Today, we are bringing you this fascinating Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Jarno Trulli Limited Edition ref. 26202AU.OO.D002CA.01 launched in 2010 during the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix. While Italian F1 driver Jarno Trulli only had a short stint in Formula One from 1997 to 2011, driving for Minardi, Renault and Lotus Racing amongst others, he was able to have Audemars Piguet immortalize him with his very own Royal Oak Offshore Limited Edition after becoming an AP ambassador in 2008. While Jarno Trulli could never be compared to Michael Schumacher, at least their limited edition Offshores are somewhat up to par. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Jarno Trulli Limited Edition is one of the most fascinating watches ever designed by AP with Formula One in mind. Fitted with cermet bezel, sand-blasted titanium pushers and crown, a 42 mm forged carbon case and a black rubber strap, the Jarno Trulli is one of the most unique looking Offshores and one that is truly hard to find in the U.S. as only 500 pieces were ever made of this timepiece.
The 'Trulli' ref. 26202AU.OO.D002CA.01 is fitted with a stunning gray dial with an anthracite galvanic center featuring the 'Méga Tapisserie' just like the 'Schumi' but with white chrono registers with raised surrounds and red accents on the faceted markers. The flange is also white and the dial gets perfectly accentuated by the red inlay in the hour and minute hands and the chrono seconds red hand. The Jarno Trulli was the first 42 mm Offshore to be fitted with faceted hands like those on the 44 mm Offshores.
The Case, Bezel & Pushers
This exceptional AP Royal Oak Offshore features two of the most revolutionary materials in the horological world and only used by Audemars Piguet until now, forged carbon and cermet. The forged carbon case has very unique attributes such as its resistance, lightness and a marbled look that feels satiny and smooth to the touch. According to Yves Leuba, head of Audemars Piguet's forged carbon department, there cannot be two identical forged carbon cases due to its meticulous and unique production process. To make a forged carbon case, carbon fibers are distributed in a random manner inside a mold. When the material is compressed under heating, it evolves in an unpredictable way delivering a final product that is unique every time.
For the bezel, the material used is cermet, a very advanced composite typically used in creating heat shields for space shuttles and with its name being the result of the contraction of the words “ceramics” and “metal”. Cermet is extremely hard with a hardness rating of 1,450 Vickers and anti-corrosive. Additionally, the look of Cermet when highly polished is very similar to that on the finest mirrors with a silvery goldish hue.
The Strap & Case Back
Just like the crown and pushers, the plots, the deployant buckle on the strap and the case back are made of very high grade titanium with one of the nicest colors, almost resembling the hue of tantalum.
The case back is fitted with a sapphire crystal —with Jarno Trulli's signature in red— allowing for a full view of the Audemars Piguet calibre 3126/3840. This calibre featuring 59 jewels and 365 parts provides a power-reserve of 60 hours when fully wound. One interesting thing to note, is that the 22K gold oscillating weight is galvanic coated in order to match the gray theme of the watch. Regardless of its display case back this watch is water resistant to a depth of a 100 meters, just remember to not press the chrono pushers while in the water.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Jarno Trulli wears true to its size but is not as light as you would expect as the cermet bezel adds nice weight to it. Just like all other 42 mm Offshores, the watch wears extremely comfortably and with stunning wrist presence. The gray look of this watch makes it very stealth and understated.
Sticker Price $38,300 USD. For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.