Friday, March 2, 2007

Audemars Piguet - The Royal Oak Offshore 2007 Team Alinghi Chronograph


After all the hype and anticipation the news is finally out the AP's 2007 Team Alinghi ROO Chrono is finally here. Well I was never a huge fan of AP ROO's, but for me the initially response is definitely a positive one & I think it was well deserved. This design is truly out there more bold & out there compared to rather docile to all other more recent rehashed ROO's. This is a watch that will be honestly polarizing where you will either love it (or at least over time learn how to) or hate it. I have to say this one just might be that one piece that finally pushes me into the dark AP side.

Lightness and resistance were the key goals targeted both by the Alinghi architects and by the creators of the Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team chronograph, which is why the choice material for both was carbon. The watchmakers in Le Brassus discovered and employed a totally new concept applying forging technology to machining carbon resulting in forged carbon. "It's superior mechanical performances and chemical stability, combined with excellent shock-resistance and lightness, determined the choice of forged carbon as the most innovative material suited for it.


In this revolutionary machining of the bezel & case dies, housing a few centimetres of carbon wire pieces results in each part being truly unique. This "forged carbon" material produces an ultra-light 44mm sized chronograph (with the forged carbon version weighs an astonishing 100 grams).



The special design details has been applied this Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team chronograph an exceptional & very different ROO model. The dial features all specific Alighni sailing accents: the color red surrounds both the counter at 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock which all incorporate the openworked hand in shape of ship's prow (or some would say "Star Trek" element), while the red Alinghi logo stands at the 3 o'clock position.


The countdown aperture appears in the right-hand upper part of the dial. It counts off the minutes prior to the start of a regatta (10 + 1 minute) and gradually becomes red as it approaches the start time for the race.

The ceramic pushers, forged carbon crown guards and the crown itself form a homogeneous whole that is seamlessly integrated with the case making it appear much wider & flowing. The same is followed in the extra wide band directly integrated with the case via the undulating pin providing a sportier look in addition to optimal comfort wear. The octagonal bezel is in addition highlighted in red with silicon joint and matching black steel screws.


The fresh details and IMO very inviting addition is all these are newly designed oversized steel buckle & the extra wide rubber strap. Finally the amazing detailed caseback which is engraved with a Alinghi team in action as a fitting tribute to the winner of the 31st America's Cup in 2003. In addition to the version distinguished by an all forged carbon case, the Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team chronograph is also available with a forged carbon bezel on a pink gold or platinum case. You can read more in depth analysis of Team Alinghi as well the real nice approach to the AP ROO background story at Horomundi.

Rose Gold

Platinum


Estimated MSRP for the each Team Alinghi model:
Carbon: ~$24,000
Rose Gold: ~$49,000
Platinum: ~$90,000

Technical specifications

References
26062FS.OO.A002CA.01: forged carbon case and bezel, black dial - limited series of 1,300
26062OR.OO.A002CA.01: 18-carat pink gold case, forged carbon bezel, black dial - limited series of 600
26062PT.OO.A002CA.01: 950 platinum case, forged carbon bezel, black and grey dial - limited series of 107.

Calibre: 2326/2848, selfwinding
Diameter: 11.5 lignes (25,60 mm)
Thickness: 7.30 mm
50 jewels
Power reserve: up to 60 hours
Cadence of the balance: 28,800 vibrations per hour
Finishing: all parts decorated by hand; plate rhodium-plated, bevelled and stippled; bridges adorned with C“tes de Gen┼áve motif

Case
Forged carbon or 18-carat pink gold or 950 platinum
Forged carbon bezel
Diameter: 44 mm
Case in PVD-coated titanium case depicting a photo of Team Alinghi and bearing the inscription Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team - Limited Edition
Ceramic pushers and crown
Bevel screws in black PVD-coated steel

Dial
Black-lacquered with central zone adorned with "Mega-ta[word removed]erie" motif - black-lacquered for carbon and pink gold models and grey-lacquered for platinum version
Luminescent or applied numerals for 18-carat pink gold and platinum versions
Alinghi logo at 3 o'clock

Strap
Vulcanised rubber strap fully integrated with the case middle, and oversized pin buckle in PVD-coated titanium, or in 18-carat pink gold, or in 950 platinum

Functions
Hours and minutes
Flyback chronograph with regatta start function (central seconds hand)
Regatta countdown function

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Daily thoughts, musings & interests about anything (mostly horology) that currently makes my soul & grey matter tick.