Color Coded: Audemars Piguet Updates Code 11.59 Collection

A year after the high-profile launch of its Code 11:59 collection, Audemars Piguet has introduced a clutch of new references, featuring lacquered dials and two-toned cases. The new models are spread across the brand’s self-winding date and chronograph models.

The Code 11:59 collection was touted as the biggest AP launch since the Royal Oak in 1972 but received a tepid response from the watch collecting community. In response, the brand debuted a new case design, highlighted by an octagonal-shaped bezel reminiscent of the one that defines the Royal Oak collection. On the Code 11:59, the octagon is seen in the case’s middle, while round shapes are used for the bezel and caseback.

Among the 11:59 collection’s signature elements are the open-design lugs, whose upper segments are welded to the round bezel while the lower segments lean into the caseback. One of the defining aesthetics of the collection is the sapphire crystal over the dial that emphasizes its “double curved” profile. The internal surface is dome-shaped, while the external surface is curved vertically from 6 to 12 o’clock — a concave-and-convex optical design intended to enhance the details of the dials. Audemars Piguet has introduced five new references with smoked lacquer dials bearing sunburst patterns in hues of blue, burgundy, purple, and light and dark grey in both the self-winding date and self-winding chronograph models.

Ref. 26393OR.OO.A028CR.01 with blue lacquered dial

The self-winding date models use a 41-mm case in either 18k white gold or two-tone gold variations (18k rose-gold middle and 18k white-gold bezel, lugs, and caseback). The two-tone gold cases are uncommon in the history of Audemars Piguet wristwatches. The manufacture claims it made only eight two-tone models out of the 550 wristwatches produced and sold between 1882 and 1969. The blend of white and rose gold is particularly rare, with only one recorded in the archives before 1978. More recently, AP introduced a limited edition two-tone (steel and pink gold) case on the [Re]master01 self-winding chronograph. Precious metals are used on the hour markers of the dial as well – white gold or rose gold, depending on the case material.

The self-winding chronographs use the in-house Caliber 4302, an automatic movement with seconds and instant-jump date indications. The movement houses a 22k gold rotor that amasses for the movement a power reserve of 70-hours. All five chronograph references have the same case construction and share the same materials as the self-winding date models. The watches are available in white gold, rose gold, or two-tone gold cases.

The five chronograph references are powered by Caliber 4401, an integrated chronograph using a column wheel, vertical clutch, and flyback function, visible through the watch’s caseback. Both movements are decorated and finished to a “high quality” using refined hand-finishing techniques including “traits tirés,” Côtes de Genève, circular graining, circular satin, and diamond-polished angles.

When the reset button is activated, the hammers, driven by an operating lever, hit the chronograph’s heart-piece to bring the wheels and hands back to zero.

The new two-tone chronograph models retail for $42,400 and the time-and-date models retail for $26.800. The Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection is only available at Audemars Piguet boutiques.

Follow this link for more information. A version of this article first appeared on our sister website, WatchTime Middle East.

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