The Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet is pleased to introduce a new variation of its Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Tourbillon Openworked. The 41 mm case, which for the first time combines 18-carat white gold with blue ceramic, houses the Calibre 2948, a hand-wound openworked tourbillon movement, testifying to the meticulous work of the Manufacture’s craftspeople. With its two-tone contrasts that highlight the multifaceted architecture of the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection, this limited edition of 50 pieces pushes the art of openworking to new heights.
The 18-carat white gold and electric blue aesthetic of the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Tourbillon Openworked is enhanced by pink gold details that illuminate the hand-finished openworked movement. © Courtesy of Audemars Piguet
AN AESTHETIC DANCING WITH THE LIGHT
The 41 mm case of this new Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Tourbillon Openworked features a blue ceramic case middle that is contrasted with an 18-carat white gold bezel, lugs and caseback. While blue ceramic was already employed in the Royal Oak Offshore collection in 2020 (ref. 26405CE), this is the first time that it appears on a Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet.
Part of the beauty of ceramic lies in its technical complexity. Ceramic requires precise manufacturing and meticulous hand-decorations to respond to the Manufacture’s high quality requirements. Zirconium Oxide powder (ZrO2), modified to obtain a blue pigmentation once baked, is mixed with binder content before being transformed into ceramic through a complex and sophisticated industrial flow requiring numerous high precision machining steps. The components obtain their final colour after being sintered at around 1,400°C. Obtaining a uniform blue colour represents an additional challenge as ceramic’s final colour depends on the sintering temperature, which allows no variation.
Like the gold components, the ceramic case middle is meticulously hand-finished with the Manufacture’s trademark alternation of satin brushing and polished chamfers. The artisans’ final challenge was to reach perfect alignment between the rounded and angular surfaces of the ceramic and white gold elements, while offering a fascinating interplay with the light – a task only achievable by hand.
Further enhancing the blue ceramic case middle, the electric blue openworked elements and lacquered inner bezel reinforce the timepiece’s two-tone aesthetic. The white gold and sapphire caseback is engraved with the words “Limited Edition of 50 pieces.”
AN OPENWORKED MOVEMENT WITH TRICOLOUR CONTRASTS
This timepiece is equipped with the Calibre 2948, a hand-wound openworked tourbillon movement that is built on several levels. Its openworked mainplate and bridges come in shades of blue obtained by a process called ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition). This deep blue is illuminated by a pink-gold-toned balance wheel and an openworked barrel that reveals the spring and the light grey geartrain within. The mainplate and bridges are visible on both sides of the watch and are vertically satin-brushed to contrast with the hand-polished angles, while the snail-finished barrel sits next to some of the gears that are decorated with circular satin brushing.
With 70 hand-polished V-angles, the finishing of this 3.65 mm thick movement has pushed the limits of openworking to new heights, with the tricolour decorations amplifying the 3D effect.
The blue CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposition) inner bezel complements the openworked movement and accentuates the extreme thinness of the bezel that is barely visible around the dial. The long 18-carat pink gold hands add a subtle touch of colour that matches the balance wheel.
The double-curved sapphire crystal perfectly fits the extra-thin bezel, playing with the depth and light, while also highlighting the openworked movement’s multitude of details.
A CONTEMPORAY TEXTURED RUBBER-COATED STRAP
This complicated timepiece is fitted with a contemporary blue textured rubber-coated strap lined with calfskin leather. The strap is directly integrated with the lugs and the extra-thin bezel, accentuating the refined hand finishing on the case.
“Once again, the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection reveals its versatility with the introduction of new materials and colours. Thanks to its architectural design, this collection is the perfect canvas for complex and openworked mechanisms. This new Tourbillon Openworked showcases the talents and dedication of our artisans in hand finishing, while reflecting the constant search for new materials conducted by the Manufacture.”
“Born in Le Brassus, raised around the world.”
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Tourbillon Openworked / 41 mm
Tourbillon, hours and minutes.
Blue ceramic case middle, 18-carat white gold bezel and lugs, double curved glareproofed sapphire crystal, glareproofed sapphire caseback, water resistant to 20 m.
Case thickness: 10.7 mm
Blue CVD inner bezel and 18-carat pink gold hands.
Blue textured rubber-coated strap with 18-carat white gold AP folding clasp.
Calibre 2948, hand-wound
Total diameter 32.25 mm (141/3 lignes)
Total thickness 3.65 mm
Number of parts 196
Number of jewels 19
Minimum power reserve guaranteed 72 h
Frequency of balance wheel 3 Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)