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October 17, 2012updated Feb 11, 2013

Audemars Piguet Harness Precision of Formula 1 in New Michael Schumacher Chronograph

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Le Brassus, Switzerland – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Timing, precision engineering and refusal to compromise. All of these attributes can be applied to the highest level of auto racing as readily as they can be applied to the creations of Audemars Piguet. Now the two worlds come together in a special edition of the Royal Oak Offshore dedicated to the man regarded as the greatest race car driver of all time – Michael Schumacher.

Engineered by Audemars Piguet to the exacting standards of the world’s most successful race car driver, the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Michael Schumacher features an imposing, 44 mm case which is available in 1,000 pieces made from titanium; 500 pieces made from 18 carat pink gold and 100 pieces made from platinum 950.

The anthracite grey dial, decorated with the Royal Oak Offshore’s famous ” Mega Tapisserie ” pattern, is subtly marked at the circumference of the tachymeter scale between the 12 and one positions with two blue and five red stars symbolizing the driver’s record seven championship victories, two driving for Benetton in 1994 and 1995 and five driving for Ferrari from 2000 – 2004. The minute track is depicted with a discreet, black and white pattern evoking the design of a checkered flag while the galvanic chronograph counters (black on the titanium and pink gold editions, blue on the platinum edition) feature raised frames based on the dashboard instruments of a high-performance car.

The automotive imagery is further extended to the hour and minute hands which are of a form never before seen. Made from facetted gold with a white luminescent coating, they are loosely inspired by the silhouette of a Formula One car’s body. The red-lacquered chronograph hands that complement them have been designed with especially blackened heads in order to help focus the eye on the indication and, for the first time ever on a Royal Oak Offshore, the date display is also in red.

Although the Royal Oak Offshore’s instantly recognizable shape is retained, the case material and details of the Michael Schumacher limited edition are specific to this watch. The one-piece, octagonal bezel is made from ultra-resistant Cermet, a material that is seven times more durable than steel and secured with eight automotive-style inset nuts.

Turning the watch over reveals a minimalist caseback, loosely based on the look of wheel spokes and fitted with a sapphire crystal centre which allows the superb, 365-part, self-winding calibre 3126/3840 of the Royal Oak Chronograph Michael Schumacher to be seen in full. Which you must, in order to admire the timepieces’ 22-carat gold oscillating weight, treated in anthracite and adorned with the Audemars Piguet logo and Schumacher’s signature.

“There is a similarity between car racing and watch making, principally in the fact that it is essential to take care of the smallest details because everything is connected.” Says Schumacher in conclusion. “The performance of each component relates directly to that of another. This means that, in both cases, it is necessary to strive for daring solutions which result in greater functionality.” Which it appears Audemars Piguet have done with the creation of the new Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Michael Schumacher.

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