The Newest Iterations in Audemars Piguet’s Code 11.59 Line

Audemars Piguet’s Code 11.59 is still full of surprises

Watches & Jewellery 20 Jun 2024

The 38mm date-only model's sky blue hand-engraved dial

This 38mm date-only model catches the light with its sky blue hand-engraved dial and 18k pink-gold case

As any chart-topping musician can attest, it’s tough to follow up on a hit. Audemars Piguet, the Swiss firm that gave the world two of the most hankered-after watches of all time – the Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore – knows this all too well. The challenge was how to progress from these much-hyped icons, which remain at the top of the greatest-hits table decades after their debut. Its solution: the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection which, on its 2019 release, was one of the most groundbreaking designs in the house’s history, fusing modern functionality with high-watchmaking clout. This future-facing approach is in the collection’s very name – “Code” references digital speak and is an acronym of Challenge, Own, Dare and Evolve, while 11.59 signifies the final minute before a new day begins.

Living up to Code’s arcane nature, its relatively clean look belies the engineering genius of the design. Perhaps the most obvious innovation is the sheer surface area of the dial. ‘In today’s world, the screens are big, whether you look at a phone, a TV, a computer, there are no frames anymore – so we had to almost kill the bezel completely and keep it as thin as possible,’ said François-Henry Bennahmias, Audemars Piguet’s former CEO in an interview for the line’s launch. The sapphire glass covering the dial has been just as engineered. It’s not only domed but curved from the bottom to the top of the face, for maximum readability of the time from all angles, while the middle of the case is octagonal – an Audemars Piguet signature.

Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Ref. 77410OR.OO.A342CR.01
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Ref. 77410OR.OO.A342CR.01

Since its introduction, a host of variations have followed, including intricate flying tourbillons, and Starwheel models – complications that improve accuracy and display the time on a set of rotating discs. Now, to mark the fifth anniversary, seven new iterations in 18k pink gold have been released.

The models come in 38mm or 41mm case sizes, suiting most wrists. Each features the collection’s distinctive hand-engraved guilloché dials introduced last year on stainless steel models, which mimic the ripples on water radiating from a droplet.

Appealing to those who prefer a sporty look, the 38mm date-only models come with sky blue and night blue dials, the 41mm versions in dark green and night blue. The 41mm chronograph models come in dark green, night blue and a black version that combines 18k pink gold with ceramic elements. All seven models come with either alligator leather or rubber straps with a fabric-like finish.

Keeping things ticking over are the newest generation movements, built in-house, which showcase the maison’s prowess for streamlined engineering, precision accuracy and smooth mechanics. A sapphire caseback shows a skeletonised 22k pink-gold oscillating weight, which winds the automatic movement – a unique feature of these new releases.

Are they future classics? Only time will tell, but it’s safe to say this isn’t one-hit wonder material.

From £29,700;