Mexico City is one of the watch capitals of the world. Regardless of the crime wave that has hit the country over the last 15 years, hardcore watch collectors trade pieces and buy/sell watches on a regular basis. Last time we visited Mexico City, we decided to call one of our favorite watch dealers in the city and pay him a visit. We still remember like it was yesterday when we purchased our first Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo A-Series from him back in 1998. After a candid conversation about timepieces and while we were getting ready to leave, he mentioned that he had a small surprise for us before we took off. As we walked down the busy streets of downtown Mexico City in his company, he escorted us into a historical building near the 'Zocalo' —Mexico City's city square.
After walking into the building we were greeted by the most beautiful 'Talavera' tile floor and a very antique lift that we decided to skip. As we walked four flights up, little did we know what he had in store for us.
As we approached one of the doors on the fourth floor of the building he said: "you are about to meet my favorite watchmaker in the city and you are about to see something your eyes won't believe". As we walked into a small studio no bigger than 18' x 10' we meet our friend's watchmaker. Shelves with all sorts of tools, a polishing machine, a small sink and a workbench completed the space that looked like out of a movie. Sitting on top of his workbench, there were an assortment of disassembled timepieces and parts. One in particular caught our attention.
As we got closer to his bench and shook the watchmaker's hand there it was, an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26170TI.OO.1000TI.01 that had been completely disassembled sitting next to a Hublot that was in the process of being disassembled. It was a sacrilege to see these two timepieces sharing the same space.
As we started chatting with our friend's watchmaker, he started putting all the pieces from the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore in a small tray and said: "your friend here asked me to disassemble his watch and told me he had a good friend coming to take a look at it. I really didn't understand why but now I do". As the watchmaker gathered all the pieces with the exception of the clasp that was being polished, we impatiently waited to start snapping some pictures.
Not very often one is greeted by a good friend this way. Now, it's time to take a very close look at one of the most fascinating chronographs out there. Ladies and gentlemen just for your viewing pleasure may we present to you a disassembled Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26170TI.OO.1000TI.01 in titanium. As you will see in the pictures, the dial was still attached to the gorgeous Audemars Piguet calibre 3126/3840.
For those of you already thinking on replicating this photo shoot, please keep in mind that if you ever tamper with your watch while it's still under warranty, you will void any warranty from Audemars Piguet. Furthermore, if you are not a watchmaker, you can cause serious damage to the watch and to bring it back to its original appearance and working condition won't be cheap. As always, we only recommend the Audemars Piguet Service Centers to perform any work on their watches. Do not take any chances and think twice before opening that Royal Oak Offshore of yours that has been on your wrist since 2012.
We really hope you enjoyed this experience that could only come from a place like Mexico City where Audemars Piguet is the watch of choice among the most savvy and affluent watchlifestylers. As a reference, we ran into more than thirty APs in one week and even on the flight back home, we added another three to the list.
For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.