Audemars Piguet leaps into the future with Code 11:59

When Audemars Piguet launched its Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection in 2019, horology enthusiasts were taken by its classic yet contemporary design. The collection made waves with its striking design and intricate features, that would enhance any look. The collection is the brand’s most comprehensive launch to date, showcasing its mastery in tradition and innovation.

Elaborate Build

The completely new case is notable for its multiple geometries, as it embeds an octagonal middle case within a round bezel and caseback. This ergonomic curvature was also a challenge for Audemars Piguet. In fact, dedicated tools and plenty of niche human talents had to be brought together to complete the components’ creation and hand-finishing. The bezel is also extra-thin, and its special design integrates a double-curved, glareproofed sapphire crystal, which is unique to the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet. Internally, the glass forms a dome while its exteriors are vertically curved from 6 to 12 o’clock. This enhances the dial’s elegant details and adds nuances to the watch’s aesthetics.

New Techniques

Open-worked lugs, each combining five different axes and a curved geometry, were added to the watch’s unique design and welded to the extra-thin bezel. Audemars Piguet’s innovative approach to the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet meant that new processes were developed to solder the upper lugs to the extra-thin surface. Each lug is individually soldered to the bezel with a soldering paste applied by hand. While the upper lugs are welded to the bezel, the bottom ones lean against the caseback in perfect alignment. This allows the octagonal middle case to remain unobstructed and highlights the exquisite hand-finishing. Deformities caused by the heating process were expertly polished, effectively rendering the soldering paste invisible. A new machine was also specifically invented for the collection to test the lugs’ resistance.

Small Details, Big Challenges

The interweaving of satin-brushed and polished finishing lends a classy air to the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet. This alternation of finishing techniques has been a hallmark of the Manufacture, gracing many of its wristwatches throughout the 20th century. The case’s array of angular and rounded surfaces made the decoration of the case particularly challenging. It took a dedicated team of six polishers and five satin-brushing experts to finish each watch by hand.

Masterful Touches

Each component’s angular surfaces are delicately chamfered for a smooth finish, and done carefully to avoid changing the forms, surfaces and alignments of each tiny detail. These chamfers notably adorn the lugs’ internal and external surfaces, and can also be found on the hidden face that sits against the caseback. Other marvels include polished bevels on the lugs’ screw openings, which are almost invisible to the naked eye. These components are then elegantly finished with satin-brushing. Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet’s innovation doesn’t end here, as the Manufacture intends to roll out more ground-breaking upgrades this year.