What a wonderful day! Audemars Piguet, one of my favorite watchmakers, has revealed the gorgeous Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Mexico (ref. 26297IS.OO.D101CR.01 in titanium & ref. 26297OR.OO.D101CR.01 in 18-karat rose gold) special-edition version of one of my favorite “sporty” luxury chronographs. Now the only problem is that it is limited to 200 pieces and costs from $40,000 to around $65,000 depending on the version that you plan to get.
According to the Swiss brand, the Pride of Mexico collection commemorates the 200th Anniversary of the United Mexican States, most commonly referred to as Mexico.
The federal republic declared its independence from Spain on September 16, 1810, but it was only in 1821 when, after 11 years of bloody struggle the Spanish Crown officially recognized Mexico’s independence. Interestingly, the second decade of the 19th century wasn’t particularly good for the Kingdom of Spain: a certain Napoleon Bonaparte was still enthusiastic about his idea of unifying Europe under a single rule of one benevolent monarch (preferably himself,) delivering huge blows to any king, emperor or tsar who didn’t share the sentiment at the time. As the Kingdom was rapidly unraveling sinking into disarray, while trying to adapt to the new reality, their Latin American colonies, including Mexico and Venezuela (Vacheron Constantin celebrated the event with a Patrimony Contemporaine for Venezuela limited edition if you are interested,) started to proclaim their independence. A short struggle followed, Spain lost, and, well, a set of new republics emerged.
Back to our sheep, though.
Featuring its usual chunky 42 mm x 14.7 mm case with an octagonal bezel, the collection is available either in 18-karat rose gold or in brushed titanium with steel bezel.
You will know that this is a Mexican-themed limited edition by looking at the dial. The main elements are painted in colors of the Mexican flag with Arabic numerals and hands painted with green and white Superluminova and a red-colored central second hand.
As usual, the luminous substance on the dial glows brightly for a couple of hours after exposure to direct sunlight. Both in total darkness and twilight, the dial is easy to read the current time.
The Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Mexico‘s solid case back also comes engraved with an image of El Ángel de la Independencia (“The Angel of Independence”) monument that was erected a hundred years ago to commemorate the first Centennial of the Federation. The 36-meters-high column is located in downtown Mexico City and is considered to be one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city.
As usual, the chronograph is powered by the recently-introduced AP 2326/2840 automatic caliber with the KIF Elastor shock absorption system. The movement features the same 38 hours of power reserve and 100 meters of water resistance as the previous iterations.
Photos: Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Mexico (refs. 26297IS.OO.D101CR.01 & 26297OR.OO.D101CR.01) specification
Price range (MSRP): $40,000 (Titanium) / $65,000 (18-karat rose gold)
Movement: AP 2326/2840 chronograph caliber, automatic, 50 jewels, 28,800 vph, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Complications: Date, chronograph
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case: 18-karat rose gold or titanium with steel bezel, solid case back with engraving
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 14.70 mm
Dial: White with gold baton hands and green numerals
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Brown leather with green stitching