Michael Schumacher has become the latest sportsperson to collaborate with Audemars Piguet, having helped design a Royal Oak Offshore for the brand.
Schumacher has followed in the footsteps of Lionel Messi, having worked closely with Audemars’ chief artistic officer, Octavio Garcia on the watch.
The timepiece has a 44mm case and will be available in three versions: a titanium model, of which 1,000 pieces will be available; a pink gold version limited to 500 pieces; and a platinum cased edition of which just 100 will be made.
It has an anthracite grey dial, with two blue and five red stars added to symbolise the Schumacher’s record seven championship victories, two driving for Benetton in 1994 and 1995 and five driving for Ferrari from 2000 to 2004. The minute track is said to evoke the design of a chequered flag.
Schumacher said: “There is a similarity between car racing and watchmaking, principally in the fact that it is essential to take care of the smallest details because everything is connected.
"The performance of each component relates directly to that of another. This means that, in both cases, it is necessary to strive for daring solutions which result in greater functionality.”
The watch has a minimalist caseback, loosely based on the look of a race car’s wheel spokes. The watch has a self-winding calibre 3126/3840, while the 22ct gold oscillating weight has been given an anthracite treatment and is decorated with both Audemars Piguet’s logo and Schumacher’s signature in 3D.
Schumacher is said to have discovered the brand some 15 years ago. He said: “I discovered the world of Audemars Piguet around 15 years ago after being introduced to the brand by Jean Todt when he was team principal at Scuderia Ferrari.
“By then, I had already appreciated how watches were interlinked to the world of car racing, but it was not until that point I realized that the products of Audemars Piguet, especially the Royal Oak, are particularly highly prized by drivers. From that day on I have been a huge fan of Audemars Piguet.”