Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

The 30th anniversary of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore (ROO) collection is an excellent time to think seriously about how good this watch is as a collector’s item. An essential aspect of this subject is mechanical Swiss made replica watches with complications.

The ROO is special because the collection was created as an automatic chronograph, and the large number of references with this complication puts other complications in the shade.

So in this part of my Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshorepedia, I’ve tried to collect AAA US fake watches with alternative functions, ranked from simplest to most complex.

So let’s get started…

It all started with the first option in terms of complexity of watch mechanics: the Royal Oak Offshore Automatic Triple Date Ref. 25807 with full (or triple) calendar function. As the name of this function suggests, the dial must have three calendar displays, namely the date, the day of the week and the month.

This combination of displays was very popular in wristwatches in the mid-20th century, which is why collectors nicknamed this model ‘Vintage’. A fitting nickname, as the vintage APs from the mid-20th century had the same arrangement of displays, with day and month apertures at the top of the dial and a central date hand. The ROO Automatic Triple Date has been in production since 1996.

Sometimes it is also called ROO Automatic Full Calendar or ROO Automatic Triple Calendar, but these discrepancies do not matter much, as the official name of the model is simpler: Royal Oak Offshore Automatic.

The automatic caliber 2127/2827, based on the Jaeger-LeCoultre 891 movement-blank (used primarily in the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar models), is responsible for timekeeping and the calendar function, but does not have a moonphase as its historical predecessor. 

From 1996, the Ref. 25807 with stainless steel or yellow gold bracelet (Ref. 25807BA.OO.1010BA.01) was included in the catalog. According to AP Chronicles, only 13 examples of the very rare Ref. 25807OR.OO.1010OR.01 in rose gold have been sold since 1997, and 18 examples of the equally rare Ref. 25807BC.OO.1010BC.01 in white gold and a 25807SB in blackened steel have also been sold since 1998.

There is no evidence that the latter three models ever appeared on the secondary market.

In addition to these bracelet versions, leather strap versions with a traditional two-lug case also appeared in 1996 – these models are commonly known as reference 25808 – Ref. 25808BA.OO.0009.01 in yellow gold and Ref. 25808ST.OO.0009.01 in stainless steel. AP Chronicles states that these two basic models were sold from 1996 to 2007, with a total production of 1,116 pieces of reference 25807 and 680 pieces of reference 25808.

AP Chronicles also mentions an early variant of the 25808 with a dark blue dial that was given the thin hands and indices typical of Royal Oak instead of the broad hands and indices of the basic Royal Oak Offshore design.

Apparently, this version is very rare as I could not find a single example that has appeared on the market.  

1996: Royal Oak Offshore Automatic Triple Date Ref. 25808ST.OO.D009.01, stainless steel, diameter 38 mm, automatic movement, leather strap

The more familiar ROO strap design with the attachment by two small bracelet links considered classic today, did not appear on the perfect replica watches until later, in 2007. In addition to the straight ROO Automatic Triple Date models with a dark blue dial, several ‘summer’ editions with colorful dials and a leather strap matching the dial have been produced since 1997.

This was the first experience of this kind in the Audemars Piguet collection; a total of five ‘summer’ editions were released, including orange (Royal Oak Offshore Automatic Triple Date Orange Ref. 25808ST.OO.0009.02), yellow (Ref. 25808ST.OO.0009.03), ‘Aubergine’ (Ref. 25808ST.OO.0009.04), ‘Turquoise’ (Ref. 25808ST.OO.0009.06) and green (Ref. 25808ST.OO.0009.08). 

Interestingly, there are no references ending with 05 and 07 – I wonder for which colors were they reserved?  

1997: Royal Oak Offshore Automatic Triple Date Green Ref. 25808ST.OO.0009.08, stainless steel

The 38 mm case of this luxury copy watches suggests that it fits both men’s and women’s wrists. The decision to opt for the ROO Automatic Triple Date instead of the normal 42 mm diameter ROO Chronograph was apparently made by the connoisseurs of this collection, for whom a wristwatch with a large 42 mm diameter case was unacceptably large.  

1997: Royal Oak Offshore ‘Hong Kong’ Limited Edition Ref. 25852ST, stainless steel, limited edition of 97 pieces

Size is especially important in Asia, where smaller top replica watches are traditionally preferred. This is probably the reason why all three limited special editions of the ROO Automatic Triple Date were intended for the Asian market.

The first limited edition was issued in 1997 to mark the handover of Hong Kong to China. A very rare design feature was the day and month in Chinese and the commemorative inscription ‘Hong Kong July 1, 1997’ engraved on the caseback. The edition consisted of 19 watches in rose gold (Ref. 25852BA) and 97 watches in stainless steel (Ref. 25852ST), which make up the number 1997.  

1998: Royal Oak Offshore ‘Nagano Olympic Games’ Limited Edition Ref. 25887ST.OO.1010ST.01, stainless steel, limited edition of 97 pieces

In 1998, a 98-piece special edition was released in honor of the Winter Olympics in Nagano (Japan) – the reference 25887 in stainless steel. The super clone watches wholesale hardly differed from the standard reference 25807ST, but was given a blue ‘Yves Klein’ dial. For a collector, this is a very significant difference and perhaps accounts for much of the appeal of this version.

It is also worth noting that the reference 25807ST does not have a commemorative engraving in Nagano’s honor on the caseback, as one would expect; instead, there are only the words ‘Limited Edition’ and the number of the piece in the limited series next to the standard engraving.

AP Chronicles reports that the watch is said to be engraved with the autograph of Italian alpine skier Alberto Tomba, who has been an Audemars Piguet ambassador since 1997, but I couldn’t find a single example with such an engraving. It is most likely a design that was planned but not realized. I would like to know Mr. Tomba’s opinion on this incident.

2007: Royal Oak Offshore ‘Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2007’ Limited Edition Ref. 26131OR.OO.D002CR.01, rose gold, 50 pieces

Production of the Swiss movements replica Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Automatic Triple Date watches was generally discontinued in the early 2000s, but in 2007 there was a completely unexpected rebirth of the ‘vintage’ ROO – Royal Oak Offshore Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2007 watch.

The occasion for the release of this watch was the horse race that has been held in Hong Kong since 1975, when Her Majesty visited the city and the event was then under her patronage. The Queen’s Cup has been held annually since then and has been supported by Audemars Piguet since 1999. The brand usually launches a special limited edition watch to mark the occasion.

In 2007, the special Queen’s Cup watch was this ‘Vintage’ ROO in rose gold – Ref. 26131, which was issued in a limited edition of 50 pieces. It was fitted with a leather strap that was not attached with two lugs, but with two small links of the ROO bracelet. Apchronicles mentions QE II Cup 2007 Ref. 26130 unique piece, but apart from this mention, I have not been able to find any information about this watch.

This concludes the story of this complication in the ROO collection; no further ROOs with triple calendars were produced by Audemars Piguet.

Turning to the next complication, whose original source was also the Jaeger-LeCoultre manufacture, a long-standing partner and supplier of movements to Audemars Piguet, albeit now less and less. We are talking about caliber 2229/2845, a scaled-down version of caliber 929, the movement of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Geographic. We normally find this movement in classic round watches from Audemars Piguet and in Royal Oak fake watches site.

1997: Royal Oak Offshore Dual Time ‘Hong Kong’ Edition Ref. 25970ST.OO.1010ST.01, stainless steel, limited edition of 100 pieces

Of all the ROOs, I could only find two models with this caliber. The first is the extremely rare 1997 special edition issued to celebrate the accession of Hong Kong – a counterpart to the Ref. 25852ST I mentioned here earlier. The ROO Dual Time ‘Hong Kong’ looks like an attractive collector’s item with its salmon pink dial, stainless steel case and bracelet.  

The ROO Dual Time line continued in 2003 with the Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi 2003 Commemorative Edition, released in honor of the Alinghi yacht team and their victory in the 2003 America’s Cup. The America’s Cup is an event held all over the world, so it seems very fitting that cheap replica watches dedicated to it has a zone time display.

Another interesting feature of this edition is the unusual combination of materials for ROOs of this era: the case and bracelet are made of titanium, while the bezel is made of platinum. 

1997: Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 25854OR.OO.1150OR.01, rose gold

Of all the ROOs, the models with double complications are perhaps the rarest to see. They combine the original Dubois-Dépraz chronograph module with a perpetual calendar, both running on the automatic base caliber 2226 supplied by Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC 889). This is the second generation of the base caliber for ROO.

It should also be mentioned that both the chronograph and perpetual calendar modules are manufactured by Dubois Dépraz, a longtime supplier of chronograph and calendar modules for the ROO collection.

The perpetual calendar has a traditional dial structure with symmetrically arranged four sub-counters and a rare moonphase pointer display, which gives the fake watches shop an unusual appearance. Even more unusual is another subtle detail: as the small seconds hand is slightly offset downwards, the developers at Dubois Dépraz had to move the date display combined with it downwards in the same way.

The Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph was launched in 1997 in the original Ref. 25854OR.OO.1150OR.01 in rose gold with a blue dial and Ref. 25854BC.OO.1150BC.01 in white gold with a blue dial. this was followed in 1998 by a stainless-steel version with a blue dial (Ref. 25854ST.OO.1150ST.01), which was joined in 1999 by perhaps the most popular titanium model with a silver-white dial (Ref. 25854TI.OO.1150TI.01).

Antiquorum reports that at one point, Audemars Piguet offered its customers the option of replacing the original silvery beveled outer tachymeter ring with an orange ring when servicing the titanium watch. This ‘orange’ version appears from time to time. In general, reference 25854 is rarely offered on the market.

Based on the existing numbering of the known examples, we can assume that the total production run was between 100 and 200 pieces.

2008: Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Rubberclad ‘Restivo’ Ref. 26262OK.OO.1150CA.01, rose gold, black rubber, limited edition of 25 pieces

The perpetual calendar line was continued in 2008 with a limited edition of 25 pieces of the ROO Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Rubberclad ‘Restivo’ in rose gold with a black rubber-coated bezel and black rubber strap, which was produced for the Restivo, Audemars Piguet agent in Italy.  

2013: Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 26209TI.OO.D101CR.01, titanium, limited edition of 35 pieces

In 2013, the year of the 20th anniversary of the Swiss AAA replica Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore collection watches, the ROO Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 26209, second-generation models equipped with the automatic caliber 2326/2839 (base movement by Jaeger-LeCoultre, perpetual calendar and chronograph module by Dubois Dépraz).

It should be noted that by this time, however, most ROO models had already been converted to Audemars Piguet’s in-house basic caliber 3120 (in the modification, it is referred to as 3126 as the base chronograph caliber). This process began in 2008 with the ROO Survivor and the ROO Singapore Grand Prix Chronograph, while the ROO Perpetual Calendar Chronograph still used the base caliber 2326 in 2013.  

2013: Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 26209PT.OO.D305CR.01, platinum, limited edition of 10 pieces

The lack of a newer caliber was hardly noticeable, however, as the fake watches store was given a solid, second-generation ROO caseback with a medallion in the center embossed with the Royal Oak Offshore logo.

Unlike the original, non-limited versions of reference 25854, the 26209 edition was limited. This applies to all three versions: Ref. 26209PT.OO.D305CR.01 in platinum with a blue dial (10 pieces), Ref. 26209OR.OO.D101CR.01 in rose gold with a black dial (25 pieces) and Ref. 26209TI.OO.D101CR.01 in titanium with a black dial (35 pieces).

As we can see, this triple edition is even rarer than the 25854, and this watch is almost impossible to find on the market.

It is also known that in 2013, the Ref. 26214ST.OO.1150ST.01 ‘Pour Rocco’ was produced as a one-off in stainless steel with a black dial.

2005: Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Polaris Limited Edition Ref. 26040ST.OO.D002CA.01, steel, diameter 42 mm, platinum bezel, automatic movement, limited edition of 2000 pieces

After gaining experience with calendar and GMT complications in the early 2000s, the company’s management apparently decided that the chronograph function was still the most important for ROO. Perhaps this is why, in addition to the standard self-winding 2126/2840 chronograph movement and its clones, two special versions of chronograph movements were developed at the time, which appeared in special editions launched in collaboration with the Alinghi yacht team.

The focus was on the function of a regatta chronograph enabling timekeeping during a regatta and especially at the start. The first version, the automatic caliber 2326/2847 (based on the Jaeger-LeCoultre 896), had a flyback chronograph function that could be used to quickly restart timekeeping.

The movement also had an additional central 10-minute counter, which was intended for timekeeping at the pre-start of a regatta. 

The ROO Alinghi Polaris replica watches for men equipped with this caliber were fitted with an inner dial bezel. This technical development, which was carried out at the time, was most likely also intended for the ROO Scuba (later ROO Diver) line, the first examples of which also appeared in 2005.

In the ROO Alinghi Polaris, which was also launched in 2005, this scale served a dual purpose: together with a dive timer, it could be used as a solar compass – that is why the cardinal points were marked on the scale.

As with the ROO Scuba/Diver, this scale was also turned with the crown at the 10 o’clock position. The ROO Alinghi Polaris was produced in a limited edition of 2000 pieces (Ref. 26040ST), and in 2007 a special Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Polaris ‘Team Watch’ Ref. 26074ST.OO.D002CA.01 was produced in an edition of 40 pieces for the members of the Alinghi team who were defending the America’s Cup that year.  

2007: Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team Chronograph Ref. 26062FS.OO.A002CA.01, forged carbon composite, diameter 44 mm, automatic movement, limited edition of 1300 pieces
The second special chronograph movement for ROOs was released in 2007, the same year that the Alinghi team (successfully) defended the America’s Cup. Compared to the previous caliber 2326/2847, the changes in the new mechanism were minimal – instead of the central hand of the regatta 10-minute counter, a disc with 10-minute markers was placed under the dial.

For this reason, the caliber designation was replaced with 2326/2848, but in design and execution, the changes can only be described as fantastic. If you had to put together a ROO dream team from the last 30 years, the Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team Chronograph 2007 would definitely be one of them.

The ace up Audemars Piguet’s sleeve was a new technology for producing case parts from forged carbon fiber composite material, which not only resulted in very robust components with a low weight, but also an unusual appearance due to the spotty surface texture that is unique to each example – this is a large part of the appeal of this China fake watches.

2007: Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team Chronograph, rose gold and forged carbon fiber composite bezel (Ref. 26062OR.OO.A002CA.01, 600 pieces) or platinum and forged carbon fiber composite bezel (Ref. 26062PT.OO.A002CA.01, 107 pieces)

On the back cover of the case there is a medallion with a relief image of the Alinghi Team yacht sailing.  

In addition to the all-carbon fiber chronograph, gold and platinum versions were also released, both featuring a bezel made of forged carbon fiber composite material. The Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team Chronograph, which won the Sports Watch category at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) in 2007, remains just as impressive and unique many years later.

It is unclear why Audemars Piguet decided not to continue this line, which seemed and still seems promising. In this situation, there is a clear advantage for the collector: a piece from the unique triple edition of the ROO Alinghi Team Chronograph is a real gift.  

2013: Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication, rose gold, white and black ceramic (Ref. 26571RO.OO.A010CA.01, 3 pieces), titanium and black ceramic (Ref. 26571.IO.OO.A002CA.01, 3 pieces), diameter 44 mm, self-winding movement  

The 2010s were a golden age for ROO with very complex movements. This is when ROO becomes really sophisticated. In 2013, Audemars Piguet celebrated the 20th anniversary of the ROO collection with the release of the Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication, the most complex ROO ever.

Audemars Piguet has a unique tradition of producing replica watches online with three or, if you count the split-seconds chronograph as two functions, four main complications – a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar and a chronograph with split-seconds . Watches with such a set of complications are usually referred to as a Grande Complication, which in this case is a clearly defined technical term.

The tradition of producing Grande Complication fake watches with Swiss movements can be traced back to the early years of Audemars Piguet. Currently, there is information that the very first Audemars Piguet Grande Complication pocket watch was produced in 1882, just seven years after the company was founded, as evidenced by an entry in the factory register.

Furthermore, Audemars Piguet has a unique status as a master of the ultra-complex Grande Complication, as the company has never stopped producing such watches since 1882, first as pocket watches and since 1995 as wristwatches. 

The ROO Grande Complication was released in 2013 in four versions, each in a limited edition of 3 pieces: in titanium with black ceramic (Ref. 26571.IO.OO.A002CA.01) or with black and white ceramic (Ref. 26571IO.OO.A010CA.01) and in rose gold with black ceramic (Ref. 26571.RO.GG.A002.CA.01) or with black and white ceramic (Ref. 26571RO.OO.A010CA.01).  

2017: Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication Ref. 26571TI.GG.A027CA.01, all-titanium model, 3 pieces 

The best quality replica Audemars Piguet ROO Grande Complication watches is powered by the automatic caliber 2885, which has been developed and produced by the brand in close collaboration with Dubois Dépraz since 1996.

It’s worth highlighting that technical changes and improvements have been constantly made during this time. In particular, the ROO Grande Complication uses the so-called semi-skeletonized version of this movement, which first appeared in the brand’s collection in 2004.

Its special features are the openworked and partially skeletonized modules for the perpetual calendar and the minute repeater, which are traditionally placed on the dial side, as well as the skeletonized automatic winding bridge on the back of the movement.

We find such movements in particular in the ROO Grande Complication from 2013 and in later versions, for example in the gold references 26571OR.OO.A002.CA.01 (rose gold, 3 pieces) and 26571.BC.OO.A002 .CA.01 (white gold, 3 pieces) from 2015, as well as in the references 26571TI.GG.A027CA.01 (3 pieces) in sandblasted titanium from 2017 and the Ref. 26571OR.OO.A027CA.01.99 piece unique, which was launched in the same year and is made entirely of rose gold, including winding crown and split chronograph pushers.  

2018: Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication, all-ceramic Ref. 26582CE.OO.A002CA.01 (black ceramic) and Ref. 26582CB.OO.A010CA.01 (white ceramic)

The Royal Oak Offshore is a sporty watch with an innovative spirit. It is therefore not surprising that Audemars Piguet has been experimenting with materials since the early days of the ROO Grande Complication line. In 2013, for example, high-tech ceramic in black and white was used for the first time to manufacture some components of the ROO Grande Complication.

In 2015, the line of ultra-complex ROOs was complemented by 1:1 top fake watches in rose and white gold, which emphasized the dominance of gold, while only the crown and chronograph pushers were made of black ceramic. To mark the 25th anniversary of the ROO collection, Audemars Piguet introduced new all-ceramic versions of the ROO Grande Complication in 2018.

The caseband, bezel, caseback, crown, chronograph pushers and protective covers for the chronograph pushers are made from black or white ceramic. Particularly resistant types of high-tech ceramic are used in their manufacture – yttrium oxide is added to black ceramic and aluminum oxide (i.e. corundum) to white ceramic.

Unlike all other ROO Grande Complication models, these two references are available in white and black ceramic without limitation, and both can still be found in the Audemars Piguet catalog today. It is de facto limited by the natural constraints of producing these ultra-complicated best Swiss replica watches, so annual production is unlikely to exceed a few examples.

Interestingly, the other two Grande Complications in the Royal Oak collection are also offered exclusively in ceramic, white or black.

To conclude this complications chapter of Offshorepedia, I note that I have intentionally omitted the dual complication models with tourbillon and chronograph as these deserve their own chapter.

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