Photography by Ariel Adams

Despite Code 11.59’s rocky start, Audemars Piguet is doubling down on the collection by consistently adding new models to the line-up. The brand new Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 38mm watch is the latest to join, available in two rose gold variations. This compact Code 11.59 is a welcomed addition to sit alongside the larger 41mm and 42mm models, and will no doubt invite fans of more restrained proportions to discover AP’s non-Royal Oak, round-watch range.

As the name clearly lays out, these smaller Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 pieces feature 38mm cases, which are crafted in 18k rose gold, 9.6mm thick, and water resistant to 30 meters. Code 11.59’s defining characteristic is its case construction, which can be difficult to notice if you look at the watch straight on but much easier to understand when looking at it from the side. Essentially, there’s an octagonal case middle (a favorite AP silhouette) sandwiched in between a super thin bezel and round caseback. The top portions of the skeletonized lugs are welded to the bezel whereas the bottom component leans against the caseback. This is one of those instances where photos don’t do the architecture justice; it’s best to appreciate it hands-on. The alternating brushed and polished surfaces serve to highlight the unexpected forms found throughout the case. The pared-down proportions are comfortable on the wrist, and as you can see from the photos, the profile is not ultra-thin by any means, but not oversized either.

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Audemars Piguet offers the 38mm rose gold Code 11.59 watch in two variations: ivory and purple. Both versions include an embossed dial with a gradient structure, developed with Yann von Kaenel — a Swiss guilloché craftsman. To achieve the look, hundreds of minuscule holes radiate from the center in a wave-like pattern, which aside from texture, also results in subtle shade variations instead of a single flat tone. Audemars Piguet opted for Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) to color the dials, which also intensifies the embossed decoration. Punctuating the dial are faceted and polished rose gold indexes, accompanied by a framed date window at 3 o’clock. The matching rose gold handset has luminous tips for readability in low light. Finally, there’s also a prominent minute ring around the dial periphery. The Code 11.59 watches are fitted with large-square scale alligator straps that match the dial, furnished with rose gold pin buckles engraved with ”Audemars Piguet.”

While the ivory reference would be the more sensible one given its neutral tone, I actually prefer the richness of the purple edition — particularly when paired with warm rose gold. If you’re going to go with an overshadowed AP watch, why not throw caution to the wind and choose a color that’s not so mainstream? Audemars Piguet has been adding more purple watches to its catalog in recent years, and it executes this tricky color very well.

The sapphire caseback of the watch provides a view of the new-gen Caliber 5900 automatic movement, which debuted in 2022 inside the 37mm Royal Oak Selfwinding models. This 4mm-thick movement operates at a frequency of 4Hz and supplies 60 hours of power reserve. As expected, it’s decorated and finished according to Audemars Piguet standards including polished angles, vertical satin brushing, Côtes de Genève, circular graining, and chamfering. The 22k skeletonized rose gold oscillating weight complements the rose gold caseback flawlessly.

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A reduction in dimensions but certainly not in appeal, I’m happy there’s a smaller Code 11.59 version available. I’m rooting for this AP collection, and adding more sizes is an important step to attracting attention to the often-overlooked Code 11.59. Yes, the combination of rose gold and these two particular colorways will likely only speak to a niche segment, yet I can only assume that other materials and colors will be unveiled in the near future. The maiden Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 38mm watches (ref. 77410OR.OO.A825CR.01 in ivory and 77410OR.OO.A623CR.01 in purple) will retail for $33,200 USD and are available immediately. For more information, please visit the brand’s website

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