Continuing their partnership with great Formula 1 racers, Swiss Audemars Piguet introduces this limited edition Royal Oak Offshore Jarno Trulli Chronograph watch. Trulli has enjoyed a relationship with Audemars Piguet for a few years and finally joins a short list of great Formula 1 drivers (such as Juan Pablo Montoya and Rubens Barrichello) who receive the honor of having Audemars Piguet timepieces named after them. Surprisingly, this watch shifts directions in terms of design and personality, representing a new approach for the presentation of a race themed Royal Oak Offshore timepiece.
It is a watch for race fans as much as it is for watch lovers. Pushing forward with the application useful exotic materials, the Royal Oak Offshore Jarno Trulli features Audemars Piguet’s forged carbon case as well as a newer material called cermet. Thematically similar to tungsten, cermet is a lighter-in-color hybrid between metal and ceramic. It looks gorgeous, and features a rich metallic shine with a highly durable surface that is very hard to scratch. On the Jarno Trulli, cermet finds a logical place being used for the bezel. Given a brushed finish on top, the cermet bezel has a mirror polished edge as seen on most Royal Oak Offshore timepieces. While new to Audemars Piguet’s collection of exotic materials, cermet is quite promising and delivers a look unmatched elsewhere.
Audemars Piguet fans require no introduction to forged carbon — the material used for the case. Light and very hard, forged carbon a molded and cooked carbon compound that is based on a form of high-quality carbon thread. Audemars Piguet developed a special process in-house to develop and share the difficult to work with material. On watches it looks great, offering a flavor sport watch lovers will not soon tire of.
In addition to cermet and forged carbon, the 42-mm wide watch case has a titanium case back with a titanium crown and pushers. Mostly gray in color (with various textures and tones), the Jarno Trullu is enhanced by silvered chronograph dials and flange ring on the dial along with red hands and hour markers. Unlike the Montoya or Barrichello watches, the design of this piece is remarkably subdued. Only hints of the wild technical design directions that Audemars Piguet was applying to some of the more contemporary Royal Oak Offshore limited edition pieces is displayed here. The iconic “Mega Tapisserie” dial gives way to a ring of functional feeling applied hour markers with a scale for minutes and seconds (latter for the chronograph). The sport elements are understated, being limited to the fire engine red colors on the hands and hour markers, as well as the technical style font used for the numerals in the chronograph subdials. While I am a fan of the simple and straight forward design of the Jarno Trulli watch overall, I feel that the titanium chronograph pushers are overly simple — especially when Audemars Piguet prides themselves on creating bold and provocative pushers on many of their limited edition Royal Oak Offshore timepieces.
Inside the watch is an Audemars Piguet automatic chronograph calibre 3126/3840 movement visible through the sapphire window on the titanium case back. There you’ll also find Jarno’s signature applied in red. Fulfilling its role as a sport watch, the Royal Oak Offshore Jarno Trulli is matched to a rubber strap with titanium folding clasp. Limited to 500 pieces and priced at $28,900.www.audemarspiguet.com.
Ariel Adams is the Haute Living Watch Editor and also publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.