In July, Audemars Piguet introduced a slew of new dial iterations for its Code 11.59 line, a young collection of watches—first introduced in January 2019—that received an onslaught of vicious reviews from those that didn’t feel the design was on par with the brand’s stature. Since then, some in the watch community seem to have warmed up a bit to the aesthetic departure—a vastly new direction from its highly coveted Royal Oak watches. But for those that still haven’t thawed their icy feelings towards Code 11.59, AP’s latest iteration, a self-winding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph, may finally turn their heads.
Combining a high-end flying tourbillon with a sporty-but-intricate flyback chronograph complication, the new piece is a serious haute-horology creation topped off with a skeletonised dial that shows off the company’s exquisite finishing techniques. Set in an 18-karat white gold case, the 3D architectural dial features a combination of rhodium-toned and black galvanic openwork titanium and nickel silver bridges. The dial, as well as its new caliber 9252 movement, has over 100 hand-polished angles that have been finished via satin-brushing and sandblasting techniques.
The chronograph counters are visible at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock with the flying tourbillon located at 6 o’clock. All are surrounded by a blue-lacquered inner bezel with Code 11.59’s signature double curved sapphire crystal highlighting the show-stopping intricacies within. On the caseback, the 9252 movement can be seen through the openwork rhodium-toned 22-karat pink gold oscillating weight, which matches the colouring of the caliber’s, as well as the structure of the dial. In its centre is an oversized “AP” with the brand name spelled out below.
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A contemporary take on tradition. Introducing a new complication in the CODE 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection: the Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph combines past and present, classicism and modernity, all encased in an intricate openworked dial. #CODE1159 by #AudemarsPiguet Ref. 26399BC.OO.D321CR.01
While AP first combined a tourbillon with a chronograph in 1999 in the launch of the Jules Audemars Tradition d’Excellence n°1, which was limited to 20 pieces in platinum and also featured a minute repeater function, the new Flying Tourbillon Chronograph is the first time a flying tourbillon was combined with a chronograph. The first time the Swiss watchmaker introduced a flying tourbillon was two years ago in the 2018 Royal Oak Concept collection with the most recent update announced earlier this year in the openworked Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon GMT.
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The alternation of openworked rhodium-toned and black galvanic bridges confers a unique three-dimensional effect and reveals part of the watch’s mechanism. This exceptional complication’s architectural design, though not transparent as a whole, blurs the lines between dial and movement. #CODE1159 by #AudemarsPiguet Ref. 26399BC.OO.D321CR.01
A first in any movement, especially from AP, should be enough to peak top collectors’ interest, but the arguably more sophisticated dial design combined with ultra-high-end finishing of this latest Code 11.59 will likely garner the kind of attention this line has been hoping for since its debut. With only 50 pieces available worldwide and a price tag of CHF 240,000 (or approximately RM1,097,571), however, one would imagine they will be reserved only for the Audemars Piguet clients, who already took a gamble on the purchase of earlier models of the much-talked-about line of watches.
Previously published on Robb Report