a heavyweight version with a platinum case and bracelet.
The basic models are in stainless steel, starting with the blue on black (ref. 26470ST.OO.A028CR.01). This has a black dial with dark blue chronograph registers, matched with a dark blue chapter ring and alligator strap.
The other steel model has a brown dial (ref. 26470ST.OO.A820CR.01) fitted with pink gold hands.
Then there’s the 18k yellow gold that has a blue dial and gilt sub-dials (ref. 26470BA.OO.1000BA.01) that’s anything but subtle. This is delivered on a matching 18k gold bracelet, but accompanied by a spare alligator strap and 18k gold pin buckle.
The top of the line version is the all-platinum (ref. 26470PT.OO.1000PT.01) that marks the return of the model to the catalogue after a hiatus of several years. Impractically but impressively heavy – it tips the scales at over a pound or half a kilo – the platinum Offshore is a limited edition of 50 pieces with a pale grey dial and black sub-dials. Like the yellow gold model, it’s accompanied by a spare alligator strap with a platinum pin buckle.
All four models share the same specs, with a 42mm case featuring a sapphire case back that reveals the calibre 3126/3840 inside.
Price and availability
The new Offshore Chronographs are available from Audemars Piguet retailers and boutiques, with Swiss francs priced excluding taxes as follows.
Steel and black ref. 26470ST.OO.A028CR.01 – SFr23,500
Steel and brown ref. 26470ST.OO.A820CR.01 – SFr24,000
18k yellow gold ref. 26470BA.OO.1000BA.01 – SFr78,000
950 platinum ref. 26470PT.OO.1000PT.01 – SFr122,000