In my opinion the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 25721ST.00.1000ST.01 nicknamed 'The Beast' is the most beautiful sports watch ever made by Audemars Piguet. This timepiece is sporty yet very elegant and classy at the same time. A watch that goes great with a suit or with jeans and a t-shirt. My love for this particular watch dates back to the late 90's when after owning several Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks Jumbos ref. 5402 —three Stainless Steel Jumbos to be precise and several Two-Tones—, I spotted in person what would become one of my true grails and a watch that was an unattainable back then —at least for where I was in my career at 26 years of age. I still remember that very first encounter as if it was today. Back in 1998 during a high level meeting with the CEO of Grupo Televisa —the largest media conglomerate in Latin America— I noticed him wearing what I thought was the nicest AP I had ever seen. I had never seen one in person until then. My 'dream watch' —at the time— was born during that encounter. It was the first Royal Oak Offshore launched back in 1993. That Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore with the blue/grayish unmistakable dial that is now a discontinued model.
The Royal Oak Offshore ref. 25721ST.OO.1000ST.01 is very hard to find as most owners will never part with it. Before purchasing mine in 2008, I had only seen twice on other people's wrists in over 14 years. Lucky enough, my watch is from the first batch of 200 Royal Oak Offshores ever made. The case is solid and very heavy weighing 238 grams. This watch has the most beautiful 'chamfers' on any watch I've owned. The pushers and crown are wrapped with a rubber-like material called 'Therban' which is a high performance elastomer that is fireproof to very high temperatures.
The bezel is secured with eight hexagonal nuts/screws that go through the bezel and case and are fastened by screws caps (almost looking like cylinders) that come in from the case back. The protective gasket under the bezel goes all the way down inside the case. The movement is encased in a anti-magnetic casing that is visible once you remove the case back. The cover for the anti-magnetic casing is secured with four miniature screws. Before anyone can take a look at the movement inside a Royal Oak Offshore they will have to remove the case back and then the cover for the anti-magnetic casing. The owner of course, hasn't been brave enough to do that.
The bracelet is just perfection. The matte and polished finish of it couldn't be better. The construction of it is solid and very heavy. The clasp is very secure and comfortable. This particular watch comes with the first generation of Offshore clasps with a triple lock thin blade 'a la' Brevete like on the first generation of Royal Oaks.
The dial is superb with its gorgeous 'Clous de Paris Petite Tapisserie' in a blue/grayish color than can only be found on the 25721ST.OO.1000ST.01. The hands are white with luminous material and they provide the perfect contrast with the blue/grayish dial and the white numerals of the chronograph registers. This dial has seen better days as the previous owner had some damage on it before our friend purchased it. In our opinion it has extra character. Something unique about the Royal Oak Offshores is the fact that the date 'loupe' is built into the movement opposed to being built onto the dial.
To be honest, this watch is just perfection and not much else can be said about it. For me this was my one and only grail until I found it. If you can find an Offshore like this one, buy it. We are confident you won't regret it. It might be a long hunting process, but a very enjoyable one once you find this prized watch.
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