Audemars Piguet – Review: The new AP Royal Oak Laptimer Michael Shumacher
A few days after the release of the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Laptimer Michael Schumacher, a mouthful I know, I was able to sneak a try on at the NYC boutique in Midtown Manhattan. I wanted to share my spoils with you all, as I was pretty dang impressed with this compressed carbon monster. As one could give pages just to the man Michael Shumacher himself, I will forgo that for now and focus just on his most recent namesake.
My very first impression of the watch was just how big it wasn’t. Coming in at 44 mm I was expecting it to be a little to bulky to hug a wrist that is used to 36’s, but it wears incredibly comfortable. The contour of the case where the bracelet is integrated makes the Laptimer lay flush and gives you that “just right” kinda feeling.
Now speaking of the case, it is really something else. This bad boy is made of 62 miles of compressed carbon thread, as the AP employee put it, “enough to stretch from here to the Hampton’s”. Although, I looked it up later and its actually more like 90 miles to the Hampton’s, but thats ok, the case is still one bad mama jamma. Forged Carbon is the result of carbon thread being heated, cooled, and compressed inside of a mold. Because of the fiber being distributed differently in each mold you have variations of the marbling effect on each watch. Which means that all 221 of these guys look just a little bit different from the last.
The bezel, as well as the caseback are striking pieces of titanium against the stark, almost all black, body they lay on. There are three pushers to manage what has to be the most intense chronograph I’ve personally ever held. All three are ceramic, but the pushers at 2 and 4 are topped with pink gold. The same goes for the crown, one piece ceramic and one piece pink gold.
Here is a break down of the chrono functions.
The top right pusher is used to start the two chronograph hands. As a lap is completed you would press the pusher at 9 o’clock to record it, simultaneously sending the other hand flying back to zero and restarting it. This is where the “Laptimer” name comes from. While that lap is running you can use the pusher at 4 o’clock to again send it back to zero to begin a new lap without affecting the best time you have already clocked.
If its confusing to you, it was to me too, even as I was typing this out!
Now say you have recorded a lap, but the new one that is currently running is going to beat it out, you have two options. The first, you can press the pusher at 9 o’clock which will send the stopped hand back to zero to begin a new lap, also stopping the other hand for you to record the time. The second, press the pusher at 2, it will stop and record the best time, while flying back the previous time to meet it. Then to reset both hands, just send them back to zero with the bottom right pusher.
This thing is bad, just look at this movement. A specially designed manual wound calibre 2923 is what powers all that craziness. And AP decided to pretty much black half of it out, and give the rest a gunmetal finishing which in this particular case I think is rad. Capable of recording times of up to an 1/8 of a second this thing has no more, or no less, than three column wheels making this whole beautiful mess work. Beating at 4 Hz and made up of 413 parts, the Michael Shumacher boasts a pretty incredible 80 hour power reserve.
So all in all I was very impressed with AP’s new chronograph. The fit, the look, and the function, are all very much present in this new offering from Le Brassus. So yes, if you have the $229,500 to drop on this beauty, then please do it.
Then proceed to take me out to lunch so I can play with it some more.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it.
Dylan T. Dutson