AP Social Club Day 2: 40 functions, 23 complications, ONE WATCH?!

AP Social Club Day 2: 40 functions, 23 complications, ONE WATCH?!

Zach Blass
  • New RD#4: Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Universelle boasts 40 functions and 23 complications in one watch.
  • Royal Oak Concept debuts in 43mm size with split-seconds chronograph GMT.
  • New Royal Oak Perpetual Colander Ultra-Thin has a smoky-blue dial exclusive to the model

As if yesterday’s announcements had not already satiated our appetite for new Audemars Piguet pieces, today’s unveilings take things to a whole other level. The word of the day is definitely complications, so let’s dig into the debuts from day 2 of the AP Social Club.

RD#4: Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Universelle (26398BC, 26398OR)

Definitely, the biggest mic drop of the AP Social Club 2023 novelties is the new “ultra-complicated” Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Universelle collection, a tribute to their Universelle pocket watch from over a century ago. The best watch manufactures in the world establish their reputations based on how well versed they are in the production of high complication watches. The Universelle therefore confirms the mastery of AP watchmaking, packing every high complication, or any complication really, you can think of into it. You have 40 functions, 23 complications, all in one watch including, but not limited to, Grande and Petite Sonnerie, minute repeater, flying tourbillon, semi-Gregorian perpetual calendar (day, large date, month, year, astronomical moon, moon phases), flyback chronograph, split-seconds, and hours and minutes.

Audemars Piguet’s Technical Director Giulio Papi explains: “This new Ultra-Complication is the culmination of several decades of research, design and manufacturing of many different types of complicated mechanisms that have put ergonomics at the forefront of the process. To achieve the highest level of reliability, while also keeping the thickness of our calibres to the minimum, we believe that a ‘mechanical function with an ergonomic focus’ opens a new path for Audemars Piguet and the watch industry as a whole.”

Somehow all of this delectable horology is tucked into a precious metal 42mm case that is 15.5mm thick including the officer-style secret caseback. It is already hard enough to fit all of these complications into one reasonably sized watch, but the fact AP has done so in a manner where all the indications are genuinely legible is absolutely insane. Between the four watches, three of which are cased in 18K white gold and one in 18K pink gold, you have two variants with solid beige and black dials and two variants with openworked dials. The solid dials and openworked dials have subtly different layouts, with the solid dials relying on more apertures to convey the calendar information and the openworked dials strategically merging these indications into the registers of the chronograph.

My only initial critique would be that, while it is fabulous you can see the movement via an exhibition caseback beneath a solid caseback, the winding rotor does obstruct a large portion of the view. That being said, there is still a ton of decoration to appreciate in the design of the case and with the openworked models you have beautiful dial-side chamfers to admire.

C’mon. I mean wow… just wow. We’ll have to do an even deeper dive on the Universelle soon.

Brand Audemars Piguet
Model Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Universelle / 42mm
Case Dimensions 42mm (D) x 15.5mm (T)
Case Material 26398BC.OO.D002CR.01: 18K white gold
26398BC.OO.D002CR.04: 18K white gold
26398BC.OO.D002CR.02: 18K white gold
26398OR.OO.D002CR.01: 18K pink gold
Water Resistance 20m
Dials 26398BC.OO.D002CR.01: Black dial, black counters with light grey external zone
26398BC.OO.D002CR.04: Beige dial, black counters
26398BC.OO.D002CR.02: Grey counters with black external zone
26398OR.OO.D002CR.01: Grey counters and black external zone
Crystal Double curved glareproofed sapphire crystal, secret exhibition caseback
Strap Black alligator strap with 18K gold AP folding clasp. Additional black textured rubber-coated calfskin strap.
Movement AP automatic calibre 1000
Power Reserve 64 hours
Functions A total of 40 functions, including 23 complications and 17 special technical devices. Among the highlights: Grande and Petite Sonnerie, minute repeater, flying tourbillon, semi-Gregorian perpetual calendar (day, large date, month, year, astronomical moon, moon phases), flyback chronograph, split-seconds, hours and minutes
Availability TBA
Price TBA

 

Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Grande Sonnerie Supersonnerie (26397NB, 26397NR, 26397QA)

While it may seem simple by comparison, a new trio of Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Grande Sonnerie Supersonnerie expands the collection with options in yellow, pink, and white gold – each with black ceramic middle cases. They also debut a redesigned calibre 2956, which has been refined to AP’s aesthetic standards befitting of its display beneath a sapphire dial. Now you may be wondering what the heck is a Grande and Petite Sonnerie Supersonnerie? In the context of this watch, the Grande Sonnerie or grand strike means the watch, without needing to engage a mechanism, will chime the hours each passing hour and the hours and quarters each passing quarter. The Petite Sonnerie, or small strike, functionality means in this selected mode the watch will strictly chime the hours. Through a selector crown at 2′, you are able to select between these modes having the Grand Sonnerie or Petite Sonnerie activated as well as a third option to silence it entirely.

Now you might be thinking what about the minutes?  Do not stress, the watches are also minute repeaters as well, engaged by a 10′ positioned case pusher, and with AP’s Supersonnerie design the sound and acoustics are maximized for the wearer’s ear. The last chiming complication term to acknowledge is “carillon”. As a carillon, these watches utilise three gongs versus the traditional two. This means there are three distinct pitches for the hours, quarters, and minutes in high, middle and low notes successively.

Brand Audemars Piguet
Model Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Grande Sonnerie Supersonnerie / 41 mm
Case Dimensions 41mm (D) x 13.5mm (T)
Case Material 26397QA.OO.D002KB.01: Black ceramic case middle. 18K yellow gold case, lugs, bezel and caseback
26397QA.OO.D002KB.01: Black ceramic case middle. 18K yellow gold case, lugs, bezel and caseback
26397NB.OO.D002KB.01: Black ceramic case middle. 18K white gold case, lugs, bezel and caseback
Water Resistance 20m
Dial Sapphire dial
Crystal Glareproofed double curved sapphire crystal
Strap Black rubber-coated strap with 18K gold AP folding clasp
Movement AP manually wound calibre 2956
Power Reserve 48 hours
Functions Grand Sonnerie and Petite Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie, minute repeater, hours, minutes and small seconds.
Availability TBA
Price TBA

 

Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater Supersonnerie, 41 mm (26395NR.OO.D002KB.01)

Clearly AP has emphasized their appreciation for musicality in watchmaking, debuting a third style of striking watch. Of the three chiming collection debuting today, this is the simplest chiming novelty of the day – although, again, I hesitate to use the world simple for obvious reasons. The Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater Supersonnerie does not include a grande sonnerie, petite sonnerie, or carillon gongs, and therefore will only chime the hours, quarters, and minutes on demand once the case slide is engaged and strictly with two gongs. With its smoked sapphire dial, you are able to see the front of the movement from the dial. But thanks to its darkened nature, the time is much more easily read on the wrist – the contrasting pink-gold accents really popping against it.

Brand Audemars Piguet
Model Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater Supersonnerie / 41 mm 26395NR.OO.D002KB.01
Case Dimensions 41mm (D) x 13.6mm (T)
Case Material Black ceramic case middle, 18K pink gold bezel, lugs, and caseback
Water Resistance 20m
Dial Smoked sapphire dial
Crystal Glareproofed double curved sapphire crystal
Strap Black rubber-coated strap with 18K pink gold AP folding clasp
Movement AP manually wound calibre 2953
Power Reserve 72 hours
Functions Minute repeater Supersonnerie, hours, minutes and small seconds
Availability TBA
Price TBA

 

Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon (26396NR.OO.D002KB.01)

Ok, we are through the chiming portion of this overview and rounding out the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet debuts is a stunning flying tourbillon model that is a direct sequel to the 2020 model with a black aventurine dial. Most aventurine dials are blue, but here we have a smoked green enameled aventurine dial that offers a starry visual with a green twist – like staring into outer space with night-vision googles.

AP explains: “This illusion of depth is created by the Manufacture’s dial makers who start by covering the gold dial with a blend of crushed aventurine glass and enamel. Each enamel dial is unique thanks to the organic nature of its materials, as well as its hand manufacturing technique and distinctive time in the kiln. A very thin layer of glass sand is mixed with water and applied by hand on the crushed aventurine glass, before being heated to over 800oC in a dedicated oven. The procedure is repeated multiple times to achieve remarkable transparency, depth and light. Each cooking session requires different temperatures and times.”

Brand Audemars Piguet
Model Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon 26396NR.OO.D002KB.01
Case Dimensions 41mm (D) x 11.8mm (T)
Case Material Black ceramic case middle. 18K pink gold bezel, lugs, caseback, and crown
Water Resistance 30m
Dial Smoked green enamelled aventurine
Crystal Glareproofed double curved sapphire crystal and caseback
Strap Black textured rubber-coated strap with calfskin inner lining, 18K pink gold AP folding clasp
Movement AP automatic calibre 2950
Power Reserve 65 hours
Functions Flying tourbillon, hours and minutes
Availability Exclusively in South-East Asia June 2023. Further availability in other countries as of August 2023
Price TBA

 

Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT (26650TI.OO.D013CA.01)

Royal Oak Concept watches are definitely not the compact and slender watches of the AP catalogue. As a space for experimentation, more real estate is required to explore new complicated ground – which is then later further refined and rolled out into other collections within the manufacture. The new Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT debuts a new more manageable 43mm case. While still quite large in diameter, and certainly bulky with a 17.4mm thickness measurement, the entire case is comprised of titanium with a few ceramic components. This means the watch, while big, is lightweight on the wrist and, through strategic design, has accommodating ergonomics to maximize the wear-experience.

As a concept watch, firsts are inherent in their nature. So, aside from the new 43mm size we also have a new calibre that marks Audemars Piguet’s first selfwinding flyback chronograph equipped with a split-seconds mechanism in one of their sports watches. This new automatic calibre 4407 also includes a large date complication, GMT complication, and offers 70 hours of power reserve.

Brand Audemars Piguet
Model Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT / 43 mm 26650TI.OO.D013CA.01
Case Dimensions 43mm (D) x 17.4mm (T)
Case Material Titanium case and bezel, black ceramic push-pieces and crown
Water Resistance 50m (screw-down crown)
Dial Black PVD openworked German silver dial display with black inner bezel
Crystal Glare-proofed sapphire crystal and caseback
Strap Black and grey interchangeable rubber strap with titanium three-blade AP folding clasp. Additional black interchangeable rubber strap
Movement AP automatic calibre 4407
Power Reserve 70 hours
Functions Flyback chronograph, split-seconds chronograph, GMT 24h, hours, minutes, small seconds and large date
Availability TBA
Price TBA

 

Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph (26622CE.OO.D002CA.01)

Continuing the Offshore’s 30th anniversary celebration, alongside the previously announced models from yesterday we also have a limited-edition model with a flyback chronograph and flying tourbillon complication. It intriguingly blends black ceramic with accents of green, red, grey, and pink gold. The primarily black and green combo has a militaristic fast and furious feel to it, and I have no doubt the 100 pieces will quickly find a wrist to call home.

Brand Audemars Piguet
Model Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph / 43 mm 26622CE.OO.D062CA.01
Case Dimensions 43mm (D) x 15.5mm (T)
Case Material Black ceramic case, push-pieces and crown. Sandblasted titanium push-piece guards and studs
Water Resistance 100m (screw-down crown)
Dial Black PVD-coated titanium dial with anodised green accents
Crystal Glare-proofed sapphire crystal and caseback
Strap Interchangeable green rubber strap with satin-finished titanium AP folding clasp. Additional interchangeable black rubber strap.
Movement AP automatic calibre 2967
Power Reserve 65 hours
Functions Flying tourbillon, flyback chronograph, hours, minutes
Availability TBA, limited edition of 100 pcs.
Price TBA

 

Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin (26586TI.OO.1240TI.01)

The thinnest of today’s AP Social Club debuts, AP has presented a new take on their ultra-thin Royal Perpetual Calendar that, while vastly more complicated, is somehow thinner than the Jumbo by a few millimetres. It measures 41mm in diameter, and 6.2mm in thickness, and with a titanium build it is fair to assume it is as light as a feather on the wrist. This limited edition utilises a smoked blue sunburst dial exclusive to the model, with black counters that allow the perpetual calendar indications to be super easy to read. As expected, the watch conveys AP’s mastery of case and bracelet finishing with beautiful hand-brushing and bevelling – the intermediary links of the integrated bracelets creating the most glamorous sparkle as they articulate.

Brand Audemars Piguet
Model Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin / 41 mm 26586TI.OO.1240TI. 01
Case Dimensions 41mm (D) x 6.2mm (T)
Case Material Titanium
Water Resistance 20m (screw-down crown)
Dial Smoky-blue dial with sunburst pattern, black counters
Crystal Glare-proofed sapphire crystal and caseback
Strap Titanium bracelet with AP folding clasp
Movement AP automatic calibre 5133
Power Reserve 40 hours
Functions Perpetual calendar with day, date, month, astronomical moon, leap year and day/night indications, hours and minutes
Availability TBA, limited edition of 200 pcs.
Price TBA