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The Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Ultra-Complication Universelle Wins the “Aiguille d’Or” At GPHG 2023 (And All Prize Winners)

This year, the jury awards one of the most complicated wristwatches ever created, the AP Universelle!

| By Brice Goulard | 4 min read |

Tonight the 2023 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève has just unveiled who is the grand winner of this year’s awards ceremony! Often regarded as the Oscars of Watchmaking, the GPHG stands for a celebration of all things surrounding mechanical watchmaking. A specially selected jury has narrowed down all the entries into multiple categories with 6 watches each. Out of all the entries, only one has been selected as the grand winner, receiving the coveted Aiguille d’Or trophy for Best of Show. In addition to that, each category winner also received an award. Last year, the impressive MB&F Legacy Machine Sequential EVO, one of the most advanced chronographs on the market, took the golden hand back home. This year, the jury of the GPHG 2023 was on a mission to celebrate watchmaking to the best of its capacities, rewarding what’s known as of one of the most complicated wristwatches ever created… A watch with no fewer than 40 functions and 23 complications, the GPHG 2023 Aiguille d’Or goes to Audemars Piguet and its Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Ultra-Complication Universelle. And we have all the other prizes too.

Code 11.59 Universelle Audemars Piguet Ultra-Complication RD#4 - Most Complicated Wristwatch Audemars


For three years in a row, the GPHG rewarded ultra-thin watchmaking. Following the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin in 2019 (back then the thinnest QP) and the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept in 2020 (the thinnest mechanical watch ever made), the 2021 award was given to Bulgari and the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar. Last year, however, the jury gave credit to an incredibly complex chronograph, the Legacy Machine Sequential EVO, but also for the very first time it gave the grand prix to an unconventional independent watchmaker. This year, the GPHG goes back to its classics, by awarding an ultra-complex watch… The Code 11.59 Universelle. And what a complex watch it is indeed. AP has packed everything it could into the new Calibre 1000, with 40 functions, 23 complications, and a surprisingly compact case size (42mm x 15.5mm). The result of multiple R&D projects (RD#1, RD#2 and RD#3), the Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Ultra-Complication Universelle RD#4 sums up all the expertise of the brand in the field of chronographs, chiming watches, calendars, tourbillon, miniaturization and design.

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Code 11.59 Universelle Audemars Piguet Ultra-Complication RD#4 - Most Complicated Wristwatch Audemars

Due to an enormous list of complications and functions, the Universelle sits proudly in the small group of the most complex wristwatches. For a complete list of its functions, you can check this article. Split-seconds chronograph with flyback, minute repeater, grande sonnerie, perpetual calendar, tourbillon and some more… It does it all. The Calibre 1000, a feast of miniaturization, is made of 1,140 components. And the watch remains otherwise pretty wearable and compact, with the distinctive shape and design of the Code 11.59 collection. The fact that this watch wins the Aiguille d’Or at GPHG 2023 is surely expected and reflects what the jury tends to reward every year – understand high complications – but it remains nevertheless a justified prize for what is a truly impressive watch.

And now, here’s the complete list of the winning watches at the GPHG 2023.

Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix – Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Ultra-Complication Universelle

This prize rewards the best overall timepiece among all categories (Best in Show), also deemed the most representative of the watch industry as a whole. It is the most prestigious award.

Ladies’ Watch – Piaget Hidden Treasures

Ladies’ Complication – Dior Grand Soir Automate Etoile de Monsieur Dior

Men’s Complication – Voutilainen World Timer

Iconic Watch – Ulysse Nardin Freak One

Tourbillon Watch – Laurent Ferrier Grand Sport Tourbillon Pursuit

Calendar and Astronomy Watch – Bovet 1822 Récital 20 Astérium

Chronograph Watch – Petermann Bédat Chronographe rattrapante

Sports Watch – Tudor Pelagos 39

Jewellery Watch – Bulgari Serpenti Cleopatra

Artistic Crafts Watch – Piaget Altiplano Métiers d’Art Undulata

Petite Aiguille – Christopher Ward London C1 Bel Canto

Challenge Watch – Raymond Weil Millésime automatic small seconds

Mechanical Clock –  L’Epée 1839 Time Fast II Chrome

Innovation Prize – Hautlence Sphere Series 1

Audacity prize – Maison Alcée Persée Azur

Chronometry – Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 3SPC

Horological revelation – Simon Brette Chronomètre Artisans

Special Jury Prize – Svend Andersen and Vincent Calabrese

The Special Jury Prize, which rewards an outstanding personality or institution in the watchmaking world, was handed to Svend Andersen and Vincent Calabrese for the creation of the AHCI.

More details at

4 responses

  1. As I’ve seen before on top of the line AP press photo’s, the seconds hand isn’t properly on zero.

    Is there a reason behind this?

  2. You would think they could get the hands on straight by now though, no?
    A somewhat decent watchmaker aligns them perfectly on any worthless watch…

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