• Oct 20th 2010 at 7:59AM
  • 9

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Jarno Trulli Chronograph – Click above for high-res image gallery

Audemars Piguet has a long history of sponsoring F1 drivers. Rubens Barrichello and Juan Pablo Montoya – race-winning drivers for top teams both – have acted as the brand's ambassadors. As has Jarno Trulli. But the Swiss watchmaker has chosen a heck of a year to honor the Italian driver with his own timepiece.

A former Formula Three national champion, Trulli's been in F1 since 1997. Although he's only won one Formula One grand prix, there are only 102 people in the whole world – living or dead – who could say that. Jarno's also landed on pole position four times, the podium 11 times and scored over 246 points in his career so far. And that's nothing to cough at. But this season has by far been his worst yet.

After several seasons driving for such teams as Minardi, Prost, Jordan, Renault and Toyota, this year he's driving for the struggling newcomers at Lotus Racing. As a result, he was unable to start one race, unable to finish another six, and of those he has finished, he's been unable to score a single championship point this year. Some season to mark with a commemorative special edition, but does that make this timepiece any less of a jewel? Hardly.

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Jarno Trulli Chronograph, though long-winded in name, is about as slick as they come. It's got a forged carbon-fiber case, a ceramic bezel, titanium fixtures, red luminous indices and hands... the works. Inside is a 59-jewel automatic movement with no fewer than 365 parts, a 60-hour power reserve and a 22-carat gold oscillating weight that's been covered in anthracite to numb the bling factor. In other words, as dark a horse as the driver it's named after. Only 500 examples will be made, offered initially at the company's boutique in Tokyo where it was launched during this year's Japanese Grand Prix before it goes global.

[Source: Audemars Piguet]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Watches are not cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It would be great if these watches were under 500$, they are usually thousands. The profit watch companies make must be insane. It does not cost that much to build and develop a watch!
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, but if you look at Autoblog's title, it says 'We obsessively cover the auto industry'. Trulli is an F1 veteran (relatively speaking), therefore it's relevant.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sure, they are relevant to the "auto industry." However, there are thousands and thousands of other products our there that are more closely related to the auto industry than all these watches the keep showing. How about some articles about new tires or motor oils or hipo parts or ..... anything that isn't more watches. It almost seems like some kind of joke among the editors that they keep running these watch articles.
      morgan plus four
      • 4 Years Ago
      Welcome to QVC. Next a rhinestone emblazoned sweater...
      • 4 Years Ago
      @Gruv: If this were a $500 watch, I would buy it in a heartbeat. But I think the price will probably be more like 500 times that. Definitely not exactly mainstream interest for auto enthusiasts or readers here!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cool. I'm in the market for an overly-expensive and ridiculously large watch.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just because this watch features "the works" doesn't make it attractive to me. The forged carbon composite case is cool to me only because it reminds me of the lambo sesto elemento concept (the entire frame and interior of the car is made of that, except for the rear engine frame which is aluminum). Noentheless, i don't think its aesthetically pleasing. And I don't mind that they feature watches on autoblog but there certainly are many more tangentially related things that they could be featuring as well, if they wanted to.
    Share This Photo X