Audemars Piguet’s Code 11.59 is one of those models that only shows true features in the second or third eye. It also explains why the series didn’t have a smooth ride when it launched in 2019. Too many people take the lead and don’t give newcomers a chance to properly introduce themselves. This is unreasonable, at least from a process point of view. After all, from the three-part case and vertical domed sapphire crystal to the “floating” lugs, every part has been thought out right down to the last detail.
In theory, the Associated Press could be really indifferent to its reception, since they wanted to address a whole new target audience with Audemars Piguet’s Code 11.59 anyway. The manufacturer is targeting customers who don’t fully associate the brand with its Royal Oak. Plus, the new collection will likely appeal to AP fans who already own the brand’s most iconic model, which has been on the scene since 1972. As our writer Kathryn eloquently pointed out, “Code 11.59 will attract new customers, but also remind fans of the brand of the maker’s capabilities. It can encourage us as individuals to open our eyes and minds to see that there are so many watches, etc. It’s up to us to discover – as long as we learn to transcend the cult classics.”
A bold step into the future
To make Code 11.59 special, it has come in many forms over the past few years. This includes brightly coloured lacquered dials, chronographs, automatic movements, Haute Horlogerie complications and two-tone cases. As the two-tone aesthetic accentuates the watch’s refined case construction, the brand is now introducing two new two-tone versions of the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Self-Winding Chronograph. They come in white and rose gold, respectively, and the middle part of the case is ceramic. While this may not have been AP’s original intent, nor its only intent, it takes the manufacturing process to a whole new level of sophistication. replica watches review
As if the production of the twelve-pointed middle part of the case has not yet presented a major challenge to manufacturing, the addition of ceramic requires a more complex production process. The exact composition of this material is kept under wraps and formed into preliminary form using the latest generation of 5-axis CNC machine technology. During sintering (intensive heating), the ceramic reaches its hardness at about 1400 degrees Celsius. The challenge here, however, is that the ceramic material shrinks by about 25% during this process.
Next, the geometric surfaces are pre-polished and pre-sanded before being finished by hand by an expert. More specifically, each case surface is satin-finished, while each bevel is polished. This achieves a highly elegant lustre, not to mention the versatility of the entire case. To meet its own high standards, as one would expect from a manufacturer of Le Brasses, it brings an outside help to the production of ceramic parts. The family-run Swiss company Bangerter specialises in the manufacture of precision components made of advanced ceramics and now also produces them for AP.
New watch face and strap
Code 11.59 also has some other new features. Anthracite grey dial showcases vertical satin finish. At the same time, the black chronograph sub-dials and inner bezel add depth to the dial and therefore also complement the black ceramic part of the case. In contrast, the hour markers and hands match the color of the bezel, lugs and caseback. Both are available in 18 karat rose or white gold.
Interestingly, the ceramic inlay in the watch makes it not only lighter and more wear-resistant, but also more sporty. Code 11.59 generally falls under the dress watch category. However, it has now become a more casual piece. This is also thanks to a new special rubber-coated calfskin strap with a textured finish that complements its laissez-faire ceramic look.
Trusted Design Specifications
Often, the logos or letters are either printed on the dial or drawn by hand. However, the AP chose a much more complicated process for its Code 11.59 line. CEO François-Henry Bennahmias wanted the letters to be written out and applied in gold. The 12.5 mm long “Audemars Piguet” is electroplated. It’s a chemical process that layers together extremely thin layers of 24-carat gold. This will create a special 3D effect for the logo.
The process itself is not particularly uncommon in watchmaking. However, working with gold is more challenging. The “A” and “U” letters of the logo are so thin that the links between the individual letters are no larger than a human hair.
About half of the 1,600 employees working at AP were involved in the production of Audemars Piguet’s Code 11.59. The lettering alone took about two years to develop. One supplier even opted out because the development created too much scrap. The project appears to be on the verge of collapse. But no one at The Associated Press considered giving up.
Studying Code 11.59, it quickly becomes apparent that it has very thin bezels. This is because it has to adapt to the unusual shape of sapphire crystal. The inner face of the crystal is domed, while the outer face curves vertically downward from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock. wholesale replica watch
The sapphire crystal is designed for optimum readability of the dial from all angles. The results are truly stunning, as you can see when you look at the watch in person. However, the slim bezel combined with the oversized sapphire crystal does make the watch appear larger (41mm) on the wrist than it actually is.
A completely new manufacturing process also had to be developed for the lugs. The upper lugs are welded to the ultra-thin bezel. At the same time, the lower part rests lightly against the edge of the case, creating a floating effect. At the same time, the lugs are also hollowed out. This doubles the difficulty for them to withstand any force acting on them. As mentioned, whether you find this aesthetically pleasing or not, it demonstrates the level of experimentation, not to mention the spirit of innovation, that has characterized AP since its inception in 1875.
The Associated Press has conceived a new manufacturing movement specifically for Audemars Piguet’s Code 11.59 collection. Powering the chronographs – including these two new models – is the in-house calibre 4401. This integrated chronograph with a column wheel mechanism and flyback allows the chronograph to restart without the wearer having to stop and reset it first.
In addition, the 32mm movement features a patented zero reset mechanism. This ensures that each counter pointer can be reset to zero seamlessly. The movement also incorporates a vertical clutch system that prevents the hands from bouncing when the chronograph is started and stopped. Finally, the sapphire crystal caseback showcases many of the 367’s components, including its exquisite finishes. In addition to the 22-karat rose gold oscillating weight, the movement showcases Geneva stripes, tire features, pearl pattern, brushed sunburst and polished bevels.
Once an obvious baby, the Code 11.59 is now such a confident and mature watch that it’s hard to imagine AP without it now. That’s pretty impressive given its two-year history in the company’s 146-year history. Bennahmias’ original goal was to allocate only 20% of current annual production to Code 11.59. That means roughly 10,000 Code 11.59 watches per year by 2022, assuming that production does increase to the target 50,000. However, the company has yet to confirm those goals.
The use of black ceramic works surprisingly well with the rose and white gold models. At the same time, the complex multi-part case makes the extraordinary case even more striking. It also brings Code 11.59 more in line with Bennahmias’ “watch for every occasion” vision. It’s time for the last few reviewers to embrace this replica men watches– because it’s likely to be here to stay.
Audemars Piguet Automatic Chronograph Code 11.59
18ct white or rose gold
30 meters (3 bar)
Anthracite dial with vertical satin-brushed finish
Black rubber-coated strap with 18-karat white or rose gold pin buckle
4 Hz (28,800 cycles/hour)
Flyback chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds