A year after the launch of the underwhelming Code 11.59 collection, Audemars Piguet has introduced a clutch of new references featuring lacquered dials and two tones cases. The new models are spread across the base self-winding date and chronograph models.
The Code 11:59 was touted as the biggest AP launch since the Royal Oak in 1972, but it was met with a tepid response from the collecting community. The range debuted a brand new case, highlighted by an octagonal shaped bezel that has defined the Royal Oak collection since 1972. On the Code 11:59, the octagon is used for the case middle, while round shapes are used for the bezel and caseback.
Also new were the open-design lugs, the upper segments of which are welded to the round bezel, while the lower segments lean into the caseback. A defining aesthetic feature of the collection was the sapphire crystal over the dials that featured a “double curved” profile: the internal surface is dome shaped, while the external surface is curved vertically from 6 to 12 o’clock — a concave/convex optical design that was meant to enhance the details of the dial.
And there’s plenty to enhance on these smoked lacquer dials with sunburst pattern in hues of blue, burgundy, purple, as well as light and dark grey. AP had introduced five new references in the above mentioned dial options in both the self-winding date and the self-winding chronograph models.
The self-winding models have a 41 mm wide case in either 18K white gold or two tone (18K pink gold middle case and 18K white gold bezel, lugs and caseback). Two-tone gold cases are extremely rare in the history of Audemars Piguet’s wristwatches. The brand claims it made only 8 two tone models out of the 550 wristwatches produced and sold between 1882 and 1969. The blend of white and pink gold is particularly rare, with only one recorded in the archives before 1978. More recently, AP introduced a limited edition two tone (steel and pink gold) case on the [Re]master01 self-winding chronograph. Precious metals are used on the hour markers of the dial as well – white gold or pink gold depending on the case material.
The self-winding chronographs are powered by the in-house Calibre 4302, an automatic movement with second and instant-jump date indication. The movement is fitted with a 22K gold rotor that amasses a power reserve of 70 hours.
The chronograph references (all 5 of them) have the same case construction and share the same materials as the self-winding date models. The watches are available in white gold, pink gold or two tone (pink gold middle case) cases.
The chronograph references are powered by Calibre 4401, an integrated chronograph with column wheel, vertical clutch and flyback function. Visible through the watch’s caseback, both these movements are decorated and finished to a high quality with refined hand-finishing techniques including “traits tirés”, Côtes de Genève, circular graining, circular satin, and diamond-polished angles.