This SIHH 2019, Audemars Piguet is writing a new page in its history creating a completely new collection called Code 11.59. Why Code 11.59? Well for a few reasons.
CODE stands for Challenge, Own, Dare and Evolve and 11.59, the last minute before a new day. Jasmine Audemars, Chairwoman of Audemars Piguet’s Board of Directors, explains, “At Audemars Piguet, we constantly CHALLENGE ourselves to push the limits of craftsmanship. Endowed with a strong spirit of independence, we proudly OWN our roots and territory, DARING to combine precision and creativity. Faithful to our legacy, we continue to EVOLVE by preserving and rewriting traditions. 11.59 is ahead of the game, constantly on the brink of tomorrow.”
Ok so its been less than 24 hours since the CODE 11.59 collection was announced at an event in Le Brassus, Switzerland, and frankly its already starting to grow on us. Yes its a bold move by Audemars Piguet to launch a completely new collection, but after seeing it in in the metal, “AP lovers!! you might just be in for a surprise”. The contemporary evolution of a classic, this collection gives a contemporary twist and a certain edginess to the classic round watch, while carrying on the Manufacture’s long history of unconventional form and design languages. Composed of 13 references, including five complications and six calibres of the latest generation, it represents one of the most important launches for Audemars Piguet ever.
THE DESIGN: IN A NUTSHELL
Audemars Piguet interweaves tensions and opposite forces in the design of the collection’s uniquely recognisable case. By boldly embedding an octagonal middlecase within a round case, Audemars Piguet cuts through the timeline of its long history of form and design experimentations.
The upper part of the openworked lugs is welded to the extra-thin bezel, while the lower part leans delicately against the caseback in perfect alignment. New processes challenging traditional production standards were developed to solder the lugs to this extremely thin surface.
With its optimum curved ergonomics, the case has been conceived to adjust to different wrist sizes, making it comfortable for all to wear despite its 41 mm in diameter. Satin-brushed, bevelled and polished, the bezel, lugs and case present high complexity finishing techniques usually found on calibres.
THE OPTICAL CRYSTAL EXPERIENCE
The Manufacture has created a complex double curved glareproofed sapphire crystal, whose tense, arched profile embodies the watch’s contemporary design.
The glass’s internal surface is shaped like a dome, while its external surface is vertically curved from 6 to 12 o’clock. Its shape perfectly integrates the extra- thin bezel and extends from edge to edge. Playing with depth, perspective and light, this double curved sapphire crystal dives into the world of optics for a unique visual experience, while enhancing the detailed work on the dial.
The polished chamfer all around the glass adds the finishing touch, while echoing the perfect finish of the bezel, lugs and case.
RAISED 3-D LOGO CREATED ATOM BY ATOM AND APPLIED BY HAND
The extra-thin bezel brings forward the artistry of the smooth lacquered dial. The Audemars Piguet signature, which measures 12.5 mm in length, presents a unique topography, driving the art of horology to its limits. Made of thin layers of 24-carat gold, it is achieved through a chemical process akin to 3-D printing known as galvanic growth. Each letter is connected with links approximately the size of a hair and placed by hand on the dial with tiny legs almost invisible to the eye.
Galvanic growth, which derives from micro-electronics, enables to reach micrometric precision. Although used in horology for movements, this technique is used for the first time with 24-carat gold. Going against initial warnings regarding the feasibility of such a logo, Audemars Piguet engineers followed their firm convictions. Making no compromise, they went through an extensive prototyping process, testing a wide array of variations before settling on final procedures and proportions.
SIX NEW CALIBRES
This collection features a large choice of six in-house calibres of the latest generation.
Among these six calibres, three are new: an integrated column wheel chronograph with flyback function, a selfwinding calibre with seconds and date indication, and a selfwinding flying tourbillon calibre.
High-end finishing is the very essence of Audemars Piguet’s watches. In respect of Audemars Piguet’s traditions and values, these movements are beautifully decorated to the slightest details with a wide array of finishing techniques, including “traits tirés”, “Côtes de Genève”, circular graining, circular satin, diamond-polished angles and gold-toned engravings.
AUDEMARS PIGUET CODE 11.59 SELF-WINDING
The new Code 11.59 Self-Winding timepiece is Audemars Piguet’s take on what a no-frills entry level classic should be. Released in four versions, an 18ct white gold case with lacquered blue or black dial and an 18ct pink gold case with a lacquered black or white dial, the watches are powered by a new self winding movement, calibre 4302, that features a dedicated 22-carat gold oscillating weight. The movement is beautifully visible through the exhibition caseback. With a large diameter of 32 mm and a frequency of 4 Hertz, this calibre insures reliability and accuracy. To top it up, the watches are presented on an alligator strap with pin buckle.
PRICE: CHF 25,000 or approx. $35,000 Australian Dollars (AUD)
AUDEMARS PIGUET CODE 11.59 SELF-WINDING CHRONOGRAPH
Audemars Piguet’s Code 11.59 self winding chronograph watch symbolises the brands’ spirit of independence and constant quest for innovation. This modern self winding chronograph 4401 calibre features an instant-jump date indication, integrated column wheel chronograph and flyback function that enables to re-start the chronograph without stopping and resetting it first. It stores up to 70 hours of power reserve and operates at a frequency of 4 Herz, presenting reinforced chronometry. The movement features a variety of refined finishing techniques including “traits tirés”, diamond-polished angles, “Côtes de Genève”, circular graining, chamfering and gold-toned engraving. Prominently visible through the caseback is an openworked 22-carat pink gold rotor with the AP logo.
There are four versions to choose from… An 18ct pink gold case with lacquered black or blue dial and counters and an 18ct white gold case with lacquered blue or black dial and counters. The chronograph counters at 3, 6 and 9 o clock are circled by gold threads with polished V angles, a difficult finishing on lacquered dials. A tachymeter scale on the periphery of the dial adds the finishing touch.
PRICE: CHF 39,500 or approx. $56,000 Australian Dollars (AUD)
AUDEMARS PIGUET CODE 11.59 PERPETUAL CALENDAR
Behold the Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Perpetual Calendar… An astronomical watch par excellence, this perpetual calendar model features a dark blue aventurine dial and subdials recalling a star-lit sky.The pink gold case, hands and applied hour-markers enrich the deep blue sparkling constellation of the aventurine dial.
The dial’s starry particles resonate with the moon indication at 6 o’clock. A photographic image of the moon is reproduced through laser engraving and applied on an aventurine disc that subtly matches the design of the dial. The astronomical moon serves to diminish the daily display error. Thanks to this function, adjustment is required once every 122 years and 108 days. In addition to providing the astronomical moon indication at 6 o’clock, the perpetual calendar indicates the day number and week day at 3 and 9 o’clock respectively, the month at 12 o’clock, the week numbers on the lacquered blue inner bezel, as well as the hours and minutes. This model houses selfwinding Manufacture calibre 5134 optimised with the collection’s signature openworked weight in 22-carat gold. A perpetual calendar automatically adjusts short months, and adds a day to February each leap year. If worn permanently, it will require an adjustment in 2100 only. This adjustment will consist in setting the date manually from February 29th to March 1st.
PRICE: CHF 69,500 or approx. $100,000 Australian Dollars (AUD)
AUDEMARS PIGUET CODE 11.59 SELF WINDING TOURBILLON
Audemars Piguet once again proves its mastery in fine watchmaking and haute horlogerie with the new self winding flying tourbillon timepiece. It is the first time at Audemars Piguet that a selfwinding movement features a central rotor and a flying tourbillon. Calibre 2950 is finished with “Côtes de Genève”, snailing and hand-polished bevels on the movement’s caseback side. The openworked oscillating weight—visible through the caseback—echoes the colour of the case. The oscillating weight comes in pink gold for the pink gold model, and in rhodium-toned pink gold for the white gold model. The movement is finished with circular graining and circular satin on the dial side.
The selfwinding flying tourbillon gold dial is covered with “Grand Feu” enamel. Every enamel dial is unique due to the organic nature of the material and hand-made manufacturing technique. The pink gold applied hour-markers and hands illuminate the black dial. The Audemars Piguet signature is made in enamel.
The watch is presented in two versions… An 18ct white gold case with a smoked blue enamel dial and an 18ct pink gold case with a black enamel dial.
PRICE: CHF 129,000 or approx. $180,000 Australian Dollars (AUD)
AUDEMARS PIGUET CODE 11.59 TOURBILLON OPENWORKED
Leaving only the bare essentials, this model houses a unique hand-wound tourbillon openworked movement, calibre 2948, that conveys extreme complexity and depth. The contrast created between the 18-carat pink gold case and the dark openworked rhodium German silver mainplate and PVD bridges, exclusively designed for this collection, accentuates the movement’s artistry and 3-D effect. Audemars Piguet also made sure the structural integrity and accuracy of this timepiece are not compromised in exchange for visual interest. The gold-toned balance wheel adds a subtle touch. With 70 hand-polished V angles, the hand finishing on this 4.97 mm thick movement pushes the openworking art to new heights.
PRICE: CHF 175,000 or approx. $245,000 Australian Dollars (AUD)
AUDEMARS PIGUET CODE 11.59 SUPERSONNERIE
The minute repeater supersonnerie enriches the collection with a revamped high-end complication that continues to profit from the strong momentum of the minute repeater supersonnerie technology launched in 2016.
This contemporary wristwatch has the sonic power of a pocket watch. Its exceptional acoustic performance, sound quality and harmonic tone are granted by the patented gongs, case construction and striking regulator developed at the time. The performant gongs are not attached to the mainplate, but to a new device acting as soundboard, which improves sound transmission. The striking regulator – the device that sets the pace of the striking sequence of hours, quarters and minutes – is redesigned to absord shocks and eliminate unwanted noise thanks to its more flexible anchor system.
This calibre also provides a sharper tempo, as the hours and minutes chime without interruption when there is no quarter chiming sequence.
Furthermore, a security function prevents the user from altering the time display while the striking mechanism is active.
The 18-carat white gold case is complemented by a smoked blue enamel dial set off by white gold hands, applied indexes and numerals, as well as an Audemars Piguet signature in enamel. The soundwave caseback design is inspired by the watch’s exceptional acoustics.
Calibre 2953 is finished with “Côtes de Genève”, circular graining and yellow-gold-toned engravings on the caseback side, and satin-finished “traits tirés”, hand-polished chamfers, sandblasted angles, and circular graining on the dial side.
PRICE: CHF 295,000 or approx. $417,000 Australian Dollars (AUD)