Yesterday, Audemars Piguet unveiled a new Michael Schumacher Limited Edition chronograph. The last limited edition chronograph with Schumacher’s name on it was introduced in 2012 and was housed inside a Royal Oak Offshore case, powered by an existing caliber 3126/3840 chronograph movement. This time around, the watch is presented in a Royal Oak Concept case, and powered by an all new chronograph movement, with an unprecedented laptimer function, developed in conjunction with Schumacher and Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi – specifically with racing in mind.
The forged carbon case measures 44 mm in diameter and features a darkened titanium bezel. The dial is protected by a curved glareproofed sapphire crystal. The caseback is titanium with a flat glare proofed sapphire crystal. The screw-down crown is in brushed black ceramic with pink gold in the center. The flat pushepieces at 2 and 4 o’clock are in brushed black ceramic with pink gold centers, protected by darkened titanium guards. On the opposite side of the case, at 9 o’clock, is the flat laptimer pushpiece, which is in black ceramic, and signed with an engraved “MS” logo. Water-resistance is 50 meters.
The openwork dial is black, with a 60-second chapter ring, a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and a continuously running small seconds hand at 9 o’clock. The hour and minute hands are oversized, skeletonized and treated with a luminescent coating. Two dark chronograph hands are centrally mounted and have white tips
This type of timepiece represents the top end of horology, and while it will not be available to very many people in its current form – theoretically – the design will help watchmakers design more advanced features within more accessible watch collections at Audemars Piguet in the future. And in the meantime, for a lucky few, you can buy the world’s first chronograph with an independent lap timer function.
The Royal Oak Concept Laptimer comes with a black rubber strap with titanium AP folding clasp (Ref. 26221FT.OO.D002CA.01) and will retail for $229,500. It is limited to 221 pieces, which represents the number of F1 World Championship point-winning races in which Schumacher competed in over his career.