SIHH 2019 was a hotbed for several high-profile launches, but few held the press’ attention like Audemars Piguet did. Yes, the Royal Oak has that effect on people, but this time it was a different collection altogether. Meet the Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59.

Launched by the venerated Le Brassus firm as a defiant departure from the faceted Royal Oak-esque silhouette that’s being increasingly copied throughout the industry, the CODE 11.59 is a six-model collection with 13 references that revisit the icon’s controversial origins, starting from its neo-classical style.

Audemars Piguet’s new design language still shows a subtle salute to the legendary Royal Oak.

Yet in true AP style, they’re not just simply round watches. Instead, expect a masterclass in the art of subtle disruption, where the recognisable octagonal case is now embedded within a round case with alternately satin and polished surfaces. Other notable firsts include the dual-curvature of the sapphire case, which is curved on two radiuses. The result is a glare-proof glass which enhances the dial’s detailed work with a noticeable sharpness.

The Manufacture created a contemporary double-curved sapphire crystal for a unique optic experience.

The CODE 11.59 will also be characterised by an extra-thin bezel, open-worked lugs and an open case back. Despite the varied mix of complications, all watches will measure at 41mm without distinguishing between “men’s” and “women’s”. The dials will feature Arabic numerals from an archival 1940s minute repeater, with lots of clean, negative spaces throughout for uniformity.

Design experiment aside, the entire collection is one of the most important launches in the firm’s history because it’ll introduce three new calibers, and unsurprisingly, they made it to our favourites. Here are some of the Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 timepieces to watch. 

(All images: Audemars Piguet)