THE FIRST LIMITED EDITION ROYAL OAK 41 MM CHRONOGRAPH
Presented as a limited series of only 1000 pieces (in steel/tantalum, pink gold/tantalum and platinum/tantalum), the Limited Edition Leo Messi Royal Oak is distinctive on every front. With a 41 mm diameter, it offers a generous and modern face that avoids being ostentatious. In addition, the limited series is graced with an alligator strap – and with an additional sportier rubber strap – to replace the traditional steel bracelet. The Leo Messi Royal Oak’s pure and elegant dial does not repeat the “tapisserie” motif that was the Royal Oak’s trademark. The dial is vertically brushed anthracite with hour markers in white gold for the steel version and pink gold for the pink gold version, while the platinum version sports a deep blue dial with white gold hour markers. For all versions, the three auxiliary chronograph counters and the small seconds counter are encircled by a finely brushed silvered ring.
Retaining the collection’s eight hexagonal screws in polished white gold, the bezel of the Limited Edition Leo Messi Royal Oak and the fastening links of the strap are in tantalum, giving off subtle glints of blue and grey. The uniqueness of these sublime colour effects governed the choice of tantalum, a material with very strong resistance to corrosion and high density – about twice as heavy as steel – that is particularly difficult to machine and polish.
The Leo Messi Royal Oak is offered in a limited series of 1000 pieces: 500 in steel/tantalum, 400 in pink gold/tantalum and 100 in platinum/tantalum. Each watch is delivered in an original case in the shape of a lacquered shoe box decorated on the inside with the player’s dedication.
This Royal Oak chronograph houses the self-winding mechanical calibre 2385 which offers hours, minutes, small seconds, date and chronograph functions. Made up of 304 components, the movement has a 40-hour power reserve and beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz). It is fitted with a single-block 18 ct gold oscillating weight.
Why did I fall in love with Royal Oak?
“On the football pitch I have always given equal importance to rigour and beauty of movement, precision and boldness, work and fluency. In football as in watchmaking, talent and elegance mean nothing without rigour and precision.
A Royal Oak is a sports watch and a luxury watch in one. I was lucky enough to receive my first Royal Oak in 2005. I immediately fell in love with this watch and its powerful and distinctive design. As time went by, I began to collect them. And I gradually came to understand the values of Audemars Piguet: respect for traditions, the uncompromising quest for quality, the sense of innovation and the pedigree design of their watches.
I also discovered that this watchmaking manufacture was one of the few independent firms in its field that is still owned by the founding families, which was something I really liked about them. Nowadays the world is so dominated by big corporations that staying independent has become a mark of courage.
And elegance means nothing without courage. It’s pretty much the same on a football pitch. You can dribble past all your opponents and carry off the finest technical feats; but if your team ends up losing the match, it’s just a meaningless waste of energy. I’m proud to have played a part in the creation of the Royal Oak Leo Messi, and proud that it bears my name.”