Audemars Piguet - ROYAL OAK CONCEPT LAPTIMER MICHAEL SCHUMACHER 44MM
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
Audemars Piguet - ROYAL OAK CONCEPT LAPTIMER MICHAEL SCHUMACHER 44MM

ROYAL OAK CONCEPT LAPTIMER MICHAEL SCHUMACHER 44MM

Audemars Piguet

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Laptimer et flyback chronograph

About the watch LAPTIMER AND FLYBACK chronograph :
We are often called upon to be able to measure the time separating two
events. This makes the chronograph an indispensable instrument.
A watchmaker from the Vallée de Joux - Adolphe Nicole - invented the modern chronograph watch, lodging the first patent for this complication in 1844.
Since 1875, Audemars Piguet has created exceptional chronographs, equipped with split-second, jumping fractional second, deadbeat seconds and flyback.
While the new calibre 2923 faithfully reflects this philosophy, dating back over one hundred years, the movement makes its own mark with an exclusive
chronograph mechanism, showcasing one of the Brassus Manufacture’s latest advances in reliability and precision.
This chronograph mechanism features a new, highly-efficient rocker wheel coupling principle.
This provides dual gearing adjustment to ensure greater accuracy, an exclusive Audemars Piguet innovation that also prevents the chronograph hand
from jumping when the start function is activated. Combined with the chronograph, two particularly practical functions have been included in this new calibre 2923: the Laptimer and the Flyback.
 
LAPTIMER FUNCTION
 
The Laptimer function is especially appreciated in motor racing.
It is ideal for timing a repetitive event, such as measuring the time of successive laps by a driver on a track.
The Laptimer can stop the timing in progress (sweepseconds hand no. 1) and relaunch it, instantaneously (sweep-seconds hand no. 2), by pressing and releasing immediately the Laptimer pushpiece.
 
Advantage of the Laptimer function
The Laptimer can time laps without limitation, which is impossible with a traditional chronograph. Stopping a first sweep-seconds hand and simultaneously resetting the second to zero (to start a new timing sequence) alternate every time the pushpiece is pressed. Several times can therefore be measured in succession and the differences compared.
 
FLYBACK FUNCTION
 
The chronograph with flyback function has a special feature compared with the traditional chronograph. The flyback is used to reset the timing in progress to zero and to relaunch it, instantaneously, bypressing and releasing immediately the reset to zero pushpiece.
An ingenious device added to aviation chronographs in the 1930s, the flyback system is a sizeable asset. It allows the pilot who uses his timepiece to judge the approach of a point to avoid any discrepancy in the time measurement. He now has to activate only one of the pushpieces to restart his chronograph. The hand returns instantaneously to zero and picks up its travel
without being stopped first. The pilot thus simplifies and refines considerably the accounting of the time.
 

Technical specifications

CASE
Forged carbon case, curved glareproofed sapphire crystal, titanium caseback with glareproofed sapphire crystal, titanium bezel, black ceramic and 18-carat pink gold screw-locked crown, black ceramic and 18-carat pink gold pushpieces, black ceramic Laptimer pushpiece with MS logo, titanium pushpieces guards. Water-resistant to 50 metres. 44 mm.
 
CASE WIDTH 44.00 mm
WATER RESISTANCE 50 m
DIAL Openworked black dial, 30 minutes counter at 3 o’clock, white gold Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating, black inner bezel.
BRACELET Black rubber strap with titanium AP folding clasp.
 
Ref# 26221FT.OO.D002CA.01
 
Technical data of the movement
Total thickness: 12.70 mm
Total diameter: 34.60 mm
Frequency of balance wheel: 4 Hz
(28,800 vibrations/hour)
Number of jewels: 34
Minimal power reserve: 80 hours
Hand-wound
Balance with variable inertia blocks
Breguet balance-spring
Mobile stud-holder
Number of parts: 413
Specificities :
First mechanical Flyback and Laptimer
chronograph movement
Chronograph mechanism with three column
wheels
Dual angular indexing mechanism
30-minute counter
Flyback second counter
Rocker wheel coupling
Contemporary manual finishes on components

Who's who

Audemars Piguet is above all a family story. Over the centuries, the company’s management has always included at least one descendant of distinguished founders Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet. In spite of the crises it has been through, in particular the 1929 Great Depression, which severely impacted the luxury industry, the Manufactory has never stopped producing watches. It was however because of a completely different kind of crisis, in the wake of the discovery of quartz, that Audemars Piguet created one of its major timepieces. And Laurent Picciotto became a part of the “AP” history thanks to another family story... “I had just turned 12 when my father took me to see the first example of this incredible watch, soon after its arrival at Place Vendôme. I could see that he was fascinated by this object, stunned by Gérald Genta’s incredible design. I was rooted to the spot, understanding that a whole new dimension of watchmaking had just been discovered.” The timepiece in question was the Royal Oak, and the new watchmaking dimension was the luxury sports watch. It was 1972, and in his mind’s eye Laurent Picciotto can still see what held his awestruck gaze as a child: “a completely new case shape, an integrated strap – sports luxury of a new kind. I couldn’t get it out of my mind for a long time.” It is true that the Manufactory originally became a part of the history of watchmaking through complications rather than as a result of bleeding-edge creative design. The first watches with complications were delivered in Germany as early as 1895! The road to luxury watchmaking was already marked out, if not yet well worn. In 1915, Audemars Piguet presented the Grande Complication series, with no fewer than 400 watches. This was the age of pocket watches; the number of lines in this type of caliber gave plenty of space for all kinds of watchmaking madness. In 1920 the brand brought out a pocket watch that was the most sophisticated in the world, with an unprecedented total of 15 complications! The destiny of the watchmaker from Le Brassus was significantly affected by the arrival of the wristwatch, which became widespread in the interwar years. There was temporary respite in the race for complications, with the race for miniaturisation taking its place. In 1946, Audemars Piguet presented the smallest caliber in the world (1.64 mm), followed 20 years later by the flattest automatic movement in the world (2.45 mm), with a gold central rotor. The arrival of Gérald Genta and the very atypical design of the Royal Oak challenged the brand’s design codes. It had not previously been present in the sports segment and was used to a more traditional design. “Even now, the watch is laden with emotion,” explains Laurent Picciotto. “When I met Gérald Genta and, one morning in 1992, I put my first Royal Oak in my window display, it was a momentous occasion. I told myself that there is no such thing as chance and that I had become the custodian of my father’s heritage. But that was only the beginning of the adventure!” At that time the brand had not yet become established as the must-have in luxury watches that it is today. These watches are more of a specialist interest for informed enthusiasts than an organised commercial trend. Audemars Piguet long had only one outlet in its own name in the world, in Geneva. And since the brand is above all a family story, it was only natural that it should entrust the privilege of opening its second shop, in rue Saint Honoré, Paris, to none other than Laurent Picciotto. “It was 1997 and we were starting from scratch. The Royal Oak was at last beginning to carve out its iconic place in watchmaking; the future lay before us,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. This journey went on together on an exclusive basis for a decade and now continues with Laurent as an official agent. ‘‘Together we wrote a chapter in the history of the Manufactory, creating limited series and more besides. And the emotion is still just as real today!” 
 
Journalist : Olivier Müller
 
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