Audemars Piguet Pushes Technical Watchmaking Boundaries With Code 11.59

By Sarah Garden
28 January 2020
Audemars Piguet, Audemars Piguet Code 11.59, Watches, Fashion
GQ lifts the dial on a modern classic

Billed as one of the defining watches of 2019 by industry experts, Audemars Piguet’s Code 11.59 collection was one of the biggest launches of the year. It’s the brand’s first collection consciously designed for both men and women, with 13 different models featuring ground-breaking watchmaking techniques. Combining the classic savoir-faire of the brand with a boundary-pushing level of technical complexity, the collection takes both traditional and modern craftsmanship to a new level.

Given Audemars Piguet’s experimental history with design, it comes as little surprise that the case is a unique shape. An octagonal middle case sits within a round case, making Code 11.59 instantly recognisable. Despite the 41mm diameter, the watches are remarkably comfortable to wear, thanks to the case’s curved back, which is ergonomically designed to fit different wrist sizes.

The bezel that the upper part of the openworked lugs is welded to is so thin that new production processes were needed. Although this level of uncompromising fine detail is impressive, it does beg the question… why? Much of the precision isn’t without rhyme or reason. For example, the extra-thin bezel brings the artistry of the smooth lacquered dial forward.

And they want this impressive piece of craftsmanship to be seen. A process similar to 3D printing was used to create ultra-thin layers of 24-carat gold. Each letter is then connected using seriously small links (we’re talking the size of a hair) and placed on the dial by hand with legs that are almost invisible to the naked eye.

“Classic by nature and unconventional by design, Code 11.59 by Audemars  Piguet chooses it all,” said chief executive officer, François-Henry Bennahmias. “Code 11.59 by Audemars  Piguet is about human challenges. It tells the passionate stories of the dedicated watchmakers who dared to follow their convictions, joined forces and persevered, always pushing their own limits.”

Of the choice of six in-house new generation calibres, three of them are new: an integrated column wheel chronograph with flyback function, a selfwinding calibre with seconds and date indication, and a selfwinding flying tourbillon calibre.

Modern classic status: achieved.