Review of the Audemars Piguet Chronographe Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy
Published by The Watch Observer
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A novelty at the 2011 SIHH, meet the extreme continuation of the Royal Oak!
If you think that your wrist can measure up to the Governator’s, Arnold Schwarzenegger, then this test is for you!
While this new Offshore may be the first to make a direct reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger, it is not the first collaboration between Audemars Piguet and the American star.
Indeed, Audemars Piguet has previously produced several cinematographic timepieces that were worn by Schwarzenegger in his movies.
These watches have now become highly sought-after items for collectors, the most famous of which being the “End of Days” Offshore introduced in 1999 (the first Royal Oak darkened by a PVD treatment), and the "Terminator 3" Offshore in 2003 (with its oversized push button protectors).
An Exceptional Finish
While ceramic is not a new development for Audemars Piguet, it’s worth noting that the
Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy is the first Royal Oak to be made entirely with that material.
The alternating polished, brushed and mat surfaces on the case and bezel really emphasize the
designers’ work on the Offshore casings.
Already quite virile, the watch has now gotten a major dose of testosterone: the 48 mm diameter is quite vivid, and the screwed-in handles on the shoulders look like they belong on some ultra-modern combat equipment.
Only the pink gold keys are a reminder that this watch would be more at home at a hip night club than on a battlefield.
The dial preserves the traditional Royal Oak “mega-tapestry” guilloché engraving pattern while the markers are made with pink old.
The “diamond” treatment on those markers - a type of diamond powder polish resulting in a very fine brushed finish look - provides a sumptuous lighting effect.
As is common with Audemars Piguet watches, the production quality is absolutely exceptional, and the finish and crafting of the materials on the case and dial reach the highest levels of perfection.
The aramid strap (a material used in the manufacturing of bullet-proof vests) is a perfect match for the watch.
It’s an ideal combination, both in terms of esthetic coherence, and the overall spirit of the watch itself!
A second alligator strap is also provided, but this watch expresses itself best with the aramid material.
A Radical Design
While the watch can conceivably be worn on a standard 17 cm wrist, the level of comfort is nevertheless far from ideal: the ceramic crown has a nasty tendency to dig into the top of the wrist with its sharp points.
On the design end, one thing is certain: no one will remain indifferent!
This Offshore gives off a brutal (if not straight-out violent) military-industrial luxury feel, not unlike a H1 Hummer, or a G AMG Class Mercedes, which will likely be a hit with its owners.
Once it’s on your wrist, you will immediately notice that it is a statutory piece that demands to be worn with panache.
Otherwise, you will quickly look like the watch is wearing you, and not the other way around, especially since you will not be able to hide it under your shirt sleeve!
Let’s see if this wonder’s engine is of the same caliber as its body!
While most of the new Offshore models now come equipped with the standard 3126/3840 manufacture caliber introduced more than a year ago, we were disappointed to see that this Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy comes with the old 2326/2840 caliber!
This caliber is not in and of itself a bad movement. But it is a modular caliber, based on a Jaeger-LeCoultre 899 movement to which Audemars Piguet has added a Dubois Depraz chronograph module.
First, we notice right away the modular design with a gap between the push buttons and the crown.
But most importantly, and while this is mostly psychological, the purists will always prefer a manufacture caliber that is developed right from the start as a basic chronograph supplemented with a module - especially for this price range!
Audemars Piguet has succeeded in this challenge: the Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy is the perfect incarnation of a Hollywood star watch - you’ll only need to wear it for a few hours before you’ll start feeling a little like Schwarzy himself!
It wages everything on a very successful design, and the excellence of its finish, while somewhat neglecting its watchmaking content... but do Hollywood VIP’s really worry about the movements of their watches? Probably not.
• a watch outside the norms, with a coherent design, without compromises
• the exceptional quality of its finish
• its aramid strap
• the charitable vocation of this watch (support of the After School All Star program)
• a watch that is not a good fit for small wrists
• its movement which is subpar relative to our expectations
• its high price relative to the rest of the Offshore series
• journalist’s wrist size = 17cm
• the Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy is a limited edition (1,500 copies)
Published by The Watch Observer