Saturday, 3 March 2007

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team

After a long wait and fun tease by Thomas (AP Forum Moderator at thepurists) ... the Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team Chronograph has arrived. My initial thoughts are that its beastly. The look of the forged carbon case material is very interesting indeed, having only seen it before in the base plate of a Richard Mille. For some reason this watch has led to an overload in my mind about AP and its numerous limited editions, questions on whether they have lost their way or overmilked the cow which I will address another time. For now...

My likes
- Caseback is nice :)
- The use of forged carbon material so extensively is interesting
- Countdown counter is cool and alinghi logo is always nice
- Main numerals are pretty nice

My dislikes
- Hour and minute hands don't quite cut it for me. Too fatty and the shapes just out
- No end links looks weird and cheapens the strap somehow
- For the whole forged carbon version, the hexagonal screws aren't distinctive and I wish that they were slightly more so
- The in situ pics of the forged carbon makes it look a dirty dark gray and not a darker color closer to black(which is what it looks like in the press pics) and the dirty gray with the texture-y look of the material doesn't do anything for me. Looks like a dark concrete mix in a way
- The markers around the edge of the dial make it look a little busy

Other versions
- Rose gold version doesn't look that great in the press pics due to the dial failings but will have to see more to decide
- Platinum looks pretty decent but is way overpriced. Too bad they couldn't come out with a stainless steel version or titanium one if weight is such an important factor.

My take is that the Alinghi Polaris dial has got some things going for it that could have been retained.

If I had a chance to better the Team Alinghi watch, I would release a white metal cased version in stainless steel or titanium with the forged carbon bezel and white metal hexagonal screws, kept the end links and modified the old rubber strap if you want to jazz it up a little but kept with having a deployant clasp with it and sold it with an additional tang buckle (hey it is a limited edition no?). For the dial I would have different hour and minute hands and different subdial pointers. The markers along the edge of the dial would be cleaned up too. Chrono pushers could be nicer too. Ok thats all for my critique of the watch.

I am sure that the boys out there with the proper boutique and AD connections have theirs on order and are awaiting delivery in a few months time. All the best to future owners and one thing that AP did achieve with this is that it will definitely get noticed and we know that there is only one way the price of this is going...

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