Audemars Piguet Code 11.59: Classic Yet Modern
In 2019, Audemars Piguet launched the Code 11.59, a brand new collection of men's and women's watches. These timepieces are equal parts traditional and modern. Top models feature a perpetual calendar, tourbillon, or chiming mechanism.
Audemars Piguet Looks to the Future
At SIHH 2019, Audemars Piguet took a step rarely seen in the conservative world of Swiss watchmaking in recent decades: They announced a brand new watch collection, the Code 11.59. According to the manufacturer, the name represents modern technology, communication, groundbreaking designs, and optimism at the dawning of a new day. What's more, the word "Code" stands for the brand's core principles: challenge, own, dare, evolve.
Perhaps the most notable feature of the Code 11.59 is its unusual case design. While the bezel and case back are both round, the main body is an octagon and calls to mind the octagonal bezel of the famous Royal Oak. The lugs are also unconventional: They are hollow and only attach to the front side of the 41-mm case while simply resting against the case back. Two octagonal screws hold the spring bars in place. These same screws also appear on the Royal Oak's bezel.
The dials of the Code 11.59 collection are remarkably reserved. You can choose from lacquered editions with a sunburst finish or models with an enamel finish. Both dial options mark the hours with narrow bar indices. Three-hand editions feature four slightly raised Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock. Sapphire crystal protects the display. The dial-side of the crystal is domed with the outer side curved vertically from 6 to 12 o'clock. This design guarantees optimal readability.
Three new in-house calibers debuted alongside the Code 11.59. The calibers 2950 and 4401 are particularly interesting. The former is the first Audemars Piguet movement to come with a flying tourbillon and central winding. On the other hand, the 4401 is the company's first integrated chronograph caliber. The collection also contains models with a perpetual calendar or chiming mechanism.
5 Reasons to Buy an AP Code 11.59
- A unique design
- Sapphire crystal domed on both sides
- Modern in-house calibers
- Top models with a tourbillon, chronograph, chiming mechanism, or perpetual calendar
- Suitable for men and women
Prices at a Glance: Audemars Piguet Code 11.59
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Material, features|
|26397BC.OO.D321CR.04||850,000 USD||White gold, grand and petite sonnerie, minute repeater, limited run of five pieces|
|26399BC.OO.D321CR.01||267,000 USD||White gold, flying tourbillon, flyback chronograph|
|26600OR.OO.D002CR.01||177,000 USD||Rose gold, tourbillon, skeletonized caliber|
|26394OR.OO.D321CR.01||86,000 USD||Rose gold, perpetual calendar|
|26393NB.OO.A002KB.01||68,000 USD||White gold & ceramic, flyback chronograph|
|15210OR.OO.A099CR.01||25,500 USD||Rose gold, date|
How much does an Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 cost?
Despite its young age, the Code 11.59 collection has a wide range of models on offer. Simple three-hand models are the most affordable at roughly 24,500 USD. Prices for a Code 11.59 Chronograph begin around 42,500 USD, while those with a perpetual calendar cost nearly double that amount. At the very top end of the price range, you'll find the Code 11.59 Openworked, which demands about 177,000 USD.
The Code 11.59 Automatic is the collection's most basic model. This three-hand watch gets its central hour, minute, and second display from the in-house caliber 4302. The three narrow baton hands pair wonderfully with the applied line indices. There's also a date display between 4 and 5 o'clock. Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock add a modern touch. The numerals on the minute track around the dial's slightly raised edge are the same style as the hour markers.
For such a new collection, the dial color options are impressive. Audemars Piguet produces models with monotone lacquer dials in black, white, or blue, as well as versions with sunburst dials in red, blue, black, silver-gray, or purple. You can also choose whether you'd prefer a white or rose gold case. Finally, an alligator leather strap in the same color as the dial completes the look.
Depending on the exact edition, you can purchase a Code 11.59 Automatic on Chrono24 for between 25,000 and 28,500 USD. One exception is the Code 11.59 Automatic "Bolshoi," which has a limited run of 99 pieces. This white gold watch has the same technology as its sister models but features a blue "Grand Feu" enamel dial and an engraving of the façade of Moscow's famous Bolshoi theater on its 22-karat gold rotor. You can call this collector's item your own for around 56,000 USD.
Three-Hand Watches With a Tourbillon
Audemars Piguet also offers the Code 11.59 Automatic with a flying tourbillon. You can view this component through a cut-out in the dial at 6 o'clock. Due to its lack of a forward-facing bridge, the tourbillon appears to float freely within the case. Furthermore, the tourbillon's cage doubles as a small seconds display.
The tourbillion is part of the new automatic caliber 2950, the first AP movement to combine a flying tourbillion with a central rotor. It ticks at 21,600 vibrations per hour (vph) and has a 65-hour power reserve. Thanks to the sapphire crystal case back, you can watch this beautifully decorated movement at work.
The collection includes white and rose gold models with either a Grand Feu or aventurine enamel dial. Both dial options are available in black or blue. You can recognize the aventurine editions by the fine white speckles that give the dial the look of a star-filled night sky.
Be sure to have about 120,000 USD on hand for a Code 11.59 Automatic Flying Tourbillon with a Grand Feu dial. Versions with an aventurine dial require a much larger investment of roughly 179,000 USD.
A Feast for the Eyes: Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked
The Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked is especially complex. Instead of a traditional dial, AP only outfits this model with an outer ring for the minute track. Otherwise, both the front and back provide an unobstructed view of the intricately skeletonized caliber 2948 within. This manual movement has an 80-hour power reserve and ticks at a rate of 21,600 vph.
You can purchase this watch on Chrono24 for around 178,000 USD.
The Code 11.59 With a Chronograph
The Code 11.59 Chronograph Automatic is one of the collection's most interesting models for Audemars Piguet fans. This is thanks to the caliber 4401 – the manufacturer's first integrated chronograph movement. It features an hour counter at 3, a small seconds at 6, and a minute counter at 9 o'clock, as well as a date display between 4 and 5 o'clock. The movement has a 70-hour power reserve and now also appears in several editions of the Royal Oak.
AP produces several versions of the Code 11.59 Chronograph Automatic. Case options include white gold, rose gold, and a combination of gold and platinum. For the lacquer dial, you can choose from black, blue, red, or purple.
Prices for a gold model sit between 41,000 and 45,500 USD on Chrono24, while watches that combine gold and ceramic elements demand roughly 68,500 USD.
Skeletonized Chronographs With a Tourbillon
If you like your chronographs with a skeletonized design, you should take a closer look at the Code 11.59 Flying Tourbillon Chronograph Automatic. Here, the finely skeletonized caliber 2952 is the star of the show. You can view this automatic movement from above and below thanks to sapphire crystal on the front and back. It has a 65-hour power reserve and a flying tourbillon at 6 o'clock. The movement also includes minute and hour counters and a flyback function; however, you will have to do without a date display.
Audemars Piguet only made 100 copies of this timepiece: half with a black dial edge and the other with a blue dial edge. Both editions change hands for around 268,000 USD.
The Code 11.59 With Grand Complications
Audemars Piguet equips several Code 11.59 models with grand complications. One such timepiece is the Code 11.59 Perpetual Calendar. The in-house caliber 5134 ticks away inside its rose gold case. This movement displays the date, day, and month on subdials at 3, 9, and 12 o'clock, respectively. The month subdial also doubles as a leap year indicator. An additional central hand points to the current week number. Finally, the dark blue aventurine enamel dial goes perfectly with the photorealistic moon phase display at 6 o'clock.
Be prepared to spend around 86,500 USD to call this timepiece your own.
The Code 11.59 With a Chiming Mechanism
Beyond perpetual calendars and tourbillons, chiming mechanisms represent the highest level of watchmaking skill. Audemars Piguet has a long history with this complication and offers it in multiple Code 11.59 watches.
One example is the Code 11.59 Minute Repeater Supersonnerie with the caliber 2953. This movement boasts a minute repeater with AP's proprietary "Supersonnerie" technology. This mechanism debuted at SIHH 2016 and features special gongs and openings in the case back for enhanced resonance. The result is chimes with a more powerful and defined tone.
The Code 11.59 Minute Repeater Supersonnerie is a simple three-hand watch with a small seconds at 6 o'clock. It pairs a blue Grand Feu enamel dial with an 18-karat white gold case. A lever on the case's left-hand side operates the minute repeater. The manufacturer lists this stunning timepiece for 295,000 CHF (approx. 330,000 USD).
Those with more exclusive tastes may prefer the Code 11.59 Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie. Audemars Piguet will only produce five copies of this exquisite model. Its caliber, the 2956, features a minute repeater and grande and petitie sonnerie. Each timepiece is one of a kind, as artist and enamel expert Anita Porchet handpaints each dial based on the customer's specifications. Of course, all this exclusivity comes at a price – namely, upwards of 850,000 USD.