Released in 2010 and discontinued shortly after, the so called 'Gentleman's Driver' Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26175ST.OO.D003CU.01 is one of only seven references released by Audemars Piguet with orange accents on their dials. The other six are the following: Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph ref. 26703ST reviewed here, the Royal Oak Offshore Ceramic Diver ref. 15707CE reviewed here, the Royal Oak Offshore Volcano ref. 26170ST.OO.D101CR.01, the Royal Oak Offshore Limited Edition Oceanografía 'Goliath' ref. 26217 in white gold, rose gold and stainless steel featured here, the Royal Oak Offshore ref. 25770ST and the Royal Oak Offshore Scuba ref. 15701ST.OO.D002CA.01
Originally presented with a black perforated racing calf strap with orange double contrast stitching, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore so called 'Gentleman's Driver' is reminiscent of petrol and sports cars with their steering wheels, dashboards and leather gloves, underlined by contrasting colors. The only Royal Oak Offshore with a chiseled out bezel —since the Royal Oak Offshore Survivor features grooves on its bezel as we featured it here —, the Gentleman's Driver is an AP that you rarely run into and one that is a favorite of ours here at WCL. Featured here on an orange rubber strap instead of its racing strap, this strap makes the orange accents on the dial pop even more and gives the watch a relatively different aura —a little bit less car racing inspired.
The Bezel & Dial
Featuring the traditional Royal Oak Offshore 42 mm stainless steel case, the chiseled bezel stands out as the most unique aspect of this timepiece. Chiseled out to highlight the hexagonal screws, the bezel combines a satin brushed finish around the screws with a bead blasted finish on the chiseled out areas.
The dial, with the exact same color and mega tapisserie as the Royal Oak Offshore RubberClad ref. 25940OK in 18K rose gold, features orange accents on the tachymetric scale of the flange and on all three subdials.
Meanwhile, the flange features a checkered pattern between 12 and 2 o'clock that is reminiscent of the checkered flag that is used to signal the finish of a car race. While the checkered pattern makes the first graduations on the tachymetric scale difficult to read, it is a very nice touch that complements the overall racing look of the Offshore Gentleman's Driver.
The Movement & Case Back
Like all other modern Royal Oak Offshores released after 2007 —with the exception of the Rubber Clad—, the Royal Oak Offshore Gentleman's Driver is powered by the calibre 3126/3840 —based off the Audemars Piguet in-house automatic calibre 3120 with a Dubois Depraz chrono module on it. This automatic movement composed of 365 parts, beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph —3 Hz— to provide a power reserve of 50 hours. This 59-jewel movement, also features the signature solid gold oscillating weight engraved with the crests of the Audemars and Piguet families. The watch features a solid case back with the same design and finish as that on the first generation of Royal Oak Offshore Divers.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Gentleman's Driver ref. 26175ST.OO.D003CU.01 wears true to its size and unlike any other Royal Oak Offshore out there. The uniqueness of its bezel along with its orange accents, make the Gentleman's Driver a really good looking watch that is easily paired with most outfits and any occasion.
If you are one of those watchlifestylers that won't get an AP just because you're too worried about scratching its octagonal bezel a.k.a scratch magnet, the greatest thing about this watch is that you won't have to worry about that with its chiselled finish. Now, as we mentioned earlier, this watch is now a discontinued reference and probably no more than 200 pieces were ever made; however, if you are able to find one in the secondary market, don't think twice about it. This particular example we have here belongs to a very good friend of ours that loves it as much as we do and unfortunately it is not for sale.
Last Known Sticker Price $31,500 USD. For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.