Monday, 1 February 2010

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!!! We have a Winner!! the AP ROO BUMBLEBEE!! My 1st & last watch for 2010 ;)

look at the stars... look how they shine for you... and everything dat u do... yeah they were all yellow... ~ coldplay
it just fits so well together... the sheen of the ceramic bezel, the glint of the steel screws, the matte textured forged carbon body... its one sexy beast...

BUMBLEBEE!!! uhm or the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore with Forged Carbon Case and Ceramic Bezel... (i'll stick with its unofficial nick ;) 26176FO.OO.D101CR.01/02... 01 dial is non-lume and has 157 units out there, 02 dial is the lume version and is being made and bought and sold right now ;) mines an 02 dial which is all good :)

Before I talk more about the Bumblebee ROO, i wanted to point out that I am a ROO lover. the ROOs are just the best luxury sports watches [read this] out there and why buy a watch from another brand that was set out to be a ROO challenger or is a ROO wannabe? buy the real deal i say... i've been spoilt before too... i really loved the black themes and enjoyed ownership of it. but due to my grail quest, my black themes was sacrificed on the altar of the antiqua ;) that watch though was really really excellent on the hornback with white stitch i had it on. so in my hunt for a new ROO i did consider it again but having owned it before, i thought it wise to try something different, something a lil more exotic... jus a lil ;)

RIP my black themes... gone but not forgotten ;) still beautiful in my eyes...

So what does this ROO lover consider to be the best ROOs out there? mind you noting that there are ALOT of em! loads of regular editions, unlimited limited editions, limited productions et al...

(prices are my estimates and are noted in Singapore Dollar$ as at early Feb 2010. note these aren't official and dealers/sellers can ask for anything they want to ask for...)

1. Black Themes (Priced around S$22k new, Pre-owned around S$18k depending on condition) [Less than S$25k category - It wins out for me against the other themes and new regular editions (Around S$22-23k new), steel rubberclads (S$17+k-20), Navy, Safari, Volcano (Around S$24 BNIB), older ROOs, Scubas (Around S$18k) etc] Pricing information: Depending on condition in the pre-owned market the Regular Eds could go for S$17+k to 20ish. The Limited Productions(LP) typically go for S$21-24 in BNIB or LNIB condition depending on model.

2. Bumblebee (Priced around S$38k new) [S$25-50k - It wins out for me against the Kill Bill(Jalan Bukit Bintang) (Around low to mid S$30s from high 30s), Orchard Rd La Boutique (Around S$40), Rosegold Rubberclad (Around S$40-42 new and mid-high 30s pre-owned), Alinghi Polaris (High S$20s to Low S$30s), Sincere, RO La Boutique NY (in the low 40s), Ginza (High S$30s), Las Vegas (Around mid S$30s from 40s), Masato (Mid to High S$30s), Singapore GP (High S$40s), Montoya (Around S$50k), Shaq LE (Mid to High S$30s), T3, etc]

3. Rubens Barichello II Ti (Priced around S$64-69k) [S$50-100k - It wins out for me against the Team Alinghi (Around S$50k, note it was once in the low to high 60s), Survivor(Low to Mid S$50s from high 50s a couple of months back), GP, RBIII, Don Ramon etc]

4. End of Days (Priced around S$50 to 60+k depending on provenance and condition) [S$50-100k including the Perp Calendars, Arnold All Stars, Ginza Rose, Team Alinghi Rose, RBII RG, other LE RGs etc]

5. Carbon Concept (Priced around S$300k if i'm not mistaken...but it depends) [>S$100k - It wins out for me against the Tourbillon LEs, other Concepts, the LE RGs that are above S$100k, RB2 Plat, TA Plat, and all the other Plat and Blingy ones etc]

definitely one of the BEST ever... RB2 Ti

other than bumblebee, another ceramic bezel, forged carbon watch is the concept carbon which costs A LOT more! wowza!

[ click to read the rest of the post... expand or collapse ]

Initial impressions... read about it here

I think my first thoughts were slightly dismissive of this piece as i put it in a head to head with the End of Days... but i have since seen the error of my ways. this piece stands by itself and does so beautifully. the more i see it the more i realise that it is a wholly excellent ROO and it needs to be seen in the forged carbon to really know how good it is...

Some specs... 42mm case diameter... ~15mm stack height...

hand finished in-house base calibre sits inside it...

its true... look how they shine for you... look how they shine for you... look how they shine for you...

raphmeister takes on the bumblebee... so whats the deal with ceramic? its much harder than steel for one thing... how about forged carbon? its a proprietary process by AP that uses high heat and A LOT of pressure to make something unique and special...



double AP deployant clasp in bead blasted titanium with a pvd'ed end... sweet... the baby hornback... not as proper as hornbacks of old where the leather was tougher and the horn was higher... i prefer the older hornback straps as they felt like straps for men... this feels a bit more wimpier but it ain't that bad :) its more comfortable but not as fierce as the older hornback is all...


& the verdict? its my first and last watch purchase of 2010 and thats saying something :) hope u enjoyed this take on the ROO and the BumbleBee. cheers, raph

[To see a cool-ish video on how its made... go to AP Website via this Link]


Anonymous said...

Gongratulations Raph!

Fantastic choice indeed!!

raphael too said...

thanks mate :)

wearing this to work most of this week n realise i need work shirts to match it :) hmm... maybe more white n grey shirts..

Stefano said...

Congrats Raph!

Really nice ROO, but I'm not sure it'll be your only piece for 2010. I find that hard to believe ;-)

Go and get yourself some yellow shirts :-D

raphael too said...

Hey Stefano, thanks mate. u have a very nice ROO yourself.

definitely my only piece for 2010 on pain of death! my wife has limits and so does my bank account :)

Yellow shirts!!! another mate suggested a bee suit... righto ;)


Anonymous said...

Hey Raph,

Where is the best place to get a ROO in Singapore now? I mean which shop has the best selection and offers generous discount? I am looking to buy one when i get back to Singapore soon...

raphael too said...

hi there, i am not an authority on watch dealers and can only recommend those i have had good deals with in the past. note when i say good deals it does not necessarily mean the price was the best but it was good (to great ;) and the transaction went well.

For AP ROOs i would check in with watcharena at balestier. their link can be found on my side bar under 'fave brands and retailers'. they have a decent range and you can ask if they don't have a piece advertised as they will likely get more and other pieces in future. what piece are u looking for?

uhm for authorised dealers, it depends on your relationship with them but generally their pricing can't match with the non-authorised ones.

hope this helps. cheers, raph

darth-khips said...

welcome to the bee club!! great choice for reasons we spoke about.

congrats, and NEVER say its the last piece for the year or books closed, watch out for saturday morning pics....

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for answering my questions, Raph.

Since it will be my first AP, i am most likely not getting a limited ROO. I am thinking of a Black themes in bracelet, Volcano or this

I saw that there was a black themes available at watcharena recently but it has been sold...Maybe i should make a trip down to see what they have in store?

Anonymous said...

And i am also interested in the ROO Diver. I am wondering when will it hit our shores

raphael too said...

thanks darth... unlike some, my books are not like 7-11... "always close but never closed" ;) have a good cny.

cheers, raph

raphael too said...

Hi Anonymous,

The choices you mentioned are all fine. If u r Singapore based, other than watcharena, u can also check with Kenneth Chen at VIP Hotel on what he has or Hobbylink at Far East Plaza as they both stock a fair number of ROOs.

Going by past years deliveries, the diver could be out around Q3 this year so u may want to hold out for that if that calls to you more but i don't know for certain. Hth.


Unknown said...


raphael too said...

Thanks Michael :)

Just a fyi for folks reading this post. i popped into an AD today and list is S$32,800 for the normal steel ROO iirc. for folks off the street i think the discount quoted is 20% so u're looking at above S$26k.

cheers, raph

Anonymous said...

Hi Raph,

after reading your post and your watchbuying guide, I decided to get the Bumble bee as well - I too have bought my last watch of 2010 ! :D

Holding it in the flesh (or should i say Carbon?!), its really so much sweeter than the other ROO's ! thanks for influencing my choice :D

raphael too said...

Hi Anonymous
First off congrats to u on a great catch for this year.
uhm about that last watch bit... i may have one more in mind (umm other than those others that moved around this year :)
a lot of great ROOs out there and some say too many, some say good that theres a choice so folks can find one that best for em. whats important is when we are able to get the ones that call to us most.
do enjoy yours in the best of health.
cheers, raph

Bwana-Indio said...

Before purchasing my "Bumble Bee" ROO, was doing a little research and stumbled across your post.

I bought one back in March...Since then:


This is the best every-day Luxoury watch I've owned thus far. It can really handle the rigors of my profession and still looks the part when out on the town.

The "stealthy" aspect (looks Casioish to the untrained eye) is great too when traveling in sketchy areas - one would think a robber would take your friend's gold-tone Seiko before considering this one! Then again, I've been out drinking and had guys say "whoa, is that one of those Bumble Bee watches???"

No other watch in my collection can "self-contrast" as well as this one...And no other watch is as comfortable.

Great review and thanks! (AP owes you a sales commission!! LOL)

Anonymous said...

More than 3 years on, how is your Bumble Bee :) I am thinking of getting a forged carbon ROO myself but I read the forged carbon may chaft easily. Do you have a recent shot of your Bumble Bee to share?

raphael too said...

my bubble bee is gone mate :) long time ago. I realised I couldn't hold on to it as it's not wearable during work days for me in a bank coz of the colors.
my understanding is the earlier carbon pieces weren't too good but bumble bee onwards it was supposed to be much better but I can't say for sure not owning one. cheers

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