ROYAL OAK CONCEPT LAPTIMER MICHAEL SCHUMACHER
In 2010, F1 legend and Audemars Piguet ambassador Michael Schumacher posed an apparently simple question to the engineers at Audemars Piguet: would it be possible to create a mechanical wrist watch designed specifically for use in motorsport which would make it possible to measure and record an extended series of consecutive lap times?
It was a horological challenge that had never before been met in a mechanical watch, and one that was inspired by motor racing’s very specific requirement to be able to time and compare multiple, consecutive laps – a task which has traditionally been carried out using a bank of two or more stop watches arranged in series. Now, after almost five years of development, Audemars Piguet can claim to have conquered that challenge.
It is the first motorsport-specific watch to feature a complication imagined by the celebrated driver, with two angular indexing systems on a single chronograph, each with an independent memory. It is also the first time that a movement has been developed from scratch at the behest of an ambassador by Audemars Piguet – an indication of the strength of the long-standing relationship which the Manufacture has enjoyed with Michael Schumacher since 2010.
The timepiece features a single chronograph driving two central hands which can be controlled independently via three pushpieces – the first sited at the conventional two o’clock position to start and stop the chronograph; the second sited at the four o’clock position to re-set the chronograph, and the all-important third pushpiece sited at the nine o’clock position.
This third pushpiece makes it possible to simultaneously stop either of the two chronograph hands, while returning the other hand to zero and restarting it – meaning that, while the time of the most recent lap is being noted down, timing of the next lap is already underway. The watch therefore negates the need for two or more hand-held timing devices, streamlining the operation within a single wrist chronograph.
Alternatively, the watch can keep a certain lap time as reference, stopping one hand with the laptimer button, and using the flyback function on the other chronograph hand with the pusher at 4 o’clock to restart the measurement of each new lap.
Finally, the timepiece can be used as a “standard” flyback chronograph with both hands running together in parallel.
The Royal Oak Concept Laptimer Michael Schumacher is the world’s first mechanical chronograph with alternating consecutive lap timing and flyback function, specifically designed and engineered for continuous action and relentless precision in timing laps on the racetrack. It will be the second Audemars Piguet chronograph to carry the name of the celebrated driver, and in honour of his extraordinary career, the Royal Oak Concept Laptimer Michael Schumacher will be made available in a strictly limited edition of 221 examples in recognition of the number of F1 World Championship point-winning races in which he competed.
“Michael has always been a watch lover and connoisseur. Like any engineer who is driven by details and by discovering tailor-made solutions to specific problems, he is fascinated by the technology and craftsmanship that goes into all Audemars Piguet watches,” says Sabine Kehm, Michael Schumacher’s agent.
“Michael is rightly famous for his sense of meticulousness, both in his work with the engineers and also in his determination and ability to race against every second. Thus, a mechanical watch which is not only beautiful but also an accurate instrument for timing motorsport does perfectly correspond to the high technology and precision which are so dear to him. It reflects the same spirit of determination and innovation on which he built his career as a F1 driver.” says Jean Todt, close friend of Michael Schumacher and President of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile)
ROYAL OAK CONCEPT LAPTIMER MICHAEL SCHUMACHER
Laptimer and Flyback Chronograph / Continuous lap timing and flyback
Limited edition: 221 pieces
Hand-wound Manufacture calibre 2923. Laptimer Chronograph
Total diameter: 34.60mm (15 1/3 lines)
NUMBER OF JEWELS
NUMBER OF PARTS
MINIMAL GUARANTEED POWER RESERVE
FREQUENCY OF BALANCE WHEEL
4 Hz, 28’800 vibrations/hour
Laptimer chronograph with double central second hands, flyback, 30 minutes counter, small seconds, hours and minutes
Forged carbon case
Curved glareproofed sapphire crystal
Titanium caseback with glareproofed sapphire crystal
Ceramic and 18-carat pink gold screw-locked crown
Black ceramic and 18-carat pink gold pushpieces
Black ceramic Laptimer pushpiece with MS logo
Titanium pushpiece guards
Bracelet: Black rubber strap with titanium AP folding clasp
Openworked black dial
30 minutes counter at 3 o’clock
Small seconds at 9 o’clock
White gold Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating
Black inner bezel
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About Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet is the oldest fine watchmaking manufacturers still in the hands of its founding families (Audemars and Piguet). Since 1875, the company has written some of the finest chapters in the history of Haute Horlogerie, including a number of world firsts. In the Vallée de Joux, at the heart of the Swiss Jura, numerous masterpieces are created in limited series embodying a remarkable degree of horological perfection, including daring sporty models, classic and traditional timepieces, splendid ladies’ jewellery-watches, as well as one-of-a-kind creations.
©Audemars Piguet 2015
This message has been edited by AnthonyTsai on 2015-05-20 10:57:21 This new AP video is quite possibly my favorite!
The watch will retail for $229,500 USD and is available at Audemars Piguet New York City and Bal Harbour Shops – www.audemarspiguet.com / 888-214-6858.
This message has been edited by AnthonyTsai on 2015-05-20 10:53:17 And I hear it is already in stock! Bravo, AP, on so many levels…
Thanks Michael for bringing us this news.
TMResearch Episode #1??? WOW, AP is on horological fire!
And you are correct, this watch is available for immediate purchase in both New York and Bal Harbour, Florida.
Appreciate your thoughts on this watch, Thomas.
Caliber remind me of Richard Mille, but what a superb combination of design and complication !
This new Schumacher is not one that I would ever particularly covet, but it’s a mechanical masterpiece. I marvel at the movement.
Credit to AP for its dedication to the craft in developing such a timepiece.
M4No message body…at 221 pieces with a $200k price tag–it will be interesting. I understand why they chose 221, but that is a lot of watches at that price point IMHO.
I not a fan of the case, but the movement and features look amazing.
I wish it weren’t concept case and more like the original Schumi case…shame.
Hope to see it in a few weeks while in Le Brassus… it has almost everything…. Style, design, and my favorite sports super star.
Wold love to see it in person….
KenAll the F1 drivers will be a the boutique door the minute the watch hits the store.
AP enthusiasts you better get in line first.