Audemars Piguet’s new Millenary Carbon One is a technical wonder. The case is forged carbon, an ultra-light material developed by AP. The middle section of the case is created by placing a set of threaded carbon filaments inside a mold. The wire, measuring one millimeter in diameter, is itself composed of several thousand 7-micron carbon fibers held together by a resin wire. Placed end to end, these filaments are equivalent to 22.7 meters of carbon wire and 102.2 km of carbon fibers.
The mold is then compressed at high temperature at pressures of over 300 kilos per square centimeter. This process results in a material composed of 76% carbon and 24% polyamide. The hardness of 626 Vickers can be compared with the 420 Vickers score for alacrite, another highly resistant material. The case middle and lugs are made all of a piece. The bezel, crown and pushers are in ceramics. The high-tech materials and manufacturing techniques result in a very light timepiece indeed: the Millenary Carbon One weights just 69.44 grams.
The openworked dial reveals caliber 2884, a completely proprietary movement equipped with a tourbillon, a chronograph, and a 10-day power reserve. Twin barrels actually store enough energy to power the watch for 12 days, but a locking mechanism allows the watch to run only during the 10 days when the power delivery is most consistent. Each movement is first assembled on a trial basis in order to set it into motion. This stage requires ten days of adjustments. Once the watchmaker is sure that it runs completely smoothly, he takes it apart and cleans the parts before final assembly and casing up. It takes about 15 days to assemble a finished movement, three of which are devoted to the 80-piece tourbillon.
The high-tech theme continues inside. Eloxed aluminium is used for the the bridges and carbon for the mainplate, but not ordinary carbon. It’s an isotropic material composed of carbon nanofibres injected at an extremely high pressure of 7500 N/cm2 and at a temperature of 2400°C in order to achieve a material possessing mechanical, physical and chemical stability in all directions. This amorphous and chemically neutral composite material maintains its dimensions over a broad range of temperatures. Due to its minimal elastic deformation, this carbon provides a highly stable base for the metal elements attached to it.
The Millenary Carbon One Tourbillon Chronograph will be produced in a limited series of 120 watches.
Technical specifications appear below the images, which you may click to enlarge.
Millenary Carbon One Tourbillon Chronograph
Forged carbon case, black crocodile leather strap
Limited edition of 120
Caliber : 2884 hand-wound with twin barrel and tourbillon
Bridges in eloxed aluminium and blackened steel
Total diameter : 38.40 x 33.40 mm
Casing diameter : 37.40 x 32.40 mm
Thickness : 9.7 mm
Up to 240-hour power reserve
Cadence of the balance : 21,600 vibrations per hour
Finishing : all parts decorated by hand.
Forged carbon with black ceramic bezel, crown and push-buttons
Dimensions : 47 x 42 mm
Cambered glareproofed sapphire crystal
Blackened titanium back fitted with sapphire crystal
Water resistant to 20 meters
Openworked to reveal the movement
White hour-markers with luminescent coating
Blackened luminescent hands
Hand-sewn “large square scale” crocodile leather with AP folding clasp in blackened titanium
Hours and minutes