This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver (15703ST.OO.A002CA.01) was reviewed on 10 different criteria. The review is for this specific watch, other models may perform differently. Evaluation is based on my wrist size, personal opinions, experiences, and preferences.
Unfortunately, this timepiece arrived sealed from the factory with several quality issues. I will address each one of them in great detail throughout my review. On the bright side, the Audemars Piguet Service Center (APSC) in Florida is phenomenal and took care of all the issues under warranty. Nonetheless, the initial lack of quality control on this timepiece has undeniably affected the overall score in this review. Without these quality issues, the overall score could have been five points higher.
Overall Design | 15 out of 15
This stainless steel Audemars Piguet Diver is in my humble opinion the most beautiful Royal Oak Offshore currently available (maybe except for a few limited editions). Ironically, it is also the most affordable ROO. It is no wonder that this watch is one of the most popular Audemars Piguets right now. Honestly, what is there NOT to like about this beauty? Simply stated, this is the ultimate luxury diver watch.
Case | 9 out of 10
If there is one thing that Audemas Piguet does incredibly well, it would be the finishing on their cases. The way the brushed finish looks on the metal (particularly on the bezel) is just amazing... combine that with the meticulously polished chamfer edges and the result is pure sexiness. Though the case is advertised as 42mm, the Diver feels significantly larger due to the protruding strap design and overall thickness of the watch (13.90mm). It feels more like 44mm. The all steel bezel on the watch is gorgeous, but it is also a scratch magnet. Even with my extreme watch OCD, I have managed to add a few micro scratches on the bezel. Pretty faint, but they are there… The rubber inserts on the screw down crowns matches perfectly with the black dial, the black rubber strap, and the black rubber insert underneath the bezel. Not sure how well the rubber inserts will age with time, but they sure look great right now. This reference comes with the solid case back. However, the new ref. 15710ST comes with an open case back for a clear view of the movement, without sacrificing water resistance depth. At the top, there is a sapphire crystal with antireflective coating on the inside. Thank you Audemars Piguet for not putting antireflective coating on the outside.
Dial | 8 out of 10
The black dial has a striking “mega tapisserie” pattern… the tapisserie pattern has become synonymous to Audemars Piguet. Unlike most ROOs, this dial has a very glossy appearance (wet look) that ties in nicely with the “diver” theme. The polished white gold applied hour indices matches perfectly with the polished white gold hands, in addition to giving the watch a more elegant look. The design of the hour hand is simple, original, and attractive. There is a date display at 3 o’ clock with a cleverly added magnification. Personally, I am not a big fan of the font they picked for the date… a more modern font to match the font on the black rotating inner bezel would have been my choice. Also, the shade of black used on the background of the date display seems slightly different from the black on the dial… which is somewhat distracting. The inner bezel has a diving scale and zone from 60 to 15 minutes. Unfortunately, the inner bezel on my watch was defective. The printing on the inner bezel was off (section from 6 o’ clock to 12 o’ clock did not match the markers on the dial) and the lume on the inverted triangle at 12 o’ clock had an indentation. When I brought up these two items to APSC, they agreed that it was not within specification and they replaced both the dial and the inner bezel under warranty. It now looks perfect… as it should be. Two points were deducted for the lack of quality control.
Strap | 9 out of 10
This timepiece comes with a matte black rubber strap on a spring bar stainless steel tang buckle. Like most tang buckles from the Offshore collection, the buckle is pretty basic with the letters “AP” engraved on the top. The finish on the buckle is brushed, except for one side which is polished. Unfortunately, the bottom edges of my tang buckle (part closer to my skin) arrived from the factory razor sharp. I can only assume that this was a quality control oversight as other tang buckles from AP that I have handled do no exhibit this kind of sharpness (more on this in Comfort section below). Like the strap on my AP ROO 26400S, the standard length strap is too long for my 6.5” wrist. I had to also order a short length strap for best fit. The textured rubber strap is comfortable and soft, though other colored straps from the ROO line are softer.
Movement | 7 out of 10
The manufacture movement calibre 3120 has 40 jewels, 280 parts, and a power reserve of 60 hours. From the get go, the watch was consistently running too fast. I decided to wait until it was time to send the watch in for my third year warranty extension to address all the quality issues together. Upon return from the warranty service, time keeping has improved significantly. However, considering the original state in which I received the watch, two points were deducted for the poor time keeping.
Legibility | 5 out of 5
The hands and hour indices have lume applied to them and are easy to read against the black dial during the day or at night. Since this is a 3-hand watch, there is nothing distracting on the dial that could affect its legibility.
Operation | 5 out of 5
The two screw down crowns with rubber inserts are easy to unscrew, pull, and operate. The quick set date works as it should and the rotating inner bezel operates smoothly in one minute increments.
Features | 8 out of 10
300 meters of water resistance, "mega-tapisserie" pattern on the dial, magnified date display, rotating inner bezel, lume (on indices, hands, and inner bezel), screw-down crowns, sapphire crystal on top, and a manufacture movement with 60 hours power reserve... a great list of features for a real diver's watch.
Comfort | 8 out of 10
After replacing the standard length rubber strap with the short length version, the watch became a lot more comfortable since the buckle now sat closer to the middle of my wrist. Regrettably, the underside of the tang buckle that came with the watch was razor sharp. So sharp in fact, that it would dig into my skin and actually cause me discomfort. After comparing the tang buckle with my other AP, it became clear that the sharpness was not normal. I was able to send the tang buckle to APSC and have them correct the issue. Though it did take two visits, APSC was ultimately able to fix the problem at no cost to me. Now that the buckle is how it should be, comfort has improved dramatically. A point was deducted for this quality control issue. Despite all this, I commend AP for using a tang buckle instead of a deployant buckle (and for doing the same thing with the newer ROO Chronographs).
Value | 12 out of 15
The retail price on this stainless steel Royal Oak Offshore Diver is $19,000. In comparison, the next most affordable ROO is the Navy at $25,600 (though it does have a chronograph function). The Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea is $12,050 (3,900 meters) and the steel Yacht-Master II is $18,750 (100 meters)... both nautical Rolexes are great alternatives to the AP Diver, but there is something about the Offshore case design that is simply incomparable. Having said that, I still get a heartburn every time I think about how much these steel Audemars Piguet watches cost… the amount of money we are willing to pay for a steel watch nowadays is just ludicrous. On the bright side, if you consider the fact that AP is probably one of the hottest brands right now and that their resale value is generally strong, then spending this much cash on a single watch seems less stupid. If you are in the market to buy the most beautiful and most affordable Offshore currently available, then look no further. This one is for you.
TOTAL SCORE: 86 out of 100
The ultimate Royal Oak Offshore.
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