There are more new Code 11.59 watches for 2021, including this particularly attractive (and high) skeletonized tourbillon version. What is the most immediately distinctive about the novel reference 26600CR.OO.D009KB.01 Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked is the two-tone case, which makes use of both 18k white and pink gold. Audemars Piguet was always clear that the Code 11.59 case was meant to be modular, and thus rendered in different ways, with different materials. This is to be expected, but watches at this price point (for whatever reason) have rarely offered a two-tone gold approach. It’s actually quite refreshing.
This particular Code 11.59 dial is one of my favorites given the symmetrical beauty and hand-finishing of the in-house-made caliber 2948 manually wound tourbillon movement. The intricate case with its skeletonized lugs is still an interesting modern take on the round case classic. The 41mm-wide main case (just 10.7mm-thick) is done in 18k white gold, while the middle section of the case is done in 18k pink gold. We see this same juxtaposition of hues on the movement between the silver-toned movement and the 18k pink gold hands and balance wheel. It’s really a great use of these colors for fashion purposes. More so, the watch does not have all the same colors from the same angles. Look at the Code 11.59 Tourbillon Open Worked head-on, and it mostly looks like a white gold watch. Look at it from the side and the color mixture changes dramatically.
The skeletonized movement is really rather simple from an engineering perspective, and here is all about elegance in construction and decoration. Audemars Piguet made especially sure that the curving, circular lines of the movement bridges follow the major round shape of the mainspring barrel as well as the spinning tourbillon assembly. The movement is made up of 196 parts and operates at 3Hz with 72 hours of power reserve. Audemars Piguet does have a lot more sophisticated tourbillon-based movements, but this version of the Code 11.59 is more of a modern dress watch so a more simple, decorative movement suits it. Legibility isn’t bad, though the hands appear a bit on the short side and feel a bit far from the peripheral minute/hour indicator ring that sits above the skeletonized movement display.
I know that I said the Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked was a dressy watch, even though it comes on what appears to be a gray fabric strap. All that Audemars Piguet says about the strap, for now, is that it is slate gray and “rubber-coated,” along with the fact that it has a matching gold buckle. The strap looks comfortable enough and probably does go with enough dressy outfits. While not traditionally high-end, woven synthetic fabric straps are among the most durable and comfortable around. So it makes sense to pair them with a watch such as this when you want to promote actually wearing it — as Audemars Piguet seems to happily endorse.
Not intended as a limited edition model, the reference 26600CR.OO.D009KB.01 Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked watch has a retail price of 189,400 CHF. Learn more at the Audemars Piguet website here.