The new Royal Oak Offshore Diver from Audemars Piguet has its Vickers in a delicious new twist. Last year they produced the Royal Oak Offshore Diver in black carbon, this year they have released a pristine white version in 1850 Vickers (hardness) Super White Ceramic, 40% more resistant to scratches than last year’s 1830 Vickers black version.
Water-resistant to 300m and protected by an anti-magnetic inner case with a light but high strength titanium caseback, the model’s case-back screws, intermediate bolts and hexagonal screws secure the case like a submarine hatch. The Diver is equipped with a time pre-selection device that is in compliance with the NIHS 92-11 norm.
Because white ceramics are 9 times harder than steel, the manufacture of these components is a particularly complex and lengthy process. It takes around 12 hours to make the case middle, compared with 1 � hours if it were in steel; 8 hours to make the bezel, compared with 45 minutes if it were in steel. Satin-brushing and polishing finishes on this super tough surface were therefore made all the more difficult to execute.
The inner bezel is rotated by a unidirectional ratcheted mechanism linked to a crown at 10 o’clock. This mechanism reinforces the technical nature of the model. When the crown is screwed in again, there is no risk of inadvertently modifying the dive time.
The watch runs on the Audemars Piguet calibre 3120 with an engraved 22k gold rotor. It’s a providing 60 hours of power reserve. Available only in Audemars Piguet boutiques, The Royal Oak Offshore Diver White Ceramic will retail at $23,900.