Forty-eight years ago, in 1972, Audemars Piguet stood on the precipice of worldwide acclaim. Yet, before the launch of its new ‘Royal Oak’ watch, which debuted at the annual Swiss Watch Show (now called Watches and Wonders), the Swiss watch manufacturer had no way to clock (forgive the pun) just how successful its venture would be.
Nearly half a century later, and the ‘Royal Oak’, with its unusual octagonal face and unprecedented steel integrated bracelet, the introduction of this spectacular timepiece wasn’t just a moment — it was a watchmaking revolution. It was a completely disruptive invention at the time. It was expensive, it was bold, it wasn’t even made of precious metals, and it had plenty of critics, but the discerning eye of collectors saw something different in the daring design. It went on to massive, sustained success, and has been a flagship for the brand ever since.
So, when Audemars Piguet launched the ‘Code 11.59’ watch collection in 2019, it had enormous shoes to fill. A venture away from the now-iconic ‘Royal Oak’ design meant that the ‘Code 11.59’ had to be audacious. It had to reinvent itself for the modern day; it had to go boldly where Audemars Piguet had never gone before. Imbued with dazzling personality, and capturing that exquisite moment right before a new day begins – 11:59 – the watch celebrated the thrill of kinetic potential.
A year following the launch of Audemars Piguet’s inaugural ‘Code 11.59’ collection, the watch is back and bolder than ever. With 10 new watches in five eye-delighting colorways of smoked burgundy, purple, blue, grey, and black, the ‘Code 11.59’ is a bright spot in a bleak year. Of particular note is the grey version, which features a two-tone gold case – an exceedingly rare feature at the house of Audemars Piguet. Another eye-catching element comes courtesy of the three-dimensional watch face, offered by a convex-concave design where the internal surface is dome-shaped and the external is vertically curved, which serves to enhance the vivid details of its lacquered dials.
From aesthetic features to functional, Audemars Piguet’s colorful new iterations of the ‘Code 11.59’ watch prove the mastery of house with ‘Selfwinding’ and ‘Selfwinding Chronograph’ models. The Selfwinding models house Calibre 4302, an automatic movement with second and instant-jump date indication. Meanwhile, the Selfwinding Chronograph (chronographs are integrated stopwatches that can be started and stopped as you like) models are powered by Calibre 4401, which allows you to restart the chronograph without resetting it to zero first. It’s an intelligent and useful development first introduced by Audemars Piguet last year. What’s more is that these movements are visible through an open-worked back, which brings enjoyment of the house’s ingenuity by allowing you to experience the “dance” of the mechanisms inside.
Discover the five colorful new watches from Audemars Piguet’s ‘Code 11.59’ collection in the gallery below, and visit www.AudemarsPiguet.com for an in-depth look at the line.