On Wednesday, at the Givrins, Switzerland CS Ranch owned by Corinna Schumacher, one of the best known luxury watch brands, Audemars Piguet officially presented what could easily qualify as the most complex chronographs on the planet.
The watch is not only a first of its kind in the area of mechanical movement watches, but it’s also the result of what the brand’s ambassador, none other than Michael Schumacher, envisioned. The Royal Oak Concept Laptimer Michael Schumacher watch was created back in 2010 at the request of the seven-time Formula One World Champion – seeking to have a watch specifically designed for motorsport use. The concept – have a bystander on the sidelines able to measure every lap for an extended series without using multiple watches. “It was a true watchmaking challenge, actually,” recalls Xavier Nolot, CEO of Audemars Piguet North America, with the quest taking up five years. They continued the research and development even as Schumacher is still in rehabilitation at the behest of his family.
The Royal Oak Concept Laptimer Michael Schumacher watch breaks records in terms of mechanical chronographs, allowing alternating consecutive lap timing with a flyback function that allows both continuous recording and unparalleled precision. The hand-wound Manufacture caliber 2923 Laptimer Chronograph, made with the help of renowned watchmaker Giulio Papi of APRP has no less than 413 individual pieces and offers a power reserve of 80 hours – or 50 hours with the laptimer activated. The caseback has Schumacher’s initials and seven stars engraved above the laptimer pushpiece – just 221 units will be made, akin to the number of point-winning races in the champion’s career.