After a rather controversial initial impression and some noise in the collecting community, Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet is now finding its way in both AP’s collections and in the heart of collectors. The brand is now working on expanding the range, adding some extravaganza and boldness, with for instance the greatly designed two-tone versions or the new smoked colours launched earlier this year. But it was also time for Audemars Piguet to demonstrate its savoir-faire as a high-end watchmaker, and the new Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Flying Tourbillon Chronograph is here to show you the brand’s skills.
Well, the collection of Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet isn’t what you can call entry-level watchmaking… Since its introduction, it has been available with multiple complications, such as the long-awaited integrated in-house chronograph, an open-worked tourbillon, an ultra-thin perpetual calendar and an impressive minute repeater. Today though, it is an unprecedented movement that finds it place into the beautiful case of Code 11.59; combining two great mechanisms, a tourbillon and an automatic chronograph.
The new Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Flying Tourbillon Chronograph retains most visual elements of the other models already existing in this collection, starting with the architectural and superbly-crafted 41mm case. Made of 18k white gold, it has a complex geometry, with an octagonal central container (a reference to the Royal Oak), a screwed caseback and a module on top with the bezel and hollowed lugs – a single piece that tops the case. The decoration is handsome, with brushed surfaces and polished accents. This specific model is worn on a blue, hand-stitched alligator leather with gold folding clasp.
This Flying Tourbillon Chronograph model doesn’t hide anything and shows its mechanics front and back. The face of the watch is basically composed of the movement, on top of which the display elements are attached. It is framed by a lacquered blue inner bezel with seconds track, which matches with the chronograph sub-counter rings and the white gold blued hands.
The three-dimensional architecture of the movement is emphasized by the contrast of rhodium-toned and black galvanic openworked bridges honed from titanium and nickel silver. The plates have modern, geometric patterns that create great symmetry with the display elements. The movement as well as all design elements, which count more than 100 hand-polished angles, are meticulously finished by hand with an alternation of satin-brushing and sandblasting. The flying tourbillon is proudly exposed at 6 o’clock, and the absence of an upper bridge only reinforcing its visual impact.
The back of the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Flying Tourbillon Chronograph reveals the newly-developed Calibre 2952. The brand didn’t choose the simplest solution here, as not usuing the existing Calibre 4400 base, but by creating a whole new engine instead. While the combination of chronograph and tourbillon isn’t new for the brand, this new movement adds a flying regulator and a self-winding capacity with a central rotor in 22k gold. The chronograph, actuated by a column-wheel, is also featuring a flyback function. The power reserve is announced at 65 hours and the movement runs at 3Hz. Of course, the decoration is as detailed on the back than on the front.
Price and availability
The Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Flying Tourbillon Chronograph (ref. 26399BC.OO.D321CR.01) will be limited to 50 pieces and priced at CHF 240,000. More details at www.audemarspiguet.com.
Technical specifications – Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Flying Tourbillon Chronograph
41mm diameter – 18k white gold case, brushed with polished accents – hollowed lugs and octagonal central container – sapphire crystals front and caseback – 30m water-resistant
Lacquered blue inner bezel, openworked dial, blued 18-carat white gold hands
Calibre 2952, in-house – open-worked self-winding chronograph with column-wheel – 32.6mm x 9.13mm – 479 components – 40 jewels – 21,600 vibrations/hours – 65h power reserve – hours, minutes, one-minute tourbillon, flyback chronograh with 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers
Hand-stitched “large square-scale” blue alligator strap with 18k white fold AP-shaped folding clasp
Limited to 50 pieces