Renowned Swiss watch brand, Audemars Piguet, is no stranger to making limited edition watches for elite athletes. Sports stars like Leo Messi, LeBron James, and Michael Schumacher have all collaborated with AP to produce limited edition watches that bear their names. However, one model that came before all of those was the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore “Shaquille O’Neal,” produced in honor of the four-time NBA champion and one of the greatest basketball players of all time. We take a closer look at Shaq’s Royal Oak Offshore to uncover what makes this watch a winning timepiece.
Shaq and AP
When Audemars Piguet announced the limited edition Royal Oak Offshore Shaquille O’Neal Chronograph in 2007, Shaq was one of the most famous players in the NBA. He already won four NBA championships (three consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002 and one in 2006) with two different teams (L.A. Lakers and Miami Heat). Plus, 2007 was the year he crossed the 25,000-point barrier.
Shaq was just as busy off the court too, not only juggling acting and music careers but a slew of endorsement deals and business ventures too. To celebrate the partnership with Shaq that year, Audemars Piguet hosted a glitzy affair at the Setai Hotel penthouse in Miami Beach, Florida.
Royal Oak Offshore Reference 26133ST.OO.A101CR.01
To match Shaq’s towering 7 feet, 1-inch frame, Audemars Piguet equipped the Royal Oak Offshore “Shaquille O’Neal” Reference 26133ST.OO.A101CR.01 with an oversized 48mm case. Yet, despite the enlarged diameter, the case thickness clocks in at a manageable 14.6mm high. The case of the watch is fashioned from stainless steel and of course, retains the Royal Oak Offshore’s signature eight-sided bezel with an exposed rubber gasket beneath it.
Since Shaq was playing for the Miami Heat at the time, the black “Méga Tapisserie” dial proudly includes the team’s white and red colors. What’s more, the red-colored “3” and “2” reversed indexes on the dial stand in stark contrast to the remaining white numbers as a nod to Shaq’s No. 32 jersey. There’s also a red tachymeter scale on the flange (also known as the rehaut, which is the space between the dial and the crystal).
The dial is home to three subdials at 6, 9, and 12 o’clock to display the chronograph 30-minute and 12-hour counters, as well as the small seconds indicator. Additionally, there’s a date window at 3 o’clock. A closer look at the pair of rectangular chronograph pushers that flanks the hexagonal winding crown reveals the same repeating square pattern of the dial. Other design details include a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protecting the face of the watch, a 100-meter water resistance rating, and SuperLuminova coated hour and minute hands.
The caseback of the Royal Oak Offshore “Shaquille O’Neal” Reference 26133ST.OO.A101CR.01 is engraved with the Shaq logo, which is accompanied by a “Royal Oak Offshore Shaquille O’Neal – Limited Edition” inscription. Under the caseback is the Caliber 3126/3840 self-winding movement with a 22-carat gold rotor and 60 hours of power reserve. This particular Audemars Piguet reference is limited to only 960 examples and each watch is individually numbered on the caseback.
Audemars Piguet created a special wooden basketball-shaped presentation box to house the limited edition Shaq Royal Oak Offshore watch. The black leather interior of the box is emblazoned with the number 32 and Shaq’s signature— all in red, naturally!
The perfect luxury timepiece for fans of top-notch watchmaking and legendary basketball, the design of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore “Shaquille O’Neal” is as powerful as Shaq’s presence was on the court.