Luxury Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet recently released their Royal Oak Concept Laptimer Michael Schumacher watch.
The watch was built by Audemars Piguet in response to a challenge from their long time brand ambassador Michael Schumacher.
Schumacher back in 2010, challenged the company to build a mechanical watch specifically for motorsport use, one which a bystander on the sidelines can measure every single lap for an extended series of consecutive laps instead of having to use multiple watches to do so.
Sadly in the five years it took to make the watch, Schumacher was injured severely in a ski accident (back in 2013) that has left him still in rehabilitation, but according to Xavier Nolot, CEO of Audemars Piguet North America, it was the Schumacher family’s wish to continue developing the timepiece.
At the time, there was no mechanical watch that could do the task of timing the laps consecutively, so this watch is a mechanical first in that manner.
This watch offers alternating consecutive lap timing with with a flyback function specifically designed for continuous action on the racetrack.
Basically, a bystander on the track sidelines pushes a button to start the two independent central hands, and when one lap is complete, he pushes a button which does two things at once; it freezes one hand to mark the end of the lap and then at the same time jumps the second hand back to zero to start timing the next lap, and it continues over and over again with hands alternating duties of freezing and stopping back at zero again.
Once the hand is frozen, the bystander has a few seconds to note down the lap before the watch starts clicking for the next lap.
The magnificent watch is 44mm wide crafted with forged carbon with a titanium bezel and caseback, and ceramic and 18-karat pink gold pushers.
The watch features a blackened open-worked dial and case back both protected by a transparent sapphire crystal.
Michael Schumacher’s initials are featured on the lower portion of the caseback and on the laptimer push-piece, which is located under seven stars engraved to mark Schumacher’s seven Formula 1 championship wins.
Only 221 pieces will be made in honor of the number of Formula 1 World Championship point-winning races in which Michael Schumacher completed.
The watch is expected to retail for $229,500.