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The Brutalist Audemars Piguet [Re]Master02 (Incl. Video)

Audemars Piguet reinterprets an unconventional 1961 asymmetric design as part of its bold [Re]Master collection.

| By Xavier Markl | 5 min read |

Audemars Piguet launched its first [Re]Master model with the recreation of a superb chronograph from the 1940s. For the second chapter of this historical collection, the brand reimagines one of its most expressive designs from the 1960s. A model of brutalist inspiration, the reference 5159BA stands out with its yellow gold asymmetrical case and eccentric shape. As for the first [Re]Master, the idea is not to present a mere copy of a past model, but to reimagine it with a modern eye… Just like the remastering of music records. Meet the Audemars Piguet [Re]master02 Selfwinding reference 15240SG.

Beyond the design conventions dictated by the round wristwatch, Audemars Piguet has a long, rich legacy of shaped watches. The brand has always distinguished itself with its unique ability to disrupt the norms or break the rules. The manufacture’s creations adopt a wide variety of forms, starting with the Royal Oak, a transgressive watch that became a cultural icon. 

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The Bold Design of the [Re]Master02

Wristwatches are traditionally symmetrical for obvious rational and functional reasons. The hands turn in a circle, and the standard notion of what a clock should look like is round. The circle is a direct consequence of the mechanics used to display the time and is the most versatile shape in many respects. The first wristwatches were mostly modified pocket watches strapped on the wrist. However, designing uniquely shaped watches allowed watchmakers to express their creativity and technical mastery. Breaking away from the ubiquitous round case gave birth to more expressive designs. And after experimenting with all kinds of shapes, what’s left? Asymmetry.

The original Audemars Piguet 5159BA next to its modern vision, the [RE]Master02
The post-WWII period saw unbridled creativity in the production of shaped watches. It was also the golden age of asymmetrical watches at Audemars Piguet, with over 30 asymmetrical models created between 1959 and 1963, most of which were produced in fewer than ten pieces. Among these is the 1961 reference 5159BA, a yellow gold model of brutalist inspiration produced in only seven units.

The most striking evolution of the [Re]Master02 compared to the 1960s model is the adaptation of the case design and dimensions. If the overall look is immediately recognizable, it has been reinterpreted with a modern eye using modern technology. First and foremost, the proportions have been enlarged from 27.5mm to 41mm in width. The design stands out with its straight, brutalist lines and sharp angles, drawing an unconventional case geometry and a faceted crystal.

Despite its unconventional design, the asymmetry of the [Re]Master02 does not lead to visual imbalance. Instead, it creates a dynamic tension that draws the eye, making the watch an ever-changing spectacle. The sharp angles offer captivating plays of light and reflections. Audemars Piguet underlines the complexity involved in the manufacture of the crystal, in particular, to achieve a perfect polish on its concave side while ensuring perfect transparency and the water-resistance of the case.

The material is new, too. Audemars Piguet relies on its exclusive Sand Gold, an 18k gold alloy with an unprecedented hue first seen on a Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked earlier this year. Between pink and white gold, its colour offers beautifully changing reflections. The finishes have also been reimagined. The case is completely satin-finished except for the polished mirror-like dial contour. These further highlight the raw, angular character of the case.

The dial

The dial is rather spectacular, too, with a captivating play of light. It is the result of an elaborate construction requiring meticulous craftsmanship from experienced artisans. This modernist mosaic consists of a base plate machined to create twelve compartments in which midnight blue inserts are embedded. Their deep blue colour, called “Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50” (used in the Royal Oak Jumbo), is achieved via a PVD process, while the linear brushed finish creates striking reflections. The applied AP signature, which appears in relief, is remarkably precise and achieved via galvanic growth. The thin hands are crafted in 18k sand gold. A nice detail, discreet cut-outs have been machined into the case at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock to allow the minutes hand to pass underneath.

The ultra-thin movement

Unlike the original watch, the Audemars Piguet [Re]Master02 has a sapphire caseback, revealing a movement of great pedigree. The automatic calibre 7129 is derived from the recently created movement used in the latest generation Royal Oak Jumbo, the calibre 7121. Its date mechanism has been removed, resulting in an even thinner movement at just 2.8mm (versus 3.2mm for the 7121).

Held under a transversal bridge, the variable inertia balance wheel oscillates at 28,800 vibrations per hour. The movement boasts 52 hours of power reserve on a single barrel. As you would expect, it is finely finished with decorations such as Geneva stripes, snailing, sunray brushing, circular graining and polished angles. In coherence with the case, the rotor is openworked with asymmetric cut-outs and it is made of 22k gold, later plated with sand gold.

Availability & Price

Quirky and disruptive, the Audemars Piguet [Re]Master02 ref. 15240SG is a polarizing design that will be appreciated by some and disliked by others. In any case, it will be an attention grabber on the wrist. I find it genuinely intriguing and recommend that you go hands-on with this unconventional model if only to check it out in person.

The watch, worn on a blue alligator leather strap with a matte finish and fitted with an 18-carat sand gold pin buckle, will be released in a limited edition of 250 pieces. It is priced at CHF 38,000 (excl. tax). For more details, please visit www.audemarspiguet.com.

https://monochrome-watches.com/review-audemars-piguet-remaster02-selfwinding-sand-gold-15240sg-asymmetrical-reissue-5159ba-video-specs-price/

3 responses

  1. Not gonna lie, I kinda like this Brutalist design. Too bad it is out of my reach in terms of pricing.

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  2. Love it, it so cool.. thinking out side the round.(Square)…haha. not many watch companies do, good to see, I’m sure the haters will hate…go suck a lemon….

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