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A Prototype AP Royal Oak Chronograph: The Watch Omega Didn't Want Michael Schumacher To Have

In terms of modern-day chronographs, it doesn't get much better than the Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet. Simple, classic lines, the famous textured dial, a true haute horology movement, and a little of that AP-swagger make the Royal Oak high on any modern watch fan's list of "dream chronos". Now, unlike its oversized and rubberized big brother the Offshore, the traditional Royal Oak Chrono hasn't gone through 1001 iterations and collaborations - and that's part of the reason why we like it so much.

Because the Royal Oak chrono has stayed so traditional, it's rare to find anything out of the ordinary - at least in the Hodinkee sense of the word. Today, however, we have. We've found a true prototype Royal Oak, one that never made it to production and was never even delivered to its intended owner.

In 2000, AP created three watches in partnership with the Indianapolis Raceway, one of which you see to the right. The three men who would place at the US Grand Prix would receive a watch. The only problem was the winner of that race, none other than Michael Schumacher, was already under contract with another watch company (ahem) and could not accept the timepiece.

Because of this, the entire project was scrapped and the three prototypes were not given out. One of these three watches, however, did end up someplace, and now whoever grabbed this piece of would-be racing history is putting it up for sale via Antiquorum.


A Prototype AP Royal Oak Chronograph: The Watch Omega Didn't Want Michael Schumacher ToHave - Blog - Hodinkee

Discuss. :laugh:
 
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