The Investors have gone “Offshore”, but I love Edward.
In 1972 Gerald Genta designed the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, a sports watch with a unique octagonal bezel.
As the public’s growing love of larger watches evolved, so did the Royal Oak with Audemars Piguet’s production of the alternative Royal Oak Offshore, a bigger version and equally attractive model.
The Offshore is highly regarded and has proved very popular. Some of the limited edition models have become sought after by collectors and values have remained strong as a result.
Whilst the Offshore has a contemporary, youthful persona and adorns the wrist of some of the world’s leading sporting icons, Audemars Piguet is a long established “manufacture” built on tradition, skills, attention to detail and craftsmanship.
The company origins can be traced back to 1875 when Edward-Auguste Piguet and Jules-Louis Audemars first worked together.
My first AP (and I know it won’t be my last) is the elegant Edward Piguet Chronograph.
Background to my purchase
I purchased the watch pre-owned from a trusted source based in London during 2005 in a seamless purchase which provided a good saving on the new list price prevailing at the time.
However, I would use the phrase “caveat emptor” to describe the purchase of any watch from a non-authorised retailer. If you don’t know what you are doing, stick to a new timepiece from an authorised stockist.
The watch was a matter of only a few months old being originally sold new by a well known New Bond Street retailer in November 2004.
The case is rectangular in shape, but with a curved upper surface with a corresponding dome to the sapphire crystal.
The sides and back of the case are brushed 18-carat pink gold and these contrast with the resplendent, highly polished upper surfaces of the case.
The two chronograph buttons are located at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock, positioned either side of the gold, knurled crown with “AP” branding.
The beauty of the curved sapphire glass is that it distorts the watch dial, hiding the time from anyone but the wearer looking directly at it, almost like a shared secret known only to the watch and its wearer.
The case back is delicately engraved with the case number and hallmarks at the bottom, but larger, yet understated text at the top proclaiming the name of the inspiration of the watch, “Edward Piguet”.
The Calibre 2385 contains 37 jewels and has a power reserve of 40 hours.
The movement features an anti-shock system on the balance, a KIF Elastor.
My one frustration with the watch is that I cannot see the wonderful finishing of the movement that I know lurks within. However, if a sapphire crystal was applied to the rear of the case would this mean I might then have to lose my perfectly engraved text? On reflection AP probably knows best.
The dial is a delicate cream, with a wave like pattern and Arabic numerals. Two subdials (positioned at 3 o’ clock and 9 o’clock) record the hours and minutes elapsed after the chronograph has been initiated.
There is a small seconds hand in a discrete sub dial near 6 o’ clock with a clean appearance which aids interpretation.
A date window is located between 4 o’ clock and 5 o’clock to complete the information fix, craved by connoisseurs of horological refinement.
The brown leather strap has meticulously precise, neat white stitching and a stylish gold deployant forming the AP characters symbolic of the brand.
I have always been fond of my AP Edward Piguet Chronograph, but that does not mean I don’t crave a Royal Offshore too.
Like many collectors, I have “the secret list”, hidden from my partner, which itemises every watch I would buy if I got six lucky lottery numbers on a Saturday night. “Safari”, “Navy” and “Diver” are all variants of the Offshore on the list and an Offshore with a horn-back leather strap would be carefully cherished if my “lucky dip” proved successful.
My AP Edward Piguet Chronograph was purchased to celebrate my fortieth birthday and as a result I have a sentimental attachment to this timepiece.
However, my personal attachment aside, I think other wearers will value the tasteful understatement and the elegance conveyed by its exquisite lines.
I doubt the appeal of this watch will fade with time, I hope my son wears this timepiece on his fortieth birthday and my love for Edward and our relationship will endure forever.