While the Royal Oak watch made its debut in the 1970s, the bolder Royal Oak Offshore came onto the scene in the 1990s. The Offshore quickly picked up the nickname “The Beast” upon its launch due to its large size and maximalist style. Audemars Piguet has made numerous iterations of the RO Offshore but few are as famous as the rubber-clad versions. Read on as we shine a spotlight on a very special version of the rubber-clad Royal Oak Offshore: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Restivo ref. 26262OK.
Royal Oak Offshore Rubber Clad Watches
In 2002, Audemars Piguet launched a Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph with a rubber-wrapped bezel. It was a show-stopping version of the already striking Royal Oak Offshore watch. Now affectionately known as the Rubber Clad, that Royal Oak Offshore was the world’s first watch to use rubber as one of its main case components. And with this novel idea, Audemars Piguet had yet another hit on its hands.
The Royal Oak Offshore Rubber Clad models take the already famous eight-sided Royal Oak bezel and shroud them entirely in black rubber. The familiar hexagonal screws bolted into the bezel remain visible thanks to precise cutouts and the rubber accented crown and chronograph pushers complete the sporty look of the case. Plus, the Royal Oak Offshore Rubber Clad watches are fitted with vulcanized rubber straps.
Audemars Piguet made the rubber-clad Royal Oak Offshores for a little over a decade. During that time, the brand released some limited edition models too, including the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Restivo.
The Rubber Clad “Restivo”
Restivo is the name of a famous watch and jewelry store in Corso, Sicily and in 2008 AP made a limited edition rubber-clad Offshore exclusively for that boutique. It was the Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph ref. 26262OK and only 25 examples were ever made.
This limited edition Royal Oak Offshore reference 26262OK sports a 42mm 18k rose gold case, topped with, of course, a black rubber-clad bezel. The way the watch is designed means that it wears much larger than a 42mm watch.
What’s more, this isn’t a standard chronograph but in fact, a perpetual calendar chronograph. A closer look at the stunning dial embossed with the signature “Méga Tapisserie” pattern reveals four subdials and a tachymeter scale to conveniently display all the features of both complications. The perpetual calendar complication indicates the day, date, month, leap year cycle, and moon phase. There’s also a running seconds display, in addition to a 12-hour and 30-minute counter for the chronograph function. Popping out from behind the subdials are oversized Arabic numerals, generously coated with luminous material for great readability in the dark. Powering this perpetual calendar chronograph by Audemars Piguet is the automatic Caliber 2326/2839 movement with approximately 40 hours of power reserve.
To complete the look of this ultra-luxurious sports watch, Audemars Piguet paired the Royal Oak Offshore “Restivo” with a matching black vulcanized rubber strap. Additionally, the strap is outfitted with an 18k rose gold AP folding clasp to match the case metal.
The solid 18k rose gold caseback of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph is not only engraved with the name of the watch but also its production number out of 25 pieces. It serves to remind the wearer of just how few of these highly special Audemars Piguet creations are in existence.