You are currently viewing Collector’s Series – HighendTime’s AP RO Offshore Sincere Tantalum Edition

Collector’s Series – HighendTime’s AP RO Offshore Sincere Tantalum Edition

Gaurav, alias @HighendTime on Instagram, is a 45-year previous banker from Hong Kong. He managed to finish the holy trinity of watches, perceive the traditional Royal Oak Jumbo, the Patek Nautilus and the Vacheron Abroad, however at present it gained’t be about these ultra-coveted watches that we’ll speak about. As an alternative, Gaurav goes to share one thing far bolder and likewise fairly uncommon, to say the least. In our newest instalment of The Collector’s Sequence, we’ll focus on his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Honest Tantalum Restricted Version, a watch that’s one in every of his most fascinating items.

Frank Geelen, MONOCHROME – Do you keep in mind while you first heard about Audemars Piguet?

Gaurav, alias @HighendTime – In watch collector phrases, I’m thought-about an “OG” having participated in on-line watch communities since their very inception within the early 2000s. These have been pre-digital and early Web days and most watch collectors would congregate in hobbyist Web boards.

It didn’t take lengthy for an aspiration to develop and like most collectors, the bucket record at that time was to finish the holy watch Trinity; having a chunk every from all three manufacturers – Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. Given Audemars’ heritage, it was proper initially of that dream! Watching watch roll movies of how the sunshine displays off that lovely Royal Oak bracelet undoubtedly didn’t assist both. In the present day in fact I’m lucky and honoured to personal various coveted items from all three manufacturers!

What’s it you admire in Audemars Piguet?

Firstly, I’m a large fan of Gérald Genta and his design sensibilities. Though the Royal Oak was his first masterpiece, I really began with the Nautilus, however it wasn’t lengthy after that I added a Royal Oak to my assortment.

Secondly, I like how Audemars Piguet has just about saved its core ethos intact; When you have a look at the Jumbo, for instance, it’s virtually unchanged after 50 years together with the anniversary mannequin simply launched.

Lastly, I belong to an previous enterprise household spanning a number of generations and so can admire how Audemars Piguet has remained impartial and family-owned since its founding. This resonates with me because of the values that underpin a household enterprise – that of sustaining a persistently excessive normal and persevering with to innovate while retaining its heritage.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Sincere limited edition tantalum 26034TS Collector interview

And why did you need to speak in regards to the Royal Oak Offshore specifically?

In fact, I am keen on the Royal Oak as accomplish that many collectors, however one of many fashions that basically speaks to me is the fashionable Offshore. I like the way it has defied conventions ever since its introduction in 1993 as “simply” an anniversary piece to the unique Royal Oak.

Whereas it was first thought-about a business failure by the market and likewise publicly criticised by Genta who, in his thoughts, thought-about this to be a crude design with not one of the finesse of his authentic, it will definitely discovered a lot success amongst rich Italian collectors and shortly turned the corporate’s favorite testing floor for revolutionary supplies, restricted editions, and high-profile endorsements.

With out being overly philosophical, to me due to this fact the Offshore signifies achievement, progress and evolution; the wrestle all of us face by way of life and the success that follows as soon as we persist.

That is a kind of restricted editions, is it not?

I’m lucky to personal not one, however two of essentially the most restricted and rarest Offshores launched; my favorite of those being the Honest Tantalum Restricted Version manufactured in 50 items and I consider solely 20 have been made within the charcoal dial. That is my favorite AP and the story behind how I acquired it and its rarity is what makes it so fascinating. It’s additionally unattainable to {photograph}, being greater than 50 shades of gray and particularly with that tantalum giving off a number of hues of metallic bluish-grey gorgeousness.

By the way in which, Tantalum is without doubt one of the hardest and rarest metals to fabricate; not solely is it unattainable to supply with the mines largely being in sanctioned nations these days, however I hear it could actually break APs sharpening machines given its hardness, so it’s practically unattainable to work with. I additionally assume it’s one of many causes behind the recognition of the F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu; there’s nothing fairly prefer it by way of treasured supplies.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Sincere limited edition tantalum 26034TS Collector interview

Since when has it been a watch you desired to own?

I’ve needed an Offshore ever since I used to be serious about Audemars Piguet as a model for the explanations above. One more reason for my insanity was that the traditional Royal Oak bracelet scratches simply and the Offshore with a leather-based strap was a bit extra wearable. It additionally gave the impression to be the extra trendy sibling and so a sexier, cooler variant. I used to be additionally a bit cooler at that age!

When did it grow to be yours?

This was a lucky accident. I participated in a personal sale that included just a few items from a outstanding enterprise household in Hong Kong (I’m not going to say who however simply that they’re very well-known) and I had additionally heard from the vendor that somebody at AP was additionally within the watch.

Not figuring out something in regards to the explicit mannequin and by no means having heard of tantalum, I used to be drawn to the unusual bluish-grey steel with the load of platinum and this white gray leather-based strap that appeared to have been reduce out of a Hermes Birkin Himalaya purse. It felt so good on the wrist, it actually spoke to me and never figuring out something about it, I purchased it.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Sincere limited edition tantalum 26034TS Collector interview

Wanting to search out out extra, I posted a photograph in a collectors group and was a bit shocked to get virtually 35 calls and messages throughout the subsequent hour. It was solely when a well known public sale home referred to as me just a few days later that I realised I’ll have purchased one thing particular; additionally later confirmed by a collector buddy who knew the household I purchased it from.

This turned out to be a really restricted manufacturing commissioned by the Honest Watch Firm of Singapore from which the primary watch (apparently mine) was introduced to a serious distributor of the model who occurred to be associated to the household that owned the watch. I’ve since acquired one other actually uncommon AP Offshore additionally in tantalum; the Orchard Street – the exact same watch that was featured within the Royal Oak ebook by Wehrli and Heimann (on web page 264).

Wow, I can think about you don’t put on it loads!

It will get loads of eye time; and wrist time solely once I go to my financial institution locker, though I might like to put on it to an AP-hosted occasion the place they have a tendency to ask native collectors and clients. Satirically, despite the fact that it’s robust to scratch being manufactured from Tantalum and by no means as delicate as these stunning Royal Oaks, I don’t put on it a lot because of its rarity; it’s like new!

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Sincere limited edition tantalum 26034TS Collector interview

So inform us extra in regards to the reactions you bought…

For a watch devoid of color, I’m amazed at simply how many individuals discover it. I’ve misplaced rely of how many individuals requested me what mannequin that is; normally 3-4 each single time I’ve worn it. It’s spectacular in its austere simplicity and sarcastically very noticeable.

I’ve even had an abroad collector providing to commerce 2 trendy APs plus money for this piece. The beautiful folks at AP adore it as properly and are very comfortable that it stays in Hong Kong; I’ve taken it to them just a few occasions and have even had them manufacture a brand new leather-based strap for it.

It took some time earlier than that got here by way of. The actual batch of alligator pores and skin that Honest Watch Firm of Singapore had procured after they commissioned this very restricted manufacturing is nowhere to be discovered and it took a number of makes an attempt and calls to Singapore and Le Brassus earlier than an alternate color might be discovered.

What would you assume could be the precise market worth at present?

I paid a good bit greater than I anticipated, given its provenance and likewise whom I purchased it from and I don’t assume I might ever promote it even for twice what I paid. I did obtain a suggestion that was heading in the direction of a excessive 5 digit USD quantity and turned that down as properly. Which will appear to be loads for an Offshore however we should always observe that tantalum watches aren’t actually made anymore and that is maybe one of the best instance of the handful that do exist  given its restricted manufacturing (despite the fact that I’ve by no means seen one other on this situation)

Personally, I believe the Offshore vary is de facto undervalued and price a severe look. With traditional Royal Oak costs reaching stratospheric heights, these current a relative cut price. It’s additionally a bit recognized indisputable fact that AP Offshore technology-powered Richard Mille watches when the model first began (by way of Renaud et Papi’s involvement) and searching on the costs for the RM fashions at present one can solely think about simply how a lot worth at the moment exists within the Offshore.

How would you describe your watch assortment up to now?

I don’t contemplate myself only a collector. I believe I’m extra of a romantic actually, hopelessly in love with all the things horology – the mechanical features, the design, the emotion, the heritage, the aesthetics; all of it.

I believe Aurel Bacs referred to as himself an addict and it’s one thing I relate to completely – eternally chasing that repair of an ideal watch which (fortunately) by no means exists.

Consequently, the gathering varies and has modified over time. I was pretty model aware and typical though this has given strategy to a way more eclectic mixture of haute horology, restricted editions and even traditional independents akin to Roger Dubuis and Daniel Roth which I really feel are massively underrated.

What different manufacturers are value contemplating? 

If I let my creativeness run wild, I might love a tantalum AP Jumbo with a salmon dial; this might be my legendary holy grail!

However since that at the moment doesn’t exist (please AP…), I might be content material with an Openworked Double Stability or a Royal Oak Perpetual since I like the perpetual calendar complication.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Sincere limited edition tantalum 26034TS Collector interview

Why do you want that QPs a lot?

I suppose in a world the place all the things is short-term, all of us crave and aspire for one thing timeless. Perpetuity is de facto the final word aspiration so maybe that subliminally attracts me to this complication as ”eternally” is normally unattainable.

Do some other manufacturers spark your curiosity?

Apart from the apparent large three and AP which I believe continues to strike the appropriate steadiness between heritage and innovation, I do assume that is the day of independents akin to Kari Voutilainen, Moser and De Bethune and even some micro-brand watchmakers akin to Le Comte, who’s what I might name a real grasp of his craft.

However I wouldn’t need to restrict this to simply manufacturers at the moment in existence however even these from a bygone period; for instance, I used to be launched to Daniel Roth by an expensive buddy @watchfoodwithme (who has been featured right here on MONOCHROME) and by a neighborhood collector in HK and am fully past infatuated. Due to this fact, one other dream look ahead to me is the classic Daniel Roth Monopusher; been looking out for this grail and promise to assessment it in your journal as soon as I discover one.

A uncommon Daniel Roth Monopusher Chronograph – picture by

I additionally discover classic Roger Dubuis massively under-appreciated; Patek high quality blended with a traditional design with their Sympathie mannequin, specifically, holding its personal towards a Royal Oak or a Nautilus. Even Breguet, particularly their older excessive issues are wonderful with high quality that’s leagues above something at an identical value level; I’ve simply taken possession of an untouched early perpetual made by Daniel Roth when he labored at Breguet.

How does one purchase a holy grail watch?

There is no such thing as a science to discovering these grails; I actually consider in case you are actually pushed by your love for watches and it is a actual ardour for you as a person versus those that simply need to flex, what you search will search you as properly. Persistence, loads of religion and a bit little bit of luck are all the time welcome and it might sound a bit trite however simply don’t quit on what you actually crave.

What suggestions do you will have for starter watch collectors?

I believe this obsession with watches is right here to remain, so firstly it’s by no means too late to begin in your accumulating journey. I additionally don’t contemplate watches as simply costly toys; a latest article evaluating funding efficiency throughout asset lessons discovered watches to be as strong an funding as actual property, shares and even gold.

I do contemplate watches to be mechanical artwork however with some actual fundamentals of provide and demand behind it as properly not like artwork which may usually be a reasonably subjective type of expression.

Lastly, these are merchandise that evoke the romance of a time passed by when life was intentionally gradual, craftsmanship was mechanical versus digital and once we all had time (pun unintended) so don’t neglect to decelerate and revel in your stunning watches in your rush to construct a group.

Are you in contact with different collectors?

All nice pursuits, companies and hobbies are underpinned by relationships and watches are actually no completely different. As collectors, I like how our ardour connects us throughout all walks of life, cultures, nations and disciplines with out bias – it’s an amazing unifier that harmonises us and brings us all on a standard footing. It’s additionally encouraging to see how nice world leaders may differ on ideology and politics however are all related by their love for watches.

Whether or not it’s relationships constructed by way of Daniel Roth collector teams (thanks as soon as once more to Frank and to @watchfoodwithme) or on different boards and teams on-line, the relationships are what make this value it and a few of my greatest watches have been purchased over an off-the-cuff drink with collectors initially arrange simply to get to know them higher.

I believe the phrase “watchfam” sums it up properly; I proceed to be amazed at how this love of watches could make two full strangers act as lengthy misplaced members of the family, that is what it’s all about!