AUDEMARS PIGUET – Chronograph dedicated to Leo Messi
40 years after its birth, the Royal Oak reasserts itself as a timeless icon of sporting elegance. In parallel with this anniversary and the two platinum pieces specially created to mark the occasion, Audemars Piguet presents a 41 mm chronograph dedicated to the world’s best footballer, Leo Messi. It will be the only other Royal Oak special edition in 2012. Limited to 1000 pieces offered in three different versions, the Royal Oak Leo Messi stands apart both in the materials used and in its original and novel design.
Some footballers are said to be able to win a match on their own. Others are said to have the capacity to help their teammates play better. Leo Messi is one of the very few to belong to both categories. At a mere 24 years old, this brilliant Argentine footballer has already left his mark on the history of football. Three times voted Ballon d’Or, and several times named best player, winner of five Spanish championships and three Champions Leagues, this magician of the pitch in the number 10 shirt has revolutionised football with his exceptional technique and exemplary sense of teamwork and fair play.
In 1972, before Leo Messi was even born, Audemars Piguet brought out a revolutionary watch designed by Gérald Genta, named the Royal Oak. It was made in steel, powered by an ultra-thin self-winding movement… and sold at the price of gold. The first luxury sports watch was born. Its aesthetic codes (an octagonal bezel, a 39 mm diameter and a tapered steel bracelet) upset all the conventions of the time. Forty years have gone by, but the Royal Oak hasn’t skipped a beat and remains an icon of sporting elegance. Leo Messi discovered Audemars Piguet in 2005. To celebrate his first Liga title, the managers of his Spanish club presented him with a Royal Oak. It was love at first sight. And that was just the first chapter in the love story between this promising Argentine footballer and this unusually designed watch. Leo Messi then began to collect Royal Oaks and it wasn’t long before he slipped into the role of brand ambassador in 2010.
Leo Messi and Audemars Piguet – A story of values
As well as being a living legend, the Argentine national team’s playmaker is noted for his great human qualities. Loyal: he still wears the colours of the club he joined at the age of 14. Generous: he created a foundation in aid of underprivileged children in 2007 to provide them with access to education and health. Altruistic: he is an ambassador of Unicef. Faithful: he has remained very close to his family who have unfailingly supported him throughout his career. An exceptional sportsman, Leo Messi likes Audemars Piguet watches for their modernity, their design and their faultless technical quality as well as for the story they tell and the values they embody. As brand ambassador since 2010, he shares a certain vision of excellence and authenticity with the Swiss manufacture. For these reasons he decided to endorse one of the last watch brands still run by its founding family.
Passion, precision, and rigour are three values shared by Leo Messi and Audemars Piguet. It was obvious that the collaboration between the world’s best player and the Brassus Manufacture was just a beginning… In line with the brand’s philosophy (“To break the rules, you must first master them”), it was decided to break with the Royal Oak’s strong codes to launch this limited series of 1000 pieces: a slightly larger size, an alligator strap rather than a steel bracelet, a dial reinvented without the traditional “tapisserie” motif as well as the use of a material rarely seen in watchmaking – tantalum.
The first limited edition AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK 41 MM CHRONOGRAPH
Presented as a limited series of only 1000 pieces (in steel/tantalum, pink gold/tantalum and platinum/tantalum), the Limited Edition Leo Messi Royal Oak is distinctive on every front. With a 41 mm diameter, it offers a generous and modern face that avoids being ostentatious. In addition, the limited series is graced with an alligator strap – and with an additional sportier rubber strap – to replace the traditional steel bracelet. The Leo Messi Royal Oak’s pure and elegant dial does not repeat the “tapisserie” motif that was the Royal Oak’s trademark. The dial is vertically brushed anthracite with hour markers in white gold for the steel version and pink gold for the pink gold version, while the platinum version sports a deep blue dial with white gold hour markers. For all versions, the three auxiliary chronograph counters and the small seconds counter are encircled by a finely brushed silvered ring.
Retaining the collection’s eight hexagonal screws in polished white gold, the bezel of the Limited Edition Leo Messi Royal Oak and the fastening links of the strap are in tantalum, giving off subtle glints of blue and grey. The uniqueness of these sublime colour effects governed the choice of tantalum, a material with very strong resistance to corrosion and high density – about twice as heavy as steel – that is particularly difficult to machine and polish. The Leo Messi Royal Oak is offered in a limited series of 1000 pieces: 500 in steel/tantalum, 400 in pink gold/tantalum and 100 in platinum/tantalum. Each watch is delivered in an original case in the shape of a lacquered shoe box decorated on the inside with the player’s dedication. This Royal Oak chronograph houses the self-winding mechanical calibre 2385 which offers hours, minutes, small seconds, date and chronograph functions. Made up of 304 components, the movement has a 40-hour power reserve and beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz). It is fitted with a single-block 18 ct gold oscillating weight.