Almost eleven years ago, Audemars Piguet released the Royal Oak Offshore Rubens Barrichello II in Istanbul, Turkey. Today, this magnificent watch still turns heads around when you run into it in the wild. While the AP Royal Oak Offshore Rubens Barrichello II in titanium we featured here is a huge favorite among watch collectors, the 18K rose gold version of it is even more special. This watch that honors the now retired Brazilian Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello is a grail amongst grails and a watch of which only 500 pieces were ever made.
Things You Need to Know
As a reference, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Rubens Barrichello II a.k.a. AP RBII was launched in three different metals: 1,000 pieces in Titanium, 500 in 18K rose gold and 150 in Platinum. While the platinum Rubens Barrichello II and the Rubens Barrichello III in 18K rose gold are the ultimate grails for this particular Royal Oak Offshore, the 18K rose gold model ref. 26078OR.OO.D001VS.01 is the one that follows.
With a 42 mm case that wears way bigger than that and more like a 44 mm case, the watch is strongly inspired by Formula One racing and that is something clearly visible throughout the different components of this watch. From the wheel-shaped case back with black ceramic inlay secured by engine hex screws to the pushers shaped like air-extractors, a cogwheel-shaped crown, pedal-shaped plots and a ceramic bezel in the shape of a ventilated brake disc, the Royal Oak Offshore Rubens Barrichello II Rose Gold is the ultimate racing inspired luxury wristwatch.
After taking a good look at the case and the pusher and crown guards, you can tell where the inspiration comes from for the Royal Oak Offshores Schumacher that we featured here, and the 44 mm Royal Oak Offshores collection.
Featuring a partially openworked dial with the 'Méga Tapisserie Racing' pattern and a white and black color combination, this watch is for sure one of the most gorgeous watches ever created by Audemars Piguet in honor of a Formula One driver. As a side note, Rubens Barrichello was born the same year as the Royal Oak making this timepiece even more attractive for those that are passionate about everything that has to do with the Royal Oak and Formula One Racing.
Equipped with a black 'anfibio' leather strap made of very supple leather and lined with 'Alcantara' —a flame retardant fiber similar in look and feel to suede composed of 68% polyester and 32% polyurethane— the strap features perforations that are reminiscent of driving gloves or leather straps on vintage car racing inspired timepieces. The strap is extremely comfortable and extremely easy to secure with and AP folding buckle.
Considered one of the fifteen most iconic watches by Audemars Piguet, this watch is a true grail piece and a rare bird in all the sense of the word. If you find one, make sure you do your homework before you buy and expect to pay anywhere between $60,000-80,000 USD.
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