The First Bad Ass Luxury Watch: The 1993 Audemars Piguet Replica Watches

The idea of a massive oversized 42-mm in diameter Royal Oak-based watch was sparked in the mind of designer Emmanuel Gueit sometime in the mid-1980s. Working at Audemars Piguet’s design studio, he launched himself into this project with unbridled obsessive enthusiasm. What he created would be a first in luxury watches. At this time, Panerai’s 42-mm in diameter Luminor Marina had not yet been introduced to the market. Thus Guiet’s creation was the first truly oversized luxury timepiece. Even crazier were its exposed rubber gaskets and rubber-covered chronograph pushers, normally considered incompatible with a refined watch.

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Audemars Piguet Replica Watches , at 42mm, the first truly oversized luxury timepiece

For its movement, Audemars Piguet selected two products from brands they had long associations with — Jaeger-LeCoultre (at the time Audemars Piguet still owned a large part of the Le Sentier manufacture) and the famous Vallée de Joux module maker, Dubois-Depraz. A nicely reworked Jaeger-LeCoultre automatic caliber and a Dubois Depraz module formed the chronograph movement for the Offshore. The signature magnifying loupe used to enlarge the recessed date of the Offshore results from the movement’s modular construction. Says Gueit, “The dial was really far from the date wheel. So I decided to use the loupe to magnify the date. It’s funny because this has become one of the visual signatures of the watch.”

Yet one more problem existed: the disparity between a very large case and a small movement. The manufacture solved this with one of the best marketing tactics since the advent of their “steel on the outside, gold on the inside” campaign for the original Royal Oak. Every Offshore would feature an anti-magnetic inner case.Rolex Explorer Replica Gueit explains: “The case was so big and the movement quite slim so we had to find a solution, which is why we decided to cover the movement with an anti-magnetic soft iron cage.” This creates a watch that is anything but slim. But the Offshore’s massive 15.5 mm stack height is part of its Herculean appeal.