February 5, 2023

Recently, a few friends have checked in with me to ask about my AP Rubens Barrichello II Royal Oak Offshore.  “Do you still have that watch?”, “do you still wear that watch?”, those have been the questions.
So I felt maybe I had neglected to share this one recently and therefore snapped some new photos yesterday.  Very much still in the small collection and daily rotation smile

Much has been written about this piece over the years, and with good reason.  Every time I handle or wear the watch, some words that come to mind are: striking, daring, interesting, and bold.  All great attributes of a successful sports watch.

I have now owned my sample about 2 years.  I bought the watch truly new old stock from a very close friend and AP collector.  What I find quite amazing is that my piece still looks identical to the day I bought it, despite having been worn a few hundred times.  I have never actually used the original perforated leather strap and folding titanium buckle, having instead changed to one of my wide AP rubber straps and pin buckle upon acquiring it.  I don’t have any comfort issues with the AP clasp, and imagine one day I will mount the original setup on the watch.

Is there a negative to discuss about this watch?  At the risk of sounding like a real fanboy, no, there is not.  But I suppose it is fair to comment on the fact the many nooks and crannies do acquire dust and need a reasonable cleaning every now and then.  Again, not such a negative, as it allows the owner some additional time to rediscover the many unique design elements on the watch.  As you can see in the photos, my piece is due for such a cleaning.

While so many of the RB2’s design cues can be traced to the previously released Juan Pablo Montoya Offshore, what really distinguishes this watch is the amazing ceramic bezel.  AP refers the the “bezel seal” as a brake disc design.  The notched look is very interesting on the wrist and meshes well with the rest of the design.  The polished angles of the upper bezel are extremely shiny and reflective, while AP’s normal vertical brushed top surface is really accentuated on the ceramic material.

As mentioned, I enjoy wearing AP’s wider straps and tang buckles.  I had recently mounted the grey crocodile strap with brushed titanium buckle and am still enjoying the combination.

The caseback is very much to my liking.  I am against open casebacks on many watches, despite nearly every manufacturer using them.  Fortunately here, AP went back to a solid design after exposing the Montoya’s movement (although that one does feature a noteworthy rotor).  The machined titanium has great structural depth and detail, again congruent with the rest of the RB2’s awesome design.

Luminova coats the hour markers and center sections of the hands and makes the watch crisply legible in the dark.

As we near 10 years since this reference was originally launched in 2006, its legacy is already well cemented.  I openly admit it took me a while to understand the brilliance of this timepiece.  Of course, having never handled one before actually buying it certainly delayed my interest.  Buying a piece sight unseen is not always a deterrent, but in this case, I needed to see one up close to really appreciate the level of detail and finishing this watch brings forth.  It really is a magnificent design by Audemars Piguet.

Mine is definitely not a safe queen.  It provides so much pleasure on the wrist I am not sure I would understand the point of owning one and never wearing it.  Sure, it is a valuable possession, but it is after all still a watch, intended to be worn on the wrist smile

I have a few other strap combinations in mind for this one, and when I make another change, I’ll be sure and add some new photos.

Hi Michael,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the RBII.  It has been a long while since I can recall seeing an in-depth post about this one. You have increased my appreciation of this AP. I have always admired it from afar as simply a very handsome watch and among the most attractive of the Offshores, but mine has always been a superficial appreciation, unlike my feelings and thoughts about the Survivor, for instance.  You make me think that perhaps I should consider the RBII more seriously. 

In any case, it is very pleasant to read your thoughtful comments and see more of the RBII.

Best,

respo

Your repeated posts on this RB II lead me to change my mind on this one, and to appreciate it more and more…

Damn cool one!

Best,

Nicolas

actual ownership and usage.
Bravo.Great to see it as part of your daily rotation and share wrist time with your other AP’s.
Regards,
ED-209