Top of the Game: Audemars Piguet Introduces the Leo Messi Limited Edition Royal Oak Chronograph

There’s an elegance to soccer that makes it a natural ally to the world of fine watchmaking. The incredible athleticism and finesse in action the sport demands of its players at the most elite level finds its counterpart in the taming of power and precision in detail of mechanical watchmaking, where even the slightest imperfection can render a watch useless, and flawless execution is not a rarity but the standard to which those who create fine timepieces hold themselves every day of their lives.

Leo Messi is an extraordinary athlete: born Lionel Andrés Messi in Argentina in 1987, he plays for FC Barcelona and is the captain of the Argentine national team. A winner of numerous awards and accolades for his accomplishments both as a player and leader, many colleagues and fans alike have called him one of the best, if not the best, soccer players alive.

His relationship with Audemars Piguet is as passionate as his game. Messi received his first Royal Oak as a gift from the managers of his club in 2005. Messi fell in love with the Royal Oak, as have so many since Audemars Piguet introduced the Gerald Genta-designed masterpiece of modern watch design in 1972. The Royal Oak–famous for having revolutionized watch design by treating stainless steel with the reverence and craft that had hitherto been lavished only on conventional precious metals–was his first Audemars Piguet watch, but it was destined to be the first of many. Messi began collecting Royal Oaks enthusiastically and became a brand ambassador for Audemars Piguet in 2010.