The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 'Pride of Argentina' Limited Edition ref. 26365OR.OO.D801CR.01 is one of those Offshores that didn't cause much furor or excitement when it was launched on June 2 of 2010. However, this particular watch, is one of our favorite 'country inspired' Pride Offshores —other Pride Offshores include the Pride of Mexico reviewed by us here, the Pride of Russia with an engraving of the Russian Imperial emblem of the two-headed crowned eagle, the Pride of China with The Great Wall of China engraved on its case back, the Pride of Siam honoring Thailand and the just released Pride of Indonesia— and one that is particularly hard to get —so hard to get that it took us many years to find one for this hands-on review. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 'Pride of Argentina' was released as a tribute to the Bicentenary of the 1810 May Revolution in Argentina. This limited edition piece bears a beautiful engraving of the 'Cabildo de Bueno Aires' on its case back. The Buenos Aires Cabildo is the public building in Buenos Aires that was used as seat of the 'ayuntamiento' —municipality— during the colonial times and the government house of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and where the 1810 Revolution of May started. Today, the building is used as a museum and is one of the most iconic landmarks in Buenos Aires. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 'Pride of Argentina' was released under two references, the ref. 26365IS.OO.D305CR.01 a 100-piece limited edition in titanium with stainless steel bezel and ref. 26365OR.OO.D801CR.01 which we are reviewing here in 50-piece 18K rose gold limited edition with dark brown hornback with dark blue contrast stitching.
Fitted with a deep blue dial —perhaps one of our favorite hues of blue after the one on the Royal Oak Offshore ref. 25721ST reviewed by us here and the one on the Royal Oak ref. 15202ST reviewed here— with applied satin brushed solid rose gold numerals and contrasting white hands, the 'Pride of Argentina' is for sure a stunning watch in the metal. The dial, is a true chameleon that changes its hue depending on the lighting conditions around you and even the applied rose gold numerals tend to look sometimes even silvery or whitish due to light refraction.
The watch features dark brown pushers/crown matching the brown hornback strap on it —the titanium and stainless steel reference features a dark blue hornback strap with blue stitching.
Both models feature a case back especially engraved with the inscription “Pride of Argentina – 1810-2010 – Limited Edition” and with the 'Cabildo' exceptionally executed. The box for these two limited edition watches is a true work of art itself and a reinterpretation of the Argentine flag. Hand-made by a local artisan using a traditional lacquer process, the case is made of precious wood, meticulously lacquered and varnished with the national colors. Many attempts were necessary to match the exact pantone of the Argentine flag since many variations are encountered when using solid wood. The watch is powered by the Audemars Piguet automatic calibre 2326/2840 with 40-hour power reserve.
On the wrist, the watch wears just perfect and true to its size. While many feel that having close to half a pound of gold on the wrist might be too much to handle, the case design of the Royal Oak Offshore allows for perfect wearability and comfort without feeling that the watch is top heavy as it happens with solid gold Breitlings or other 'beefy' watches out there. The color scheme of this watch makes it a perfect companion year round and a special piece for those 'Porteños' that enjoy wearing blue clothing.
Last Known Sticker Price $61,900 USD. For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.