The many facets, layers, and shapes of Audemars Piguet’s Code 11:59 always lent itself to material exploration. New for 2021 are a pair of executions (RM173,510) that add ceramic to the mix, combining it with two types of gold for a composite, complementary construction. Both models are three-register chronographs, utilising the latest version of the manufacture’s in-house, integrated, column-wheeled chronograph movements. These are self-winding with 70 hours of power reserve, include a flyback function, and sport a patented mechanism that ensures each counter resets seamlessly to zero. Both have smoky, dark grey gradient dials with a vertically brushed finish, and both have black rubber-coated straps with a fabric-like texture.
Both also have black ceramic middle cases. These were manufactured in collaboration with Bangerter, a family-owned Swiss specialist in matters such as high-tech ceramics and tungsten carbides, and the process involves precise CNC machining and sintering at 1,400° C.
Where they differ is in the bezel, lugs, caseback, crown and pushers, as well as hands and markers. These are offered in either white gold, for a cooler, monochromatic look, or the warmer rose gold that adds a touch of flair without losing the ultra-modern feel.
The ceramic has also been hand-finished in the same fashion as the gold: with alternations of polished and matte across the various chamfers and surfaces. This grants a sense of depth as the watch moves under the light, an impression only enhanced here by the contrast of ceramic and metal. It is the sort of effect that truly showcases the Code 11:59’s complex architecture.