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. Winner of a record seven world championship titles, Michael Schumacher has achieved more race victories, more pole positions and scored more points than any other driver in the history of his sport.
"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."
"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," says Michael.
The Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Michael Schumacher was designed in direct collaboration with the legendary driver who fully immersed himself in the project, often marvelling at the innovative solutions developed by Audemars Piguet’s engineers.
A long-time admirer of the Royal Oak Offshore, Michael has always appreciated its unique and innovative design as well as its craftsmanship and functionality. By working closely with the team involved in the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Michael Schumacher he was able to understand the challenges of developing a watch which is not only distinctive but also attractive, robust, functional and comfortable to wear.
Sporting Performance Watches
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.
IN EACH INSTANCE, THE DESIGN CODES HAVE BEEN DRAWN FROM MICHAEL SCHUMACHER’S HIGH-SPEED WORLD IN WHICH TIMING IS EVERYTHING.
The anthracite grey dial, decorated with the Royal Oak Offshore’s famous " Mega Tapisserie " pattern, is subtly marked at the circumference of the tachymetre scale between the 12 and one positions with two blue and five red stars symbolising 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, meanwhile, is depicted with a discreet, black and white pattern evoking the design of a chequered flag and 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 racing car’s monocoque. 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 recognisable 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 domed and inset nuts.
The specially - designed rubber strap - grey on titanium and pink gold editions, blue on the platinum edition - is attached by microblasted, satin-brushed titanium studs which emulate a racing car’s cooling scoops, while the microblasted crown (made from either titanium, pink gold or white gold) is machined to resemble a gear wheel and adorned with a red anodised, aluminium plate carrying the Audemars Piguet logo. Microblasted titanium guards protect the polished black ceramic pushpieces, which are topped with caps of either titanium, white or pink gold.