INTRODUCING: Three new Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 meld industrial sci-fi and modern eleganceFergus Nash
The Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 was a controversial release, being one of the first times in recent decades that the brand had created something entirely new and non-sports oriented. Now that the dust has settled, the blend of industrial sci-fi in the case design and contemporary elegance on the dial has become an intriguing platform for experimentation, as shown by these three new additions to the Code 11.59 catalogue.
Code 11.59 Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon
Futurism and classicism may sound like a mismatched pairing, but the melding of old and new can be a winning combination when executed correctly. This first new reference of Code 11.59 is deceptively simple. It could easily be mistaken for a regular steel and black dress watch at a glance, but the initiated will understand the depth behind its appearance. The case is made from brushed and polished white gold, with black ceramic sides that help thin out the overall impression and make the case almost look skeletonised.
The dial is made from polished onyx, giving off a rich and deep sheen reflecting off the black. The pink gold appointments such as the baton hands and inner-bezel numerals add a pinch more luxury, while also matching the tone of the flying tourbillon’s balance wheel. The Calibre 2950 can be viewed from the display caseback as well, showing off some tremendous finishing along with a healthy 65-hour power reserve.
Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked
Though the Code 11.59 is definitely a far cry from anything like a Royal Oak, this particular reference captures a piece of that white metal and blue dial charm. White gold takes the place of steel, and of course you have the octagonal element in the mid-case which is here made from blue ceramic. The dial, or lack thereof, consists of the Audemars Piguet Calibre 2948 — a luxurious, hand-finished, skeletonised movement featuring a glorious tourbillon. The manipulate and bridges have been coloured blue using an Atomic Layer Deposition process, while the floating inner bezel matches this thanks to a CVD coating.
Each of these three Code 11.59 watches have a 41mm diameter with a 50mm lug-to-lug length, appearing suitably loud on the wrist without being uncomfortably large for the average wearer. This is also the thinnest of the three, at only 10.6mm. The movement in this particular watch has an even longer power reserve than the previous model at 72 hours, operating at 3Hz.
Code 11.59 Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph
The third reference is sculptural and opulent in a completely incomparable way to the other openworked version, with the 18k pink gold and black colour scheme accompanying the orchestrated skeletonisation well. The gold plates on the dial are laid out in ornate wing-like shapes, giving a rather beautiful structure with which to frame the two chronograph subdials. The tourbillon in the centre completes an almost three-register look, with silver hands allowing easy legibility through the complexity.
The Calibre 2952 is no ordinary movement, if Audemars Piguet even make such a thing. It’s fitted with a flying tourbillon and a flyback chronograph complication, and the view through the sapphire display caseback is jaw-dropping. The black and gold contrast remains, with an organised chaos of components working together harmoniously across its 65-hour power reserve at 3Hz. This is the thickest of the three watches, but at 13.8mm tall it’s still quite slim for that much technology.
|Code 11.59 (Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon/Tourbillon Openworked/Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph)
|41mm x 50mm x 11.8mm/10.6mm/14.8mm
|18k gold and ceramic
|Sapphire front and back
|Onyx/Blue openwork/Black and gold openwork
|65 hours/72 hours/65 hours