Watchmakers have long drawn inspiration from artistic and architectural movements, and the new Audemars Piguet [RE]Master02 Selfwinding is no exception. The watch is inspired by brutalism, an architectural style born in London after the Second World War, as a design code: think of icons such as the Barbican. In keeping with this style, the watch favors simple yet strong block designs and exposed spaces rather than intricate decoration. Only 250 pieces of this limited edition watch are available.

The 60s: The Golden Age of Asymmetric Watches by AP As the name suggests and as enthusiasts will know, this is the second [RE]Master watch from Audemars Piguet, a follow-up to the first [RE]Master01 released in 2020. That model reinterpreted a chronograph from 1943. Instead, this watch pays homage to a historic asymmetric watch from 1960, the 5159BA model. Only seven examples were released, one of which is now in the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet. It featured a 27,5mm asymmetrical rectangular 18K gold case and a nontraditionally shaped dial.

During this period, Audemars Piguet produced several models inspired by brutalism. These distinctive clocks featured angular geometric shapes, devoid of ornamentation. Between 1959 and 1963, more than 30 models were created, most of which were produced in less than ten examples. It is therefore not surprising that the aesthetics of the watch were perfect for a limited edition [RE]Master.

A case out of the ordinary

The case of the Audemars Piguet [RE]Master02 Audemars Piguet has a long and varied history of creativity: over the years, AP has experimented with a wide range of case materials, colors and shapes, from traditional geometries such as circle, square and the rectangle, to more unexpected shapes such as the trapezium or the octagon. This brings us to the new limited edition, with a 41mm asymmetrical rectangular case crafted from AP's new 18k sand gold alloy, displaying a hue that oscillates between white gold and rose gold, depending on light and movement of the wrist. We first saw this new shade on a Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked model. Named after the sand dunes, it uses gold, copper and palladium to achieve its warm look.

The case, with its multiple facets, impresses with sharp corners and integrated, robust lugs. Towards the crown, this innovative case also follows the slope of the sapphire crystal. While decoration remains minimal, the brushed case features a satin finish for a raw look that contrasts with the faceted, polished dial. Finally, the caseback features the words “Limited Edition,” while the material pairs perfectly with the open view of the asymmetrical swing weight.

The “Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50” Dial

Moving on to the unique dial: a closer look reveals a blend of different geometric shapes, from rectangles to triangles. Remarkably, the linear satin-brushed dial dispenses with any hour indicator, allowing the “Audemars Piguet” logo, obtained through galvanic growth, to take center stage. Even more interesting is the process used to create the “Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50” dial. Created using physical vapor deposition (PVD), the dial is made up of 12 triangles of different sizes and shapes, separated by sandblasted gold galvanized partitions that meet in the center. Each individually crafted brass triangle is given a linear satin finish before being placed on a brass plaque using tiny legs.

The 18K sand gold hands, in combination with the carefully divided dial, indicate the time. Additionally, the sapphire crystal covering the dial accentuates the asymmetrical element of the design. In fact, the sapphire crystal has a 15,8° bevel for greater visual impact. This was no small feat, and required two years of research and development to meet AP's requirements and ensure the watch's water resistance to 30m.

The ultra-thin caliber 7129

The ultra-thin movement powering the new [RE]Master02 is the caliber 7129, an extra-thin hour and minute movement without a date display. It uses the caliber 7121 as its base, recognizable by some from the 2022 Royal Oak 'Jumbo' Extra-Thin models. This movement, despite its 2,8mm height, produces more energy thanks to its new construction and larger barrel , allowing the mechanism to achieve greater precision over a longer period of time. The oscillating weight, mounted on ball bearings, is equipped with two inverters to ensure bidirectional charging. Additionally, AP engineers inserted inertia blocks into the thickness of the balance wheel, thus preventing aerodynamic friction from slowing it down.

The [RE]Master02 is available in just 250 pieces. The watch comes with an elegant dark alligator strap, which stays true to the elegant 60s aesthetic. The price is 46.700 euros.