It’s the end again.
On the heels of Watches & Wonders 2023, Audemars Piguet copy has announced their latest limited-edition model, this time commemorating the 30th anniversary of the bold Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph. Taking inspiration directly from an early example with a cameo connection to 90s action movies, we found a specific colorway and used some action-ready material.
Of course, those who grew up loving 1990s action movies may recognize the black and yellow colorway as a direct and intentional reference to the early Royal Oak Offshore model worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1999’s Armageddon. Based on the current generation of Royal Oak Offshore chronographs, this limited edition (ref. 26420CE) has a 43mm black ceramic case measuring 14.4mm thick with a titanium caseback, pusher cage and rivets.
While, yes, 30 years ago meant 1993, the Royal Oak Offshore wasn’t an instant hit, and Arnold’s interest in wearing it in movies played a role in establishing the model for the right audience. In this regard, Francois-Henry Bennahmais, chief executive of the Associated Press, said: “In 1999, the Royal Oak Offshore Doomsday series, in partnership with Arnold Schwarzenegger, brought the series to wider public view for the first time. In Offshore’s 30th anniversary, it was an obvious choice to pay homage to this particular timepiece.”
The original End of Days reference was 25770SN, known to many collectors and enthusiasts as the “End of Days” ROO. This new model is powered by Audemars Piguet’s 4401 automatic chronograph movement with a frequency of 4 Hz and a power reserve of 70 hours.
I guess I feel about the Royal Oak Offshore Chrono in much the same way I feel about 90s action movies. Both are big, a little over the top, super masculine, and aim to combine a range of modern creative capabilities into one simple and fun presentation. From that perspective, I think the Associated Press has done this 30th anniversary edition.
The watch is largely a known quantity, so its color, ceramic case, and pair of straps help it stand out. I like black and yellow (more on watches than cars or clothes) and I think if Arnold were to make End of Days today, he would choose ceramic because it fits the ROO vibe so well. Finally, the online luxury watch comes with two “textile effect” quick-change straps, one black with yellow stitching (pictured) and the other yellow with black stitching. If you have the latter tan, then you have my tacit endorsement.
This thoroughly contemporary Royal Oak Offshore combines the model’s modern range with a special part of Hollywood history, helping to cement the notion of the big, imposing Royal Oak through the power of the silver screen.
Brand: Audemars Piguet
Model: 30th Anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore Automatic Chronograph
Reference number: 26420CE
Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 14.4 mm
Weight: 103 grams
Case Material: Black Ceramic
Dial color: black
Index: yellow dotted, applied
Luminous: yes, hands and indexes
Water resistance: 1oo meters
Strap/bracelet: including black “textile effect” calfskin leather strap with yellow stitching and titanium buckle and yellow calfskin with black stitching.
Other details: titanium case back, push buttons, studs and Mega Tapisserie dial pattern and applied white gold AP logo.
Caliber: AP Caliber 4401
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds, 12-hour counter, date at 4:30
Thickness: 6.8 mm
Power reserve: 70 hours
Frequency: 28,800 beats/hour (4 Hz)
Number of Gems: 40