A few days ago, we heard through the grapevine that a close friend had somehow sourced a brand new in box Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 'Pride of Mexico' limited edition. Thereafter, we decided to pay him a visit and work on these images and review for those of you that still feel Mexican at heart. This very special watch was released in 2010 by Audemars Piguet in a limited edition of 200 pieces in titanium with stainless steel bezel ref. 26297IS.OO.D101CR.01 and in a 100 pieces in 18K rose gold ref. 26297OR.OO.D101CR.01. Soon after its release, the watch sold out. While many gray watch dealers claim to have these watches in stock, they don't and finding a brand new one, is as hard as finding a needle in a haystack.
The 'Pride of Mexico' was released as a celebratory piece to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Mexican Independence using the standard 42 mm Royal Oak Offshore case, a white silvery dial with some key color accents and equipped with a very elegant dark green —almost black looking— alligator hornback leather strap with light green contrast stitching.
Fitted with a 'méga tapisserie' white silvery dial with green Arabic numerals and a red chrono seconds hand, the watch has just the right amount of color to celebrate Mexico's Independence the right way without overdoing it. The three colors utilized in its dial are representative of the Mexican flag and are very well executed in this timepiece. The 'méga tapisserie' dial is quite nice and shimmery when exposed to fluorescent light sources and the numerals and hands feature luminescent material, a must have on a Royal Oak Offshore.
Flipping the watch over reveals a very nice surprise that is engraved on the case back. The engraving, an image of the 'Ángel of Independence' that is located on a roundabout on 'Paseo de la Reforma' —Mexico City's most important avenue. The 'Ángel of Independence' is a constant reminder of the War of Independence against Spain —which lasted eleven years and eleven days from September 16th, 1810 until September 27th, 1821— and is also one of the most beautiful and iconic landmarks in all Mexico City. The 'Angel of Independence' most commonly known as 'El Ángel' was built in 1910 to commemorate the centennial of the beginning of Mexico's War of Independence and years later it was turned into a mausoleum where the remains of the most important Independence war heroes are kept.
To round out this amazing limited edition watch, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 'Pride of Mexico' limited edition is presented in a special wooden box with the three colors of the Mexican flag and topped with a round plate that features the same engraving of the 'Ángel of Independence' that appears on the case back of the watch. The beating heart inside this watch is the Audemars Piguet automatic calibre 2326/2840 —second generation movement inside the Royal Oak Offshores but not the latest one calibre 3126/3840— which provides a power reserve of 38 hours when fully wound.
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size but heavier than other titanium Offshores due to its stainless steel bezel. In reality is hard to tell the difference in weight between this watch and a regular stainless steel Offshore. If words like 'Bosques', 'Bandasha', 'Teca', 'La Anáhuac' or 'El Baby' are very meaningful to you and every time you hear them you feel transported to your 'wonder years' in Mexico City, then you know that sooner rather than later, this particular limited edition Audemars Piguet will become part of your collection. Let the hunt begin!
Sticker Price $29,000-34,000 USD. For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.