A number of watch brands seem to have actors, actresses, sportsman/woman and musicians as an ambassador for their watch brand. Think Omega and James Bond, George Clooney and former model Cindy Crawford, or TAG Heuer and Tiger Woods and Brad Pitt. Tiger Woods I can understand, he is (or was, I lost track recently) a sportsman that might be depending on his time piece. The same goes for the NASA astronauts from the Apollo program who relied on their Omega watches. But actors? Why would you want to buy a watch only because an actor has one?
Anyways, I can also understand the connection between a high-end Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watch made out of very special materials and F1 driver Ruben Barrichello. This makes perfect sense since F1 is about hi-tech equipment and materials and this is perhaps why the Audemars Piguet timepiece named after Barrichello is so successful.
There are currently three versions of the AP Royal Oak Offshore Rubens Barrichello Chronograph, all made in different materials (titanium, platinum and gold). The titanium version is limited to 1000 pieces and has a watchcase made out of the leight weight metal, using a ceramic for its bezel and pushers. The 18ct gold version is limited to 500 pieces and the platinum version is limited to 150 pieces only. The precious metal versions also have ceramic bezel and pushers.
The titanium version of the AP Rubens Barrichello has Barrichello’s home country colours in the chronograph hands, namely the Brazilian green, yellow and blue, as used in their flag.
As with the original Royal Oak models, the octagonal bezel of the watch is adorned with eight screws, however, the AP Rubens Barrichello Chronograph – or Barrie for insiders – has engine screws (or inbus) in the bezel instead of regular screws. Additionally, the winding crown has the looks of a gearing part and the chronograph pushers should resemble the shape of an air extractor.
What engines are for car freaks, mechanical movements are for watch freaks. The mechanical automatic movement inside these Barries is AP calibre 2326/2840. This is an impressive chronograph movement that consists of 370 parts of which 54 are jewels. The movement itself has a diameter of 26mm and a height of 6.15mm. When fully wound, the power reserve of the movement is 38 hours. All parts of the movement are decorated by hand, the mainplate is rhodium plated, bevelled and circular-grained. The bridges are adorned with the famous Côtes de Geneve striping.
Prices of the Barries are:
23.000 Euro (+/- 33.000 USD) for the Titanium model (ref.nr. 26078IO.00.D001VS.01)
44.000 Euro (+/- 63.000 USD) for the 18 ct gold model (ref.nr. 26078RO.00.D001VS.01)
74.000 Euro (+/- 106.000 USD) for the platinum model (ref.nr. 26078PO.00.D018CR.01)