Audemars Piguet welcomes a new Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph watch model to its Code 11.59. It is for the first time that Audemars Piguet has taken a daring decision to combine the classicism and prestige of the flying tourbillon with the modernity of the flyback chronograph.
Limited to 50 pieces, this complex watch endowed with contemporary aesthetics and distinct architectural elements brings forward the Manufacture’s progressive approach to traditional craftsmanship. The blue lacquered inner bezel nicely frames the watch’s alternation of open-worked rhodium-toned and black galvanic bridges that confers a unique 3D effect and reveals part of the watch’s beating heart.
This high complication watch unites an 18-carat white gold case with a three-dimensional architectural face design blurring the line between dial and movement. The contrast of rhodium-toned and black galvanic open-worked bridges honed from titanium and nickel silver, brings depth and play of light to the watch. The movement as well as all design elements, which count more than 100 hand-polished angles, are meticulously finished by hand with an alternation of satin-brushing and sandblasting.
The transparent chronograph counters at 3 and 9 o’clock reveal part of the complex mechanism, while the impactful flying tourbillon makes its rotation at 6 o’clock. The blued lacquered inner bezel, white gold hands and chronograph rings add a subtle touch of colour, which is enhanced by the watch’s dark blue hand-stitched alligator strap.
The watch’s rhodium-toned open-worked bridges, visible through the sapphire caseback, reveal the complexity of self-winding calibre 2952, which combines the modernity of the flyback chronograph with the prestige of the flying tourbillon.
The complex double curved sapphire crystal, which perfectly integrates the geometry of the watch’s extra-thin bezel, offers a unique perspective on the dial’s contemporary aesthetics and refined hand-finishing.
The sapphire caseback reveals through its satin-brushed and sandblasted openworked bridges part of calibre 2952, the Manufacture’s newest self-winding movement endowed with a flying tourbillon and a flyback chronograph. The open worked rhodium-toned 22-carat pink gold oscillating weight harmoniously matches the color of bridges and case.
Audemars Piguet & Tourbillon Wristwatches
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph continues to uphold the Manufacture’s pioneering development in terms of tourbillon wristwatches. The tourbillon invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801 was a rare find in pocket watches across the world and almost entirely absent from wristwatches before 1986. To this day, it has remained a symbol of watchmaking excellence and art as only a few watchmakers are trained to perfect this mechanism.
In the early 1980s, Georges Golay, Audemars Piguet’s General Director, challenged Serge Meylan, a young constructor newly arrived in the workshops, to give life to the first self-winding tourbillon in the history of wristwatches – a considerable challenge as the movement had to fit in an ultra-slim 5.3 mm-thick case.
Serge successfully met the challenge and this tourbillon is still one of the smallest in the world today with a diameter of 7.2 mm, as well as one of the lightest at just 0.123 grams. Introduced in 1986, this wristwatch forged a new path for the entire high-end watchmaking sector, which renewed ties with this complicated mechanism.
The Manufacture combined the tourbillon and the chronograph for the first time in 1999 in the Jules Audemars Tradition d’Excellence n°1 wristwatch – a limited edition of 20 pieces in platinum uniting tourbillon, chronograph and minute repeater in a movement entirely developed and produced in house.
It was followed in 2003 by Audemars Piguet’s first chronograph tourbillon movement, hand-wound calibre 2889, launched in the Royal Oak collection (ref. 25977). Since then, this complicated movement has seen numerous evolutions across the Manufacture’s collections.
The Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Self-winding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph represents, however, the first time this combination is evolved at Audemars Piguet with a flying tourbillon – a complicated mechanism which the Manufacture first released in 2018 in the Royal Oak Concept collection.
By bringing together the chronograph and the flying tourbillon in its latest Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection, the manufacturer continues to move ancestral craftsmanship forward by preserving and reinterpreting traditions. Ahead of its time, this Audemars Piguet watch released in 1986 combines the world’s first self-winding tourbillon wristwatch mechanism with an avant-garde design.
Model: Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Self-winding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph / 41 mm, Reference: 26399BC.OO.D321CR.01
Flying Tourbillon, flyback chronograph, hours and minutes
18-carat white gold case
Double glare-proofed sapphire crystal
Glare-proofed sapphire caseback
Water-resistant to 30 m
Self-winding Manufacture Calibre 2952
Diameter: 32.6 mm (14 ½ lignes)
Thickness: 9.13 mm
Number of parts: 479
Number of jewels: 40
Minimum power reserve guaranteed: 65 h
Frequency of balance wheel: 3 Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)
Lacquered blue inner bezel, openworked dial, blued 18-carat white gold hands
Hand-stitched “large square-scale” blue alligator strap with 18-carat white gold AP folding clasp