http://www.thewatchbox.com The 2004 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Juan Pablo Montoya Limited Edition was an instant classic. Today, the “Montoyas” are acknowledged as landmark models in the AP Offshore series. With only 5oo produced in rose gold and 1,000 units in titanium, these are established collectors items and investment-grade high horology. Their broad case shoulders and rectangular chronograph pushers represented the first significant break with the design language of Emmanuel Gueit’s 1992 Offshore concept. A new generation of Audemars Piguet art department talent led by Octavio Garcia and advised by no less a tech authority than Richard Mille updated the original Offshore with an infusion of motorsports motifs and square-jawed charm. While the 44mm case and rectangular chronograph pushers now stand as fixtures in the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore lineup, the Montoya was the first of this burlier breed. In fact, the Montoya in both gold and titanium owns a series of Audemars Piguet “firsts.” While AP now has issued several “Driver Edition” F1 models, only Juan Pablo can claim to have received the honor first. Today, carbon has become a staple of the Offshore lineup, but the AP-JPM pair overcame the watch industry’s reluctance to use non-metal components in luxury watch cases. The JPM also inaugurated the use of display casebacks on the Royal Oak Offshore series; before Juan Pablo, AP’s fine finish sat entombed within a double-metal case. More than a laboratory for next-gen Offshore style concepts, the Juan Pablo Montoya variants in rose gold and titanium represent two of the most holistic and cohesive themed designs in AP’s century-plus history. Consider the sheer number and caliber of references to automotive technology. Garcia’s team coordinated with Richard Mille’s master stylists to convey the latent power of a modern Formula One race car. The theme begins with the carbon-inlaid bezel; each carbon insert is heavily coated with lacquer to enhance the depth and luster of its resin surface. Standard white gold bolts of the garden-variety Offshore are swapped for titanium units that are true to the Juan Pablo’s F1 lineage. Each bolt is cut to resemble an automotive lug nut, and the bezel is cut into a dramatic relief pattern that projects radially outward from the titanium fixtures. Those revolutionary rectangular pushers abut a case with unprecedented broad shoulders, and each pusher surface is engraved with the angled vent pattern of a racing air extractor. AP’s unique crown resembles the centerlock wheel nut found on modern F1 machines, and a second set of inlaid carbon fiber sheets sits atop the crown shoulders. Both gold and titanium ROO Montoyas feature exclusive AP “mega tapisserie” dial guilloché. The rose gold variant packs a potent visual punch thanks to a black treatment and gloss finish. The effect conveys depth and power; a subtle modification of the Royal Oak tapisserie cut pattern incorporates a waving motorsports flag. Returning to the theme of evolution through revolution, Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille opened the caseback for the owner’s enjoyment. Even many avid fans of the Offshore line have taken it for granted that ROO’s built before the in-house AP caliber 3126 arrived were crude, marginally finished, or below the standards otherwise exhibited throughout the AP line. Nothing could be farther from the truth. On the 2004 Juan Pablo Montoya, AP’s glorious Jaeger-LeCoultre based cal. 2226 base movement became the first Offshore caliber to “see the light of day.” Its Côtes de Gèneve, anglaged bridges, pearlaged main plate, and combination of directional dressage dispel the old internet bromides at a single glance. Even better, AP included a prominent cross-drilled winding rotor as yet another reminder of this chronograph’s namesake and inspiration. A rivet-style caseback frame echos the bezel and completes this exhaustively detailed work of wearable art. thewatchbox.com is proud to offer both versions of the stunning Royal Oak Offshore Juan Pablo Montoya in immaculate condition with full factory accessory sets. A decade after the launch of his signature Audemars Piguet, Montoya remains a force in motorsports. A race winner as recently as this July, the Colombian star remains a masterclass among peers – and so does his watch. Video and content by Tim Mosso.