AP stock photo

The Royal Oak Offshore T3: A Brief Introduction

An Extreme Design for an Extreme World

Specifications: (subject to change without notice)


Audemars Piguet - audacity is an adjective one hears frequently applied to the master watchmakers from Le Brassus. 

One of the most highly anticipated models in modern luxury watch history, the T3 is certainly not a shy or retiring watch.  Rumours and false starts abounded, and it seemed every other week someone was claiming this look or that design drawing was going to be it, and just as quickly it faded into the dustbin of rumour mongering history.

Well, here it is, in all its 57.2mm wide, crown and pusher protected glory - 

AP stock photo

Purpose built for use in the third installment of the popular Terminator movie series, its design was developed in close co-operation with Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger, star of the series and longtime AP fan.

The extreme size...the highly stylized crown and pusher guards...no question both are highly controversial.  Indeed, upon first glance, there is something cartoonish, almost techno-gothic, about the design.  In perfect keeping with the  mood of the movie...

It is easy to imagine this watch on the wrist of the lion hearted but technologically usurped T-800 Terminator robot, as first the T-1000, and now the T-X, are sent from the future to terminate John Connor.  Maybe one of the reasons the T3 is so large is so that the svelte T-X can't commandeer the watch, even if she wins the titanic struggle of the ages?

Seriously, there are a few misconceptions about this watch.

First, the crown and pusher guards - they are not intended to provide additional water resistance.  This misconception may be due to the superficial resemblance they have to the crown lever water resistance design of another highly popular "macho" watch design.  Whether that other design actually provides any real water resistance improvement is the subject of another discussion...

Do the protectors serve any real, functional purpose for anyone who is not likely to get into a species saving tussle with a knock out feminine android from the future, hell bent on destroying mankind?  Naw, probably not, but they sure look cool!

specially engraved back, noted "limited edition"
but not specifically numbered in the edition

The use of Ti was a practical consideration - light weight yet tough, if the watch were made in any other metal, its owners would soon enough be walking around with a noticeable lop-sided tilt to their posture...

Yes, the watch is huge.  Next to the T3, even the Offshore chrono is dwarfed by comparison - 


According to the press slicks, the T3 is designed to be worn either directly on the wrist or over a shirt or jacket sleeve...hmmm...a nice black or brown leather motorcycle jacket...I can just see it now...

Yet I was very pleasantly surprised at how well the T3 actually worked on wrists that were less than gargantuan - 

JohnB was previously sporting the XX Sixth Day watch, with aplomb.
His wrist is 7 1/4" in circumference.  Photo courtesy of JohnB.

Some comments about oversized watches - AP released the Offshore chronograph in 1993, amid exclamations of "It is so big!"  Indeed, it can be reasonably argued, for better or for worse, that AP is significantly responsible for the subsequent trend towards bigger and bigger watches. Every year I hear, "Oh, my, this has gotten totally out of control, how much bigger can they get?" Every year I hear the predictions, "This silly trend will die soon." And every year, the demand for yet bigger watches continues to grow and grow, like the watches themselves...Do I detect a certain self satirizing tongue in cheek here?  

As with any daring design, that can be at once obscene and irresistibly appealing, only time will tell.  Remember, this watch was not designed to be tasteful nor a natural line extension of what has proven to be a classic.  It was purpose built for a movie about a possible apocalypse averted, an epic struggle of the post industrial mechanized age and humanity.

publicity still - Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Greatness often starts amid controversy.  Will the sands of time be kind to the T3?  Is the T3 a great watch for all time (or at least a couple of decades?)  Sorry, my crystal ball just went in to the Prognosticators Union After Sales Service Department for an overhaul.  I was quoted 12 weeks, but I don't expect to see it for 24. By then, I have no doubt this watch will be a sell out, the nay-sayers be damned. I wouldn't want to be the one betting against AP and Mr. S. Afterall, I sure would love to get my hands on an End of Days now for even original full retail price...


Audemars Piguet Discussion Forum | ThePuristS Home Page

All photos, except as noted, are taken by and from ThePuristS.com private collection.

Copyright April 2003 - ThePuristS.com - All rights reserved. No reproduction, in part or in whole, is allowed without the express consent of ThePuristS.com

This article was written for non-commercial reference and entertainment purposes only, and no claims or warranties are made, expressly or implied, for absolute accuracy of statements or specifications, although considerable efforts have been made to ensure factual correctness at the time of writing.  All trademarks and copyrights remain the possession of their respective registered owners.