Three questions to Sébastien Buemi
A confirmed promising young motor sports contender
A confirmed promising young motor sports contender, the Swiss driver is the living embodiment of youth and action. He tells the story behind the birth of the Royal Oak Offshore Sébastien Buemi Limited Edition.
What sparked the idea of creating this Royal Oak Offshore Buemi?
Just before my first season with the Scuderia Toro Rosso, when I was fortunate enough to join the Audemars Piguet team as an ambassador, the idea of one day having a watch bearing my name seemed extremely far-fetched. In my mind, only great drivers such as Jarno Trulli, Juan Pablo Montoya or Rubens Barrichello had enjoyed this exceptional privilege. Later, in discussions with the Audemars Piguet engineers and its Artistic Director Octavio Garcia, the idea of making a Royal Oak Offshore with my name gradually began to take shape. The day when I was able to visit the Manufacture workshops and admire the watchmakers working on the first watches in this special edition was really exciting for me. I first discovered the separate elements – the dial, movement and strap – and then the various stages in assembling this chronograph. Above all, the chance to wear one of my watches for the first time gave me a great sense of pride.
What role did you play in developing this new Royal Oak Offshore model?
From 2010 onwards, I have been regularly involved in exchanging ideas and sharing my feelings with the Audemars Piguet watchmakers and engineers, whether in terms of the shapes, the colours of the materials used in creating this watch. It took time, but I am really proud of the result. The yellow is the main colour on my driver’s helmet, which is why it enjoys pride of place on the dial. Moreover, I’m only 23 years old, so I wanted a watch that would reflect me and my age: the right balance between the ultra-technical nature of motor sports that must be revealed in the watch, and the simplicity which I believe sums up my own personality. Hence the presence of materials used in motor sports such as ceramics and titanium is of great significance. Last but not least, I like its technical yet sleekly sophisticated look, I feel it suits me!
What kind of ties can be woven between a young Swiss racing driver such as you and a more than century-old watch manufacturer that is indeed the oldest that is still in the hands of the founding families?
When I was 8 years old, I won the Swiss Karting Championship, and my father asked me what gift I would like. Believe it or not, I told him I would like a watch! You know, there are many similarities between the world of motor sports and that of Fine Watchmaking. In this particular context, we are looking at the cream of the crop in each field. Just as in a top-level racing team, I find in Audemars Piguet the team spirit, the same concern for details, the same quest for perfection and the same pursuit of performance. I might also add that Audemars Piguet is an exclusive and family-based luxury brand, and that’s extremely important to me. I love the exceptional family spirit pervading the Audemars Piguet teams. Finally, above and beyond its well-established intrinsic technical qualities, the Royal Oak Offshore clearly has a unique style, often copied but never equalled…
Sébastien Buemi in 10 dates
1988: born in Aigle, Canton Vaud, Switzerland
1997: Swiss Karting Champion
2000: Swiss Super Mini and KIA Cup Junior champion
2002: European Karting Champion
2005: European Formula BMW vice-champion
2007: Formula 3 Vice-Champion, 1st F1 test drive with Red Bull Racing
2008: GP2 Asia Vice-Champion, F1 test driver with Red Bull Racing
2009: Scores 2 points in his 1st Grand Prix race in Australia with Toro Rosso
2010: 8th place in the Canadian Grand Prix (Toro Rosso)… his best result to date
2011: Best F1 season with Toro Rosso