A year after its introduction, Audemars Piguet’s controversial yet entirely novel collection, Code 11.59, sees its first major evolution with the introduction of five new time-and-date models and five new Chronograph models. When we reviewed the watch recently, our main complaint came from the lack of ‘spices’… Well, here they are, as AP spices up its collection with smoked sunburst lacquered dials, a palette of deep colours and two-tone cases.
new smoked colours
Until now, the Selfwinding Time-and-Date and Chronograph Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet were mostly available (at least for the permanent collection) with classic colours – white, black and dark blue. While these colours are certainly elegant and timeless, the execution, even though superb regarding the quality, made these watches too soft, too discreet actually.
Here we are in 2020 and Audemars Piguet, without changing much to the base recipe, brings the desired touch of boldness you can expect from this brand. More creative, trendier, more modern too. For these 10 new references of Code 11.59 – each colour is available either on the time-and-date or the chronograph model – the brand chose for lacquered dials with sunburst pattern, when the inaugural models had polished plain lacquered dials. These are also ‘smoked’, meaning that the colour is brighter and more vivid in the centre and fades to become almost black at the periphery – and indeed the inner flange is black, except on the light grey model.
5 different colours have been added – not replacing existing watches. First is a burgundy dial with white gold hands and applied hour-markers and matching case. Then is an ocean blue dial with pink gold hands and applied hour-markers and matching case. Also available is a dark purple dial with pink gold hands and applied hour-markers and matching case.
Slightly more classical are the two other versions, in light or dark grey with pink gold hands and applied hour-markers… but these two have something more regarding the case.
We can’t hide the fact that a large part of the appeal of Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet comes from its complex case, full of details and facets, with absolutely superb execution. One of the features is the discreet reference to the iconic octagon (from the Royal Oak collection) found on the central case. This is thus perfect territory for contrast in materials and colours.
Following the well-received unique two-tone piece presented for Only Watch 2019, based on the Openworked Tourbillon movement, Audemars Piguet adds two-tone options to the Time-and-Date and Chronograph models. No steel here as this bi-colour case is obtained from a combination of 18k white gold (for the bezel/lugs and the caseback, as well as the crown and pushers) and 18k pink gold (for the central case). As said, these two-tone cases are available only with light and grey dials.
In all models, the case measures 41mm in diameter and features a combination of finely brushed surfaces with polished bevels all around the edges, resulting in a very detailed and desirable case.
Each model is presented here with a matching large square-scale alligator leather strap – dark blue, burgundy, dark purple, light grey or black. The straps are secured by a pin buckle in white or pink gold, depending on the model.
While the habillage has been updated, no evolution regarding the movements. Remember that Code 11.59 was also important in watchmaking terms for Audemars Piguet, as the brand introduced brand new movements for both the time-and-date models and the chronograph watches – with the long-awaited integrated in-house movement.
The Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding time-and-date is powered by the Calibre 4302, an automatic movement with large 32mm and 70h of power reserve. It includes modern solutions like the transversal balance bridges and traditional decoration with polished bevels and Geneva stripes.
The Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph is powered by the Calibre 4401, a brand new integrated chronograph movement with vertical clutch and column wheel. This movement, as explained here, is a state of the art modern chrono. It is very pleasant in terms of layout and decoration, as well as powerful with 70h power reserve.
The price for these new two-tone and smoked sunburst version of the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet will be USD 26,800 or CHF 27,000 for all time-and-date models and USD 42,400 or CHF 42,600 for all chronograph models – the same prices as the previous editions of this watch. They will only be available at Audemars Piguet boutiques.
More details at www.audemarspiguet.com.
08/07/2020 - prices updated