As we ramp up to SIHH 2019, Audemars Piguet has caused some waves with the all new Code 11.59 collection just released today. With the new line seemingly blindsiding the community, we are told that CODE is an acronym for Challenge, Own, Dare, Evolve with 11:59 being the last minute before a new day. While some of the criticism of the collection’s aesthetics is well merited, one that I feel is a standout from the lot is the Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked watch – a visual treat for the movement lovers out there.
Brand: Audemars Piguet
Model: Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked
Water Resistance: 30m
Case Material: Pink gold
Crystal/Lens: Sapphire front and back
Movement: Unspecified hand-wound calibre with tourbillon
Power Reserve: Unspecified
Strap/Bracelet: Black Alligator Leather
Price & Availability: CHF 175,000
This is a beautiful watch. While enthusiasts have pointed out many well-deserved critiques about the collection and the case dynamics overall, I feel the Openwork Tourbillon is a little different. Consistent with the rest of the collection, if you turn the watch sideways, the case is more of an octagon than a circle, meaning that the polished and brushed inner case sits inside the round rings of the bezel and caseback – while this has been a pain point for many on the less complicated models, I feel it gives this watch a uniquely industrial feel when paired with the intense skeletonization of the movement.
The contrasting black-finished bridges and inner chapter ring simply feel starkly industrial – and seriously aesthetically pleasing – fitting well with the uniquely shaped case. The heavy skeletonization allows the wearer to truly appreciate the simplicity of the movement without feeling overwhelmed. And when it comes to pieces that are heavily skeletonized with complex movements (looking at you, Arnold & Son), one can often lose the time among the clutter. While at first glance it doesn’t seem that’s the case here, I will reserve my legibility opinion until we are able to go hands-on at a later time. Information on the movement is still scant, but we will have a chance to see the full collection as SIHH soon and learn all the details.
I don’t have a lot of bad to say about this watch. The cool new case looks great on this particular model, and the movement is simply gorgeous. I do worry a bit about legibility, but it could simply be tricky to capture in this particular color and lighting. My gripes about the rest of the Code 11.59 Collection aside, this is a spectacular-looking watch that skirts the rest of the models in the collection with a lovely option for those who aren’t strapped for cash – because the price to own this absolute unit is CHF 175,000. Learn more at audemarspiguet.com
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