Insider: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Forged Carbon Diver ref. 15706AU. The Other AP Bumble Bee.

A couple of days ago, we had the pleasure of meeting watchlifestyler Howie for lunch to meet his brand new Forged Carbon Royal Oak Offshore Diver ref. 15706AU.00.A002CA.01. This time, we met at the epicenter of downtown Chicago right at Millennium Park. After a delicious lunch at the Park Grill, we headed outside to the Jay Pritzker pavilion to take some pictures of his brand new Forged Carbon Diver under natural light. It was a rainy overcast day in Chicago—very typical during this time of the year—but the pictures still came out great.

The Forged Carbon Diver was presented at the SIHH back in 2012 but as with any other Audemars Piguet watch, you rarely run into one in person. There's something about the exclusivity of the brand that makes it so appealing. Our friend and watchlifestyler Howie decided to buy this beautiful watch just last week. After receiving the watch, he immediately called us to do the official unveiling of this fantastic piece in the company our Stainless Steel Diver.

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver in Forged Carbon is a watch that can only be fully appreciated under natural light. Every time we've handled this watch under halogen or tungsten lamps, we feel it loses some of it's magic and beauty. Forged carbon has very unique attributes such as its resistance, lightness and a marbled look that feels satiny and smooth to the touch.

According to Yves Leuba, head of Audemars Piguet's forged carbon department, there cannot be two identical forged carbon cases due to its meticulous and unique production process. To make a forged carbon case, carbon fibers are distributed in a random manner inside a mold. When the material is compressed under heating, it evolves in an unpredictable way delivering a final product that is unique every time.

The forged carbon case, the ceramic bezel—that almost looks graphite gray as it reflects light—, the yellow accents and the lightness of the watch are just pure perfection. Putting a Forged Carbon Diver side-by-side with a Stainless Steel Diver makes the first one appear slightly smaller; however, as you all know, it is not as both measure 42mm. The Forged Carbon is also fitted with a rubber strap just like the stainless steel version; however, the pin buckle, case back and case plots are made of titanium.

We found it interesting that the sound coming from the oscillating weight on the Forged Carbon model was louder than the stainless steel one. Also, we noticed a change in the calendar font between both watches.

The Forged Carbon wears as comfortably as the stainless steel version and the yellow accents are quite discrete in person. They are not as flashy as one would imagine and they provide enough contrast to break up the blackness of the watch. From a design standpoint, it has just the right amount of color.

Audemars Piguet experimented with carbon watch parts in the 1980s and developed a keen sense for the material’s potential. The idea of using forged carbon for watch cases originated in a meeting between Audemars Piguet and Vincent Duqueine, head of the a French company owning the forged carbon technology. To take advantage of this material, Audemars Piguet developed extensive know-how, from manufacturing to equipment, based on the forging method employed in aeronautics. While Audemars Piguet has maintained the same philosophy, they have modified the technique for heating and cooling the molds where the cases are made. As a reference, the first model featuring forged carbon was the Royal Oak Offshore Alinghi Team that came out in 2007.

Sticker price on this beauty $27,100 USD. For more info click here.