Royal Oak Offshore movements are machine finished and not hand finished?

 By: @Patek_Ambassador : October 17th, 2020-13:53
I watched a recent video by Tim Mosso from Watchbox where be reviewed a new release of an Offshore and in the video he said that AP ROO movements are hand assembled, but machine finished. Is this true? Does AP really not hand finish these movements? It is a bit shocking to say the least. I donโ€™t believe a timepiece, no matter how exquisite, that is machine finished could be considered haute horlogerie.

Don't know about RO's but it's not uncommon for mass produced watches. [nt]

 By: India Whiskey Charlie : October 17th, 2020-13:55
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Exactly. I have been purchasing Offshores for years and could care less.

 By: MichaelC : October 18th, 2020-06:02
Never expected they were hand finished; in no way diminishes my interest.

Most are machine finished , journe for example does as well [nt]

 By: Mohannad (aka Riddler) : October 17th, 2020-14:02
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We shouldn't get too worked up when brands talk up their own credentials; branding is about bending reality.

 By: Age_of_Surfaces : October 17th, 2020-14:07
In the case of Audemars Piguet, they also use movements developed for them by Vaucher Manufacture. This facility is part of the Parmigiani group in Fleurier, and supplies many high-end brands. Another Parmigiani facility builds and finishes dials for brands that don't disclose this information to their customers.

There's nothing wrong or surprising with any of this. If it does appear off, then it's because customers too easily believe the spin that touts such things as in-house and hand-finishing as markers of exclusivity.

Ultimately, it's about liking a watch as it looks and feels. If we want to be sure that what we're holding and looking at is truly hand-finished, the best way to do it is to support small volume independent brands. Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and co. by contrast make watches at an industrial scale.

AP doesnโ€™t use vaucher [nt]

 By: Mohannad (aka Riddler) : October 20th, 2020-02:19
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AP and Vaucher

 By: Sho-nuff : October 21st, 2020-05:22
My understanding is AP uses the Vaucher base cal. 3002 on its new 34mm ROs, and has exclusive customisations done to it.

Honestly thatโ€™s the first time I hear about it [nt]

 By: Mohannad (aka Riddler) : October 21st, 2020-07:02
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Hi, Re: AP and Vaucher, I based my remark on the review by Monochrome Watches

 By: Age_of_Surfaces : October 21st, 2020-09:28
Source: "Hands On - Audemars Piquet Royal Oak Self-winding 34mm," dated 7 Oct 20.
The Audemars Piquet website states only that this new release operates on a self-winding 5800 caliber. It does not mention where the base caliber is from.
This is one example of how brands do not reveal their dependencies. It's a commonplace tactic, and part of overall branding that gives the impression of autonomy. The truth is that many high-end Swiss brands lean on assets from within the country and beyond.
Disclosures would be welcome but as someone else in this thread has already mentioned, it would shake the somewhat fragile illusion of exclusivity that these brands try to cultivate.
Vaucher/Parmigiani understands this too, which is why they are discreet about their business partnerships.

As far as I know, yup

 By: batholith : October 17th, 2020-14:22
the only ones that get a substantial amount of hand finishing are the Jumbos. As our other colleagues have pointed out, pretty much standard practice for all but special models or small scale manufacturers.

At this point AP probably spends more man hours finishing bracelets than movements ๐Ÿ˜‚

 By: Fastwong : October 17th, 2020-14:29
The offshore really gets shafted for the $ imho. Stamped dial, steel vs white gold bolts, rubber strap (usually), chrono module on an undersized movement, I do like the aesthetics of the ROO and have thought about getting one as an ultimate beach watch but it kinda feels like AP tries to give you less for more with the offshore.

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ [nt]

 By: Reuven Malter : October 17th, 2020-14:41
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Advertising slogan right there: "Offshore? Less for more." [nt]

 By: Rapwatch : October 18th, 2020-05:35
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 By: Weems@8 : October 17th, 2020-14:37
Many crafts are a secret. It stop copying from each other.
Transparency is important, but it can take away some magic.
The same as an illusionist tell the trick.

Tim Mosso speaks the truth...

 By: patrick_y : October 17th, 2020-14:39
It's all those Patek Philippe fan boys and Audemars Piguet fan boys who spread incorrect information and assume that because it's got a reputable name on the dial that things are always good.  A lot of the AP RO Offshore Chronographs are just generic Frederic Piguet chronograph movements adapted by AP. 

Haha, I'd take the f piguet movement, that's a great moment, but I think that's the royal oak chronos.

 By: Fastwong : October 17th, 2020-14:48
I think the offshores get a dubois chrono module ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ญ

Correct. Dubois Depraz in ROO it was. [nt]

 By: India Whiskey Charlie : October 17th, 2020-15:05
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Oh! Oops! My memory is not what it used to be! Apologies! [nt]

 By: patrick_y : October 21st, 2020-09:45
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Next thing you'll tell me is that...

 By: mdg : October 17th, 2020-14:51
...Santa isn't real. What!!!!?

๐Ÿคฃ indeed. [nt]

 By: Reuven Malter : October 17th, 2020-15:08
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Good one! [nt]

 By: amanico : October 18th, 2020-12:15
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Most Pateks are only machine finished, from time only through annual calendars, at least. At the upper end, both AP and Patek have some handwork.

 By: Spangles - Mr. Tabby : October 17th, 2020-14:53
Meanwhile, an entry-level Breguet dress watch, the 5177, has two interior angles as a little sign to those in the know that they do finishing by hand.
Lange, of course, does hand finishing as well, so some brands are keeping the traditional skills alive.

Interesting insight. With all due respect to Breguet, at the end of the day, i would say the PP finish looks much more spectacular ("shiny")

 By: Reuven Malter : October 17th, 2020-15:08
But ill respect Breguet more, after learning this.

WOW, I wonder if this also shocks the poster. [nt]

 By: MichaelC : October 17th, 2020-16:09
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This is not necessarily true anymore, unfortunately

 By: skyeriding : October 18th, 2020-20:49
In some 5177 movements (I'm unsure if this applies to all new 777Qs), the interior angles are now replaced by rounded ones which are likely done by machine.
This can be seen in this video at 0:41, officially from Breguet: 

I think this is just the video, not a change in production.

 By: Spangles - Mr. Tabby : October 19th, 2020-03:58
Here's an actual picture:

We're not taking about Dufour, the interior angles are hand finished in both cases, though. Just here they are more shallow on the entry level Breguet. Also, it is likely the hand finishing on this Breguet is just that: The finishing step--just as in the Geneva Seal (Breguet is not made in Geneva, but stay with me!)--the last steps in finishing are done by hand to remove all machine finishing marks. This is a reasonable level of excellence to expect from an entry level piece and what you find in various levels from Lange, Breguet, etc. And note that Lange avoids anything even remotely resembling an interior angle in their lower level pieces. Basically, Breguet is showing that they do traditional finishing, while keeping the anglage fairly narrow in their style. This is as opposed to a thicker anglage that is left entirely by machine with no handwork i.e. Patek.

There are some 777 movements with defined interior angles, but there doesn't seem to be a pattern with the varying levels of finish

 By: skyeriding : October 19th, 2020-14:07
This example below, taken from the deconstruction by The Naked Watchmaker, showcases two defined interior corners on the 777 movement. While admittedly not the cleanest execution, shows some of the effort needed by hand to execute the anglage. The anglage also appears to be wider and more rounded.

Here is another example from SJX, taken from the 777 inside the relatively recent 5177 with blue enamel dial, released last year. This also exhibits the sharp inner angles.

Thus I find it odd how some variants of the 777, even till today, exhibit different levels of finishing (I believe that SJX photo that you've posted is taken from a Hora Mundi, which is at a significantly higher price point too!). 

There doesn't seem to be a consistent standard or pattern in Breguet's case, unlike some other brands. For instance, Chopard differentiates their movements as different cal., with the 1.96 being their most well-finished example, versus the other variants of the 96 which have less finishing and features (such as missing the swan neck and overcoil hairspring).

Nevertheless, regardless of the different level of finish, it is always nice to see that Breguet does put in effort to ensure the anglage is still finished to ensure that the machining marks are removed, or minimized. 



I appreciate you taking the time to look more deeply into this, it's part of what I love about this community.

 By: Spangles - Mr. Tabby : October 19th, 2020-18:36
And I have a possible proposal for why very recent examples of the 777 movement line look a little better than earlier ones, such as the Hora Mundi example: Breguet is upping its finishing game. The skeletonized tourbillons are part of this. They require, of course, a lot hand finishing and that is good practice for skills that are showing up down the line. However, it can also be a redistribution of skills as the new Marine line now also starts with a 777A movement in the time only model (freeing up the previous F.Piguet movement for use by Blancpain). This 777A has a different finish, with stripes on the plates meant to evoke the planks of a wooden ship (and a rotor like a ship's wheel etc). But the interior angles have entirely disappeared without even a dip in the plate! At least all machine marks have been hand polished away, at least as far as I can tell...

I think now it all matters how you choose to represent your brand and/or model through a great celebrity and superlatively correct marketing!

 By: Pun : October 17th, 2020-19:29
I'm learning a lot here nowadays โ˜บ๏ธ. Thanks for initiating the discussion.

Just to explain this in a bit more detail....

 By: jleno : October 17th, 2020-19:50
When people talk about machine finishing, what they're typically referring to is the anglage on the bridges. Machine finished anglage will often look flat and may have slight vertical striations visible left over from the machining process. What you ideally want to see for hand-finishing are round, wide, perfectly polished bevels, preferably with interior angles. Interior angles are notable because those can only be finished by hand, and are supposedly more difficult to finish as well.

To show some examples with pictures....

Machine finished anglage on a simple Patek. Notice the vertical striations? I've seen photos of examples with what appeared to be better quality anglage though, so maybe this varies on a case by case basis.

Machine finished anglage on a Moser:

Royal Oak anglage. I don't see clear machining marks from this photo, so I may consider it better than the last two examples.

And for some examples of hand-finished anglage...

Parmigiani Hebdomadaire. An unusually large number of interior angles, but would have been nicer if the anglage was a little thicker and rounder.

Credor Eichi II. Incredibly wide, rounded bevels.

Duffour Simplicity. Probably considered the gold standard for what expert-level anglage should look like.

Romain Gauthier Logical One. Very wide, rounded anglage with many interior angles.

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