So, the alien mothership is locked and loaded, the computers have all become self-aware, and the zombies are literally at your door. You’ve got your end of the world survival kit on your back, an array of weapons to hand, and just before you step out the door into imminent peril, you stop momentarily to glance at the tough, no-nonsense replica watch on your wrist so you can pinpoint the exact moment the battle for Earth began.
Or at least that’s the situation that comes to my mind when I look at the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Survivor Chronograph Replica. The rugged-looking Survivor is obviously not going to be to everyone’s taste, but it certainly is a replica watch that means business and doesn’t care who knows it—and that’s very much in the tradition of the Royal Oak Offshore. Since it was released in 1993, the Offshore has played the part of the bigger, beefier elder brother to Gerald Genta’s revolutionary Royal Oak. It’s a sports replica watch for the most extreme lifestyles, and because of that, there have been a number of limited models in honour of sports teams and professionals who have pushed their sport to the limit.
This replica watch was likewise limited to only 1,000, models—which incidentally sold out nearly instantly when they originally went up for sale (one for every person who manages to survive the apocalypse, perhaps). But it wasn’t just the exclusivity of the piece that made it so much in demand—the replica watch is an excellent example of reliable functionality wrapped up in a very cool, very distinctive package.
Audemars Piguet Men’s Replica is considered one of the ‘big three’ in replica watchmaking, alongside Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin, so the craftsmanship of the Survivor is of course flawless—it’s the kind of replica watch you know you can depend on not to let you down when the going gets tough. Inside the protective case beats the excellent automatic in-house calibre 3126/3840, which—consisting of 365 parts and 59 jewels—offers 50 hours of power as well as chronograph, regular time and date functions.
The Survivor pushes the Offshore design to the next level, with an incredibly durable case made of black titanium and a grooved ceramic bezel. The pushers that are found on the right hand side of the Offshore are here protected by truly colossal pushpiece guards, which are fully articulated. These, along with the dial’s ‘méga tapisserie’ motif and the skeletonised hands, give the replica watch an industrial, dystopia-esque look.
Surprisingly, the case measures 42mm despite looking like a much more dominating piece, which makes the replica watch more wearable than you might think at first glance, and the vulcanised rubber strap also makes the Survivor comfortable on the wrist. So—okay—maybe it won’t save you from a cataclysmic natural disaster, but you’ll definitely look pretty cool as you deftly navigate your way through the debris as the world falls down around your ears.