SIHH 2019. Audemars-Piguet Code 11.59 line. Some thoughts.

Feb 11, 2019,11:12 AM

When Audemars-Piguet unveiled the 11.59 line, some weeks ago, the least we can say is that it received a cold welcome. 

I for one don't think it is justified. And I suggest we reconsider our feelings about it. 

First of all, the 11.59 is not one watch, or two, but a whole line of 6 watches: Time Only, Chronograph, Perpetual Calendar,  manual winding Tourbillon Openworked, Flying Tourbillon Automatic and Minute Repeater.

Second point, the 11.59 case ( 41 mm for all of them ) is very interesting. Made with care, it is really pleasant, at least for me. The empty lugs, welded to the bezel ( ! ) and the case back ring ( !! ), the case which is a blend of octogonal and round shapes are original and eye catching. It gives to the watch a very modern, technical not to say conceptual look, which is an excellent point. 

Third point, the movements. All are made nicely decorated. With a special mention for the Flyback Chronograph, I must say, but the epitome is the minute repeater movement, which is really spectacular. 

The Cal 4401 new  in house chronograph movement: 

Last point, the sapphire glass, which makes me think of the Ulysse Nardin 160 Chronometer, which has a close shape. 

Here the sapphire glass is double curved. Look at this press file picture, I didn't find a better way to describe the glass:

4  points which are to be put in perspective with the main issue... The dials. In fact, I would say that 2 dials are not convincing, while the others are more than ok. 

I found, among these 6 models, three which are speaking loud to me:

The Perpetual Calendar, with its superb aventurine dial. A pity it doesn't come in white metal. It is a romantic piece. 

The Openworked Tourbillon.A blend of art and horology. Impressive. 

And the Minute Repeater, with its awesome enamel smoked blue black dial, a spectacular movement, and it is announced as a very good minute repeater so called " Supersonnerie ", which I couldn't verify by myself, sadly. 

I would have put the Flying Tourbillon in this list, with its enamel dial. But I am not a fan of tourbillons which make a hole in the dial. Nonetheless, it is far from being ugly, and the white gold smoked blue black enamel dial is very nice.

Now the two dials which didn't convince me are the Time Only and the Chronograph. 

In total honesty, I don't find them inspired nor inspiring. They lack character, while the rest of the watch is strong, original with refined movements. 

I would have seen something more daring, young, original, strong. 

A tapisserie, for example? For the time only, at least? 

A young, fresh and dynamic dial for the Chronograph? 

What is disturbing me with these two dials is that there is a mismatch between them and the spirit of the rest of the watch ( dynamic and daring  case, too wise / classic dials, nor refined, nor original ). 

And while we are at it, please, Audemars-Piguet, remove the date on these two! 

I would also add some technical ( titanium, ceramic  wink or original materials ( tantalum ) for the case. 

So to sum my thoughts, I would say that it is not fair to criticize the whole 11.59 line and that even the time only and the chronograph have some good points, such as the case, sapphire and movements. 

I rather see some very good members in this family, and a promise of a bright future, if Audemars-Piguet reconsiders the dials. 

Go, Audemars, go! 

One wish... Why not a 11.59 Starwheel? I say that, I say nothing... 



More posts: Ballon BleuFlying TourbillonOpenworkedRoyal Oak

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You made some very good points about the dial and movements Nico...

 By: holdemchamp1225 : February 11th, 2019-11:31
which I completely agree with. I also am one who REALLY likes the case construction as well as the lugs. I think it is really a nice change from the RO line. As for the dials, not so much for me. If AP can make this correction and maybe incorporate other ... 

+1 Completely agree about the Starwheel...

 By: holdemchamp1225 : February 11th, 2019-12:41
who knows, could still be a possibility in the future

That would be great! [nt]

 By: amanico : February 11th, 2019-12:41

+1 Starwheel on a Black super light Ceramic 11.59 case and a RM velcro inspired ?

 By: RTO (T8W8T8) : February 11th, 2019-20:26
Maybe a black ceramic case with a Starwheel complication dial ? A velcro comfy strap like RM inspired ? Francois please sign me up on that !

That would be top! [nt]

 By: amanico : February 11th, 2019-22:17

Correction: The lugs are not welded to the caseback!

 By: Pour le Mérite : February 11th, 2019-12:22
In my opinion the case is somewhat nice but uninspiring (lack of distance to the Royal Oak). The crystal has no real use, it's just a fancy gimmick. The marketing for this line was utter trash... "we wanted to show we're not just Royal Oak and Millenary";... 

Thanks for the review, Nico

 By: Langepedia : February 11th, 2019-12:50
Even though my nickname is Langepedia, I have nothing to do with the company so my thoughts are mine only. Starting the new line; it is not really, really a new line, is it? Still houses the Royal Oak cues with its case; which was outsourced back then. To... 

Thanks for your valuable and well advocated feedback, Langepedia. I agree with the terrific launch strategy. But I also think that not everything has to be put down in flame wit this line.

 By: amanico : February 11th, 2019-14:32
There are good, less good and not so exciting things, here. I do think that AP can do some top things with the 11.59. I just hope some more daring watches, in the future. All the best, Nicolas

Agree with most of your points!

 By: jmpTT : February 11th, 2019-12:53
Remember how many years it took the Millenary line to achieve a dial that was both unique and wholly suited to the shape of the case. 15 years, with the debut of the 4101. The Star Wheel complication would look good with any case shape, such that it’s alm... 

GREAT report !!

 By: Gatsby : February 12th, 2019-03:25
"something more daring, young, original, strong" Great report, my friend, and wise words ! Yes, some of these watches are better, some are boring, very, but for me, the most important thing is missing: sexiness ! Hopefully AP will create new dials for the... 

Nice review.

 By: VMM : February 12th, 2019-07:43
Superb quality products, I like the cases and movements, sorry, not the watches themselves. They are not bad, I just think AP can do much better. Thanks for sharing, Nico. Vte

I, too, LOVE the case...

 By: watchme : February 13th, 2019-07:39
but find the dial boring on the plain dial, especially. I love the dial on the rose QP, but the thing that bugs me on the time-only is the top flange. On the chrono, it has a tachymeter. That's fine. On the QP, it has the week of the year. That works, too... 

I AGREE completely with your thoughts

 By: stabilizer : February 13th, 2019-15:37
I share your views, on the line as a whole and each piece in fact. I am delighted to see AP going after new designs and movement innovation, and have no doubt they will iterate to make these both commercially successful and infuse references which feature... 

+1 And maybe a steel version. [nt]

 By: jomni1 : February 13th, 2019-16:26
No message body

As the pioneers of steel as luxury, I do think steel should show up in this line

 By: stabilizer : February 13th, 2019-23:41
However the delicacy of the lines and facets of the case, really speak to me in white noble metals.

This watch in Tantalum would be incredible. Titanium I am not so sure.

 By: stabilizer : February 14th, 2019-22:22
I am a big fan of the brand’s IP treatment though.... perhaps that would work? This is all just my preferences of course.

Was lucky enough to see the collection today in-person at the Boutique...

 By: GreatCookie : February 14th, 2019-05:12
Was lucky enough to be invited to view the Collection today in-person at the Boutique in Singapore. Must admit that I didn’t know exactly what my impressions would be about the collection, given some of the widely publicised internet feedback but am happy...  

Thank you for sharing!

 By: stabilizer : February 14th, 2019-22:24
The black dial is v nice, my fav in this lineup. And the case features are really nuanced in a good way, IMO.

Thanks for your detailed opinions on CODE 11.59

 By: MichaelC : February 17th, 2019-07:49
I can't find one I disagree with. You got it covered perfectly well. I will add the CODE 11.59 Minute Repeater looks so awesome, I think it is the star of these initial models.