Think of Audemars Piguet, and the mind is immediately entranced with Royal Oak bells. The Swiss luxury watchmaker with a heritage that dates back to 1875 has long been synonymous with that particular line, and though it holds a darling high score in the hearts of horology lovers, it was about time the winds at Le Brassus welcomed a change. With the launch of the Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 collection, we may just be seeing this new era come into full fruition.

Deciphering its history for artistic excellence and technical mastery, the 6-model collection with 13 new references has been dubbed as one of AP’s most important launches ever. Debuting at SIHH 2019 – and providing much refreshed buzz while there – here’s what makes this new collection so special.

Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59
Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 Perpetual Calendar

It begins with a name. CODE 11.59 attracts the eye not only with its reminisce of some sort of top secret spy mission, but also with its boldness. Designed to stand for the brand’s genetic code, the name is actually an acronym: Challenge, Own, Dare, and Evolve. It encapsulates the spirit not only of an AP watch, but also of the Manufacture, and is a tribute to its legacy and serious spirit for innovative savoir-faire.

Chief Executive Officer François-Henry Bennahmias describes: “Classic by nature and unconventional by design, CODE 11.59 by Audemars Piguet chooses it all… [It’s] about human challenges. It tells passionate stories of the dedicated watchmakers who dared to follow their convictions, joined forces and persevered, always pushing their own limits.”

Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59
Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 Selfwinding

Indeed, this precision can be explored in the details of the new collection. For the first time, we see AP introducing a line that was consciously designed for both men and women, with an arched ergonomic case comfortable for all to wear. The collection boasts a uniquely recognisable case, boldly embedding the signature octagonal middle case within a round case and an extra-thin bezel. A new complex double curved sapphire crystal allows for greater legibility, playing with elements of depth, perspective, and light, and a deeper refinement of the raised 3D logo showcases an artistic new gold topography.

Beyond an eye-catching new design, CODE 11.59 sees six in-house calibres in its latest generation. Three of these are entirely new: the integrated column wheel chronograph with flyback function, the selfwinding calibre with seconds and date indication, and the selfwinding tourbillon calibre.

Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59
From left: Selfwinding; Selfwinding Chronograph

Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 Selfwinding and Selfwinding Chronograph

The new sleek selfwinding model features a deep blue, black, or white lacquered dial, enhanced by an 18-carat white or rose gold case, and the standout applied gold 3D Audemars Piguet signature. At 32mm, the dial is large, but sits comfortably on the wrist, with straight integration of the strap in continuity with the stylistic open-worked lugs. The selfwinding chronograph follows a similar aesthetic, with gold thread-encircled chronograph counters, and the new in-house calibre 4401, endowed with an instant-jump date indication, integrated column wheel chronograph, and flyback function.

Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59
From left: Perpetual Calendar; Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon

Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 Perpetual Calendar and Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon

The new Perpetual Calendar is perhaps one of the collection’s most aesthetically romantic. It’s an astronomical watch, boasting a dark blue aventurine dial and subdials reminiscent of a starry night sky. The Flying Tourbillon features a gold dial covered with Grand Feu enamel (meaning that each enamel dial is entirely unique), and actually embodies the first time that an AP selfwinding movement features both a central rotor and a flying tourbillon. The Calibre 2950 is finished with Côtes de Genève, snailing, and hand-polished bevels on the movement’s caseback side.

Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59
From left: Tourbillon Openworked; Minute Repeater Supersonnerie

Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked and Minute Repeater Supersonnerie

The Tourbillon Openworked is an intriguing one to observe, featuring a unique hand-wound tourbillon open worked movement and Calibre 2948, conveying a deep sense of complexity. To further this, the contrast between the pink gold case and dark mainplate wholly accentuate this movement’s artistry and 3D appearance. Conveying a different kind of artistry with its revamped high-end complication, the Minute Repeater Supersonnerie truly enriches the collection as the secret showstopper. Bearing the sonic power of a pocket watch, the model boasts an exceptional acoustic performance, with patented gongs and a redesigned striking regulator. Furthermore, the soundwave 18-carat white gold caseback is an added charm, inspired by the watch’s exceptional acoustics. 

Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59
The Selfwinding Chronograph

A freshly dipped quill into ink, the Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 truly writes a new page in the manufacturer’s history, all the while staying true to the watchmaker’s roots. The collection is a contemporary evolution of the classic round watch, with an edginess that allows wearers and admirers to get a true sense of the brand’s creative personality. In a way, it’s time to find out and get to know Audemars Piguet for what it really is. It’s time to crack the code.

Audemars Piguet, G/F, Central Embassy, 1031 Phloenchit Rd., Pathum Wan, Bangkok, +66 2 160 5838

Lisa Gries
Managing Editor, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.