As anticipated in the previous article regarding the latest release at Audemars Piguet it was more than necessary to focus in more detail on two other great creations of the Swiss house. Let's talk about the CODE 11.59 RD#4 and the Royal Oak Concept Split Seconds.
CODE 11.59 BY AUDEMARS PIGUET ULTRA-COMPLICATION UNIVERSELLE
The project started in 2016 with the aim of developing a complicated wristwatch suitable for everyday use that strikes the right balance between complexity, ergonomics and aesthetics. Audemars Piguet's R&D departments have blurred the line between the movement and the case, developing ergonomic correctors and push buttons that allow you to easily activate the multiple functions of the watch.
Within this record-breaking watch, three recent innovations from the Manufacture in the field of research and development have been incorporated and developed: the technology Supersleeps presented in 2015 (RD # 1), the movement with ultra-thin perpetual calendar launched in 2018 (RD # 2) is the oscillator with increased amplitude presented for the first time on the two models of Royal Oak Extra-Thin Flying Tourbillon Automatic RD#3 launched in 2022.
In 2023, this project led to the realization of the'RD#4 and to the creation of an extraordinary wristwatch, powered by an ultra-complicated self-winding movement with over 1.100 components.
Il 1000 caliber integra 40 functions, among which 23 complications e 17 special technical devices, paving the way for a new generation of movements made under the sign of innovation. The case has kept the ergonomic curvature and design codes of the collection, but its proportions have been slightly revised to fit this ultra-complicated mechanism.
The teams have brought together some of the most prestigious horological complications in a single self-winding movement that barely measures 34,3mm in diameter and 8,75mm thick, while enhancing wearer comfort and experience.
One of the main technical developments has been to simplify the use of the functions for the wearer of the timepiece, reducing to three crowns e three buttons the large number of pushers and correctors usually found on highly complicated watches. The buttons, discreet but large enough to be activated with the finger, have been integrated into the left side of the case.
While the upper pusher starts the minute repeater function, the other two serve respectively to correct moon and day indications – a completely redesigned system to facilitate correction without resorting to tiny and sharp tools.
On the right side of the case, three crowns with coaxial pushers allow you to wind the watch, set the time and date with the central crown and select the striking mode (Grande Sonnerie, Petite Sonnerie or silent mode). The flyback chronograph can be started and stopped with the super-crown at 2 o'clock and reset with the other super-crown at 4 o'clock. The crown at 4 o'clock also corrects the month in sync with the year.
Among the innovations, the ergonomic push-button crown – or “supercrown” – at 4 o'clock takes correction to the next level. While the pusher operates the flyback chronograph's reset mechanism, the crown also allows the month to be corrected forwards or backwards. Furthermore, the crown automatically returns to the neutral position after turning it (up to 70°) in both directions. This ease of use hides highly technical mechanical devices located both in the crown and in the movement, as well as a complex safety system that prevents its misuse. Finally, small intuitive symbols engraved on each crown and button remind the wearer of their respective functions.
In 2023 will be presented four variants of the model in White gold o pink 18 carats, each featuring a different dial that combines transparency and refined contrasts. The first timepiece combines an 18K white gold case with a dial in opal black galvanic gold, flange and chronograph counters illuminated by luminous accents. The cage of the flying tourbillon at 6 o'clock, which reveals the rhodium-colored regulating organ that pulsates inside, takes up the light gray outer areas of the chronograph counters and the area around the dial, onto which the minute scale has been transferred black and the indication Swiss Made.
The applied indexes and hands in white gold as well as the applied Audemars Piguet signature obtained by galvanic accretion amplify the play of light. The second reference combines an 18-karat white gold case with a dial in opal beige PVD gold, embellished with black chronograph counters and a black outer area onto which the pink minute scale and the Swiss Made indication have been transferred. Understated 18-karat rose gold hands and indexes, echoed by the balance wheel visible through the flying tourbillon cage, add the finishing touch.
The four editions presented here will be produced in very small numbers. The price is announced upon request, but should be around CHF 1.600.000 (excluded taxes).
ROYAL OAK CONCEPT Split Seconds
Audemars Piguet keep evolving the Royal Oak Concept with the addition of an innovative complication that combines ergonomics with the bold aesthetics of the collection. This timepiece required intense research and development, which pushed the technological expertise of the teams to go further.
In addition to introducing a new crate of 43 mm, the clock in titanium boasts a faceted design that plays with contrasts and light. The case's elaborate architecture required complex planning and manufacturing processes to find the right balance between ergonomics and ultra-modern design.
The case and bezel are curved slightly to fit the natural shape of the wrist, making it comfortable to wear despite the generous size of the watch. The sandblasted titanium inserts highlight the juxtaposition of angular and rounded geometries of the case. There sandblasted case it is completed by the manufactory's trademark octagonal bezel, whose rounded profile is underlined by polished chamfers. The decisive lines of the collection are amplified by the screw-down crown and pushers of the watch, all made of black ceramic. Three-dimensional button guards cheekily secure the pushers at the hours 2, 4 e 9, each finished with the same juxtaposition of sandblasting, satin brushing and polished bevels found on the case.
Ultra-contemporary inside and out, the new timepiece premieres the 4407 caliber per charge automatic, a feat of mechanical and industrial engineering that combines chronograph flybacks, split seconds, GMT. First of its kind to be mass produced by AP, is based on the Manufacture's latest generation integrated flyback chronograph movement, the 4401 caliber, launched in 2019 with the collection Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet. To reduce the height of the movement, the split-seconds mechanism has been integrated into the ball bearing thickness of the semiperipheral rotor and is now visible through the sapphire case back.
Usually hidden from view in self-winding watches, the split-seconds wheel and two operating clamps can be admired at the center of the platinum oscillating weight, under the X-shaped bridge that holds the mechanism in place. Also, this timepiece has the function GMT which has become a staple of the Royal Oak Concept collection. The GMT day-night indication, located at 3 o'clock, allows you to instantly read the time in a second time zone. Adjustment is made via the coaxial pusher of the crown at 3 o'clock (one push moves the time by one hour).
The GMT system is based on two concentric discs which rotate at different speeds: the hour disk completes one revolution in 12 hours, while the day/night disk completes one rotation in 24 hours and is recognizable by the two colored zones: one half white for hours diurnaland and one black for hours night. While incorporating high-tech features, the 4407 caliber continues to respect the traditions of fine watchmaking and features elegant fine watchmaking decorations, including sandblasting, circular satin finishing, circular graining and polished bevels, all visible through the sapphire case back.
Ref. 26650TI.OO.D013CA.01 List price: CHF 170,000 (excluded taxes)
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