“The latest expression of the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon brings together the dreamlike beauty of the aventurine dial with the inherent technicity of this important complication,” is how Michael Friedman, the brand’s Head of Complication, describes the two new takes on the Code 11.59.
AP’s dial makers have covered the 11.59’s gold dial with a blend of crushed aventurine glass and “Grand Feu” enamel. Each of these “Grand Feu” enamel dials is unique due to the organic nature of its materials, the hand manufacturing technique and distinctive cooking time.
A very thin layer of glass sand, mixed with water, is applied by hand on the crushed aventurine glass, before being heated at more than 800°C in a dedicated oven. This procedure is repeated multiple times to achieve the remarkable transparency, depth and light. Each cooking session necessitates different temperatures and times.
The first of the two new models (Ref: 26396OR.OO.D002CR.02) features a black aventurine enamel dial. It serves as the backdrop to hand-finished 18-carat pink gold hour-markers, Arabic numerals and hands; all illuminated by an 18-carat pink gold case. The flying tourbillon cage located at 6 o’clock also presents a subtle pink gold-toned touch. The complex double curved sapphire crystal, which perfectly integrates the curvature of the extra-thin bezel, magnifies the dial’s night sky effect by adding a mesmerising play of light. The collection’s open-worked oscillating weight, visible through the sapphire caseback, is honed from 22-carat pink gold and echoes the case’s colour.
The second variation (Ref-26396BC.OO.D002CR.01) combines a blue aventurine enamel dial with a case, hour-markers, Arabic numerals and hands in 18-carat white gold. The blue dial is endowed with a smoked effect for added depth and refinement. This gradation is achieved by incorporating blue and black aventurine glass into the enamel. The rhodium-toned flying tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock echoes the bright tonality of the watch’s white gold case. The open-worked oscillating weight is rhodium-toned 22-carat pink gold.
Both models’ gold cases are adorned with the band’s signature alternation of satin-brushed and polished surfaces. Only a small team of finishing experts have the necessary experience to decorate the collection’s complex case that weaves together an extra-thin bezel, an octagonal middle case, a round caseback and highly stylised lugs. These two 11.59 models are powered by the brand’s self-winding calibre 2950, which combines a flying tourbillon with a central rotor.
Since it was developed in the 1920s, the flying tourbillon has been a symbol of watchmaking excellence and art. Today, Audemars Piguet is amongst the few watchmakers trained to perfect this mechanism. The brand’s first flying tourbillon wristwatch made its appearance in 2018 in the Royal Oak Concept collection. Code 11.59 became the Manufacture’s second collection to host this prestigious mechanism.