The Royal Oak Offshore, nicknamed the Beast, is a grail to many. D-Series serial numbers designate this beast as one of the first 200 examples ever to have been produced. These very rare, very early production pieces had some unique processes in their dial production resulting in a highly varied patination. Although there are just 200 in existence, occasionally you see one surface in the market. What you almost never see, though, is one like this.
The Offshore was penned by Emmanuel Gueit, a then young designer at AP. He was brought over by Omega’s Stephen Urquhart to help renovate Genta’s icon. He created a Royal Oak to be worn by adventurers and explorers. The Offshore he created was a little more nuanced than just a larger case. The update included a more robust bracelet, a chronograph, and Therban® rubber detail. In addition, the movement switched to a more robust JLC cal 888 chronograph. Antimagnetic caging added an additional bit of height to the case. Those small changes created a very different attitude to the proportion. What AP released was a Royal Oak on anabolics. Initially heavily criticized, the design has aged graceful. I think today it looks as good as it ever has.
Crucially, the Royal Oak’s signature Tapisserie dial remained. Production changed though. The new Offshore manufacture process, for the first thousand or so, had a few kinks. In the years since its 1993 production, this dial has gone from a light navy to a wild golden honeycomb. This doesn’t happen to all pieces but just those whose owners used them regularly in sun and heat. I love that this piece has lived a life and not been shut in some bank deposit box. The case shows wear but presents strong shape, unpolished as far as I can see. The bracelet is only lightly marked, with no deep gouges. It’s what I’d look for in an Offshore. Just be sure you have your gym membership set up before you start wearing it.
Find this 25721ST here from seller Perusia Watches in Italy for 31000 EUR.