This Audemars Piguet is where the world of luxury watches and luxury race cars come together as one. Starting with its carbon fiber construction, which is also the omnipresent material in Formula One race cars and the material used in motorsports across the world, and ending with the mechanical and aesthetic resemblance.
Michael Schumacher, known as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time, believes that the process of making a watch is much like the process of working on a race car. The most intricate details are significant because even the smallest functions have a cause, a connection and an effect.
The AP Grand Prix itself works like a race car, which is how it received its name. The dial reads like the instruments that are on the dashboard, the crown is the gear, and the bezel is the break disk. The rotor that controls the resilience of the race car is much like the rotors that are found within the AP, and the lug nuts on the wheels are much like the screws holding the watch together. When you pop open the hood of a race car and ogle the high performance engine, think of popping open the Audemars Piguet Grand Prix and admiring the movement of the chronograph.
The AP Grand Prix gets its name from the open-wheel race held on a street circuit in downtown Long Beach, California. It was the first race during each year of the World Series starting in 2004, but it was the premier circuit in Champ Car starting in 1996. Till this day, the Long Beach Grand Prix is the longest running major street race in North America, highlighting this AP’s technique, resilience and flair.
The forged carbon is extremely light. Originally made for aeronautics, the forging method had to be altered by AP to cater to molding smaller pieces. Over time, they have adjusted the technique of heating and cooling the molds to be able to create this beautiful luxury timepiece. In result the case has a glistening effect, a silky feel, and although large, chunky and masculine, the forged carbon allows the watch to stay nice and light.
The strap of the watch stays true to its motorsport origins. It’s made of Alcantara which is the same leather used inside race cars. Alcantara is made of 68% polyesters and 32% polyurethane, which mean that it is extremely durable and stain resistant. The look of the strap and its tactile feel is similar to that of suede, which people commonly misinterpret it as.
The look of the watch is sexy and sleek with its red and black carbon case. The characteristics of the dial flirt with the idea of speed and thrill seeking. The only downside of having a carbon fiber watch is that the carbon is very brittle and when banged around, the edges may start to wear down, and eventually crumble. If that does end up happening keep in mind that having to replace the case or bezel of this watch can be expensive, so wear it with care.
You can purchase the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix in either titanium, 18K rose gold or platinum. All three are limited edition and have a limited supply of 1,750 pieces, 650 pieces, and 75 pieces, respectively.
At the end of the day, if you are a luxury watch and a motorsport lover, this is the watch for you. Its core works like the core of a race car. Its body is made out of the same materials as a race car. Therefore, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix Limited Edition Carbon is essentially, the race car of watches.