“To break the rules, you must first master them.”
This autumn, Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet encourages women to re-appropriate time. Inspired by the aesthetics of 17th-century single-hand timepieces, the new Millenary Frosted Gold Philosophique tells time…philosophically!
This design watch is a statement of creative freedom and free-spirited individuality. In defiance of the rush and frenzy of today’s world, the Millenary Frosted Gold Philosophique puts time on women’s side, its single hand defying contemporary conventions of time measurement.
As François-Henry Bennahmias explains, “At Audemars Piguet, we have always charted our own course, following our firm convictions and starting our independent trends, even during times of crisis. We continue today with our new Millenary Philosophique. This watch takes a break from the rushing minutes of our world and invites you to set your own tempo.”
This abstract watch has been meticulously hand-finished by our watchmakers, in the highest respect of Audemars Piguet’s traditions. The 18-carat pink or white gold case presents alternating satin brushing and Frosted Gold finishing, a technique Audemars Piguet owes to Florentine jewellery designer Carolina Bucci. The diamond-dust effect it creates results from hours of meticulous micro-hammering.
Adding a subtle touch of colour, the see-through caseback reveals the oscillating weight, which coloured plates recall the hand-crafted dimpled dial in shades of brown or blue. The single hour hand is polished and sand-blasted.
Adding to the current hand-wound collection, this watch is equipped with a new selfwinding movement, calibre 3140. This movement is endowed with a patented mechanism which ticks the hand around the dial in an elliptical trajectory. The hour wheel directly corresponds with a transparent disc on the dial, on which the single hand is mounted. This enables the hand to follow a clear trajectory despite the elliptical case.
A Glimpse at History
Audemars Piguet introduced its first Philosophique watch in 1982, in the midst of the quartz crisis. The advent of quartz shook the foundation of the watchmaking industry, spurring watchmakers to find innovative solutions to the ravages caused by the emergence of this new technology. The Manufacture responded by breaking mechanical records with its world’s thinnest perpetual calendar mechanism in 1978, as well as by releasing revolutionary mechanical watches combining tradition and avant-gardist design.
Defying quartz, Audemars Piguet introduced its first hand-wound “Philosophique” watch in 1982, inviting wearers to question the notion of passing time. This model brought back to the beginning of time measurement devices, which were equipped with a single hour hand until the beginning of the 18th century to simplify energy transmission. By telling time philosophically and sentimentally, the Manufacture also liberated time from the constraints of the modern industry’s relentless quest for precision. The Philosophique reminded us that watches had been, and continue to be, worn first and foremost as social and emotional markers.
Millenary: A Canvas for Creativity
Since its establishment in 1875, Audemars Piguet has crafted mechanical watches for women, ranging from timeless classics to avant-garde artistic creations, all suited to the evolving nature of women’s lifestyles. Combining technical mastery, creative aesthetics, optimum ergonomics and refined finishing techniques, these creations have challenged expectations over the years, while honouring the highest level of Haute Horlogerie and gem-setting traditions.
Since it first appeared in 1995, the Millenary has been a canvas for creativity with its elliptical case, eccentric dials and visible hand-wound movement. Inspired by architecture and art, this watch of contrasts intertwines technical savoir-faire and innovative design. While the collection was originally conceived for men, the first models for women made their appearance in 1998, becoming more prominent over the years. Since 2015, the collection has been exclusively designed for women presenting off-beat and multifaceted models endowed with a wide array of materials and finishing techniques, including chamfering, satin brushing and Frosted Gold finishing.
The creativity of the Millenary collection can also be seen with the new 2019 Millenary Frosted Gold Aventurine. Its deep blue aventurine dial and seconds counter recall a star-lit sky. Aventurine glass was created in the 17th century thanks to a chance manipulation (“all’avventura”) in a Murano glass factory when copper filings were dropped into cooling molten glass, creating a constellation of sparkling particles. Today, this glass is obtained by introducing black copper oxide and cobalt, which colours the glass in blue.
This hint of outer space is contained by the 18-carat white gold case with Frosted Gold finish on the case sides, bezel, inner bezel and lugs. The watch is complemented by a hand-made and hand-polished 18-carat white gold Polish mesh bracelet which adds a vintage touch, while dressing the wrist like a second skin.