THE NEW ROYAL OAK CONCEPT LAPTIMER MICHAEL SCHUMACHER, A WORLD PREMIERE IN MECHANICAL WATCHES, HAS BEEN LAUNCHED. IT IS THE FIRST TIME THAT A NEW MOVEMENT HAS BEEN CREATED FOR AN AMBASSADOR.
It is the first time that the family owned Manufacture creates a new movement for one of its ambassadors. The event took place at Corinna Schumacher’s ranch in Givrins, where guests were welcomed to a seated dinner by François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO of Audemars Piguet, and Sabine Kehm, Michael Schumacher’s agent and longtime friend.
After a tailor-made dinner signed by three-star Michelin Chef Philippe Rochat and his team RSH, guests were able to discover and handle the timepiece imagined by the legendary F1 World Champion.
Back in 2010, Audemars Piguet ambassador Michael Schumacher posed an apparently simple question to the Manufacture’s engineers: would it be possible to create a mechanical wrist watch designed specifically for use in motorsport which would measure and record an extended series of consecutive lap times?
When you see a legend, a man who won seven F1 World Championships, looking at a watch with the eyes of a child as if he were meeting Santa Claus for the first time, it is very moving. We are proud to have converted his dream into reality.
It was a horological challenge that had never been met in a mechanical watch before, and after almost five years of development, Audemars Piguet can claim to have conquered that challenge with the first motorsport-specific watch to feature a complication with two angular indexing systems on a single chronograph, each with an independent memory.
The chronograph is driving two central hands which can be controlled independently via three pushpieces – the first sited at the conventional two o’clock position to start and stop the chronograph; the second sited at the four o’clock position to re-set the chronograph, and the all-important third pushpiece sited at the nine o’clock position.
This third pushpiece makes it possible to simultaneously stop either of the two chronograph hands, while returning the other hand to zero and restarting it – meaning that, while the time of the most recent lap is being noted down, timing of the next lap is already underway. The watch therefore negates the need for two or more hand-held timing devices, streamlining the operation within a single wrist chronograph.
Alternatively, the watch can keep a certain lap time as reference, stopping one hand with the laptimer button, and using the flyback function on the other chronograph hand with the pusher at 4 o’clock to restart the measurement of each new lap.
Finally, the timepiece can be used as a “standard” flyback chronograph with both hands running together in parallel.
It is the second Audemars Piguet chronograph to carry the name of the celebrated driver, and in honour of his extraordinary career, the Royal Oak Concept Laptimer Michael Schumacher will be made available in a strictly limited edition of 221 examples in recognition of the number of F1 World Championship point-winning races in which he competed.
Sabine Kehm, Michael Schumacher’s manager and close friend greeted the guests saying: “We are proud to welcome you to the launch of Michael’s innovation. It is so exciting to see his idea become reality, he invested so much time and passion in this project, he definitely considered it his baby.”
Price from 229,500.00
Available from: official Audemars Piguet dealers