Audemars Piguet bends massively with five new complications, including four tourbillons


Audemars Piguet has just introduced five complicated watches in the Royal Oak, Royal Oak Concept and Code 11.59 collections, and while they incorporate watchmaking’s most traditional complications – tourbillon, chronograph and perpetual calendar – they balance that with some modern, avant-garde design elements. The three Code 11.59 models are shrouded in high-tech ceramics combined with 18k gold, in a very modern expression of haute watchmaking, and they are all tourbillons.

The Code 11.59 Tourbillon with black onyx dial is one of the brand’s coolest uses – cool in the sense that it’s rigorously minimalist. The onyx is polished to a high shine and shines without interruption except for the tourbillon opening at 6 o’clock and the rose gold logo at 12 o’clock. The numbers are discreetly placed just within the model’s signature thin, barely there bezel, for an overall expression of rigorous design purity.

At the other extreme, the wild-toned 11.59 is electric blue. Here, the tourbillon is surrounded by openwork curved bridges (with 70 hand-polished V-corners) coated in unmissable bright blue using a process called ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition). The inner ring is lacquered and the case is made of 18k white gold and blue ceramic. It is limited to 50 pieces.

A third code 11.59 adds a chronograph function to the tourbillon and combines black ceramics with 18k pink gold, a color combination that has recently been widely used as an expression of classic high watchmakers. It is the livery of special pieces and limited editions – it is limited to 50. The manual finishing of the 111 V-corners of the cut-away bridges and plate took 70 hours.

The Royal Oak also gets the ceramic treatment in this drop, with the case and signature eight-sized bezel on this model rendered in electric blue, with the grande tapesserie dial to match. It is an ultra-thin perpetual calendar – 9.5mm thick – featuring Audemars Piguet’s automatic QP caliber 5134 with a peripheral rotor. It’s a historic complication for TAUT: In 1978 it released the world’s thinnest self-winding perpetual calendar wristwatch of its time and produced models that used that timepiece for the next 15 years.

A new version of the Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon GMT gets green CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) inserts on the case and bezel, along with rose gold hands, crown, balance wheel and logo – all making for a cheerful color combination. The piece was first introduced in titanium and black ceramic. The movement, caliber 2954, is equipped with a patented parallel double barrel system that gives a power reserve of 10 days.


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