The 21st edition of the Tour Auto Optic 2000 set off from Paris on April 16th, aiming to reach Nice after five days of rally driving on the finest French roads. As partner and official timekeeper of the competition since 2006, Audemars Piguet will again be on hand for the event in 2012. The Audemars Piguet Racing Team has also announced its return to the starting line, and the brand is unveiling the new Royal Oak Offshore Chrono Tour Auto 2012, a watch created in a 150-piece limited edition to celebrate the latest edition of the best-known historical car rally.
The "Tour" returns to roots
The 2012 will prove a memorable occasion, since the competition will be back in several towns and places that are part of its illustrious age. Just as it did in the heyday of the Tour de France Automobile, which was one of the greatest international motor-racing events until the 1970s, the Tour will end in Nice. And as in 2008 and 2009, the race will start from the Grand Palais in Paris, with the 220 cars due to compete in the competition on show in an exceptional exhibition held under the venue’s giant glass cupola on Monday April 16th. Punctuated by a wealth of prestigious and historical stages such as the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, the competitive element will nonetheless reign supreme with special phases on closed roads and on some of the greatest French racing tracks.
Royal Oak Offshore Tour Auto 2012 Chronograph
In keeping with established tradition, Audemars Piguet is once again celebrating its participation in the Tour Auto with the launch of a limited-edition watch featuring the rally colours. This year comes the turn of a Royal Oak Offshore to be issued in a special “Tour Auto 2012” series. This was a logical association, since the Royal Oak Offshore, the ultra-sporty interpretation of the Royal Oak, was born in 1992, the year the Tour Auto was reborn in historical mode. Decked out in French red and blue, the Royal Oak Offshore Tour Auto 2012 chronograph proudly shows its true colours: those of a watch offering a blend of technical refinement and peerless precision, clearly destined for Gentlemen Drivers. This limited numbered edition, with the Tour Auto logo engraved on its caseback, comes in a presentation box specially created for the occasion.
150-piece limited numbered series
Calibre 3126/3840, self-winding
Power reserve: 60 hours
Cadence of the balance: 21,600 vph
Chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds, date
Stainless steel case, sapphire crystal
Caseback engraved with the Tour Auto logo, Royal Oak Offshore logo and “Edition limitée” inscription
Blue rubber-clad screw-lock crown and pushers
Diameter 42 mm
Water-resistant to 100 m
White dial with “Méga Tapisserie” motif
Blue counters at 6 and 9 o’clock
Blue Arabic numerals with luminescent coating
White gold Royal Oak hand with red luminescent coating, white inner bezel ring
Hand-sewn “Hornback” crocodile leather strap with red stitching
Stainless steel AP folding clasp
Additional blue rubber strap
Special Tour Auto 2012 presentation box