the racetrack and one of the most reputable watchmakers specialising in sports watches.
THE CHALLENGE Zase. This new watch would not to be worn by a driver, but instead by the crew in the pits as they monitor the race. The watchmakers at Audemars Piguet took on this challenge, but they needed to start from scratch because it had never been done in mechanical watches.
Five years later, Audemars Piguet presented the completed Royal Oak Concept Laptimer Michael Schumacher. The watchmakers managed to meet the challenge with a chronograph that can record several lap times without it being an over-complicated read on the dial. The watch has a chronograph function that drives two central chrono-hands controlled independently by three pushers, which work like all conventional chronographs.
The first pusher located at two o’clock is to start and stop the recording. The second pusher located at four o’clock is to reset the chronograph. It is the third pusher that makes this chronograph a world’s first and it sits at nine o’clock. The third pusher can simultaneously stop either one of the two hands while resetting the others back to zero and restarting the timing for the second round after the timing of the most
THE BODY A special movement deserves a unique housing to provide the best protection. Audemars Piguet’s team developed a strong and complex case. The bezel, the case band and the case back are made of titanium, the pushers of ceramic and pink gold, and the rest of forged carbon. In combination, they result in an extremely strong yet light timepiece, which is definitely an added bonus for a sports watch.
The openwork dial has blackened skeleton bridges and exposed natural movement components. The central hour and minute hands are in white gold with luminescent coating and the central chrono second hands are blackened with luminescent tips. The continuous second counter is at three o’clock with luminescent markings and a white gold hand.
BIRTHMARKS There are further markings honouring Michael Schumacher who is now convalescing after his near-fatal skiing accident. Seven stars on the case band mark his seven F1 World Championship titles, the “MS” monogram appears on the laptimer pusher and this special commemorative watch is only available in 221 pieces, referencing the number of Formula One races he won.
With all the technical innovations and the details that went into creating this masterpiece, it is a worthy tribute to a legend, and one that showcases the technical and watchmaking expertise of Audemars Piguet. This is a singular and important timepiece, the ultimate prize that you can ever have the pleasure of owning in your lifetime.
Top: Michael Schumicher.