audemars piguet remaster selfwinding chronograph

Audemars Piguet’s new remaster hits all the right notes

The Swiss watchmaker’s [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph is a fine-tuned dose of handsome horology

There are some songs so classic, so indelible and unfading, that they should never be meddled with. Crooning ballads from the 1950s, for example — or rough-cut edits of early rock. There are white-label test-pressings, sketchy bootlegs and live recordings so perfectly imperfect that they should remain forever untampered with.

Yep, we’ll take the originals every time, thank you very much. We’d much rather dust off an old vinyl than push play on a remixed, restored and altogether rehashed track. Remasters? Not on our watch.

And yet, Audemars Piguet’s latest has turned our heads. A triumph of timekeeping, the [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph has seen the Swiss brand resurrect one of its rarest 1940s chronographs, the Ref. 1533. The original watch, with its two-tone case, teardrop lugs and rose champagne-coloured dial, was a gorgeous thing. But, despite the art deco styling, those three handsome subsidiary dials and that intricate tachymeter scale, only three were ever made.

That’s like The Beatles only ever pressing three White Albums, or Dylan releasing The Basement Tapes as a really, really limited run. It’s unthinkable. And so, in 2015 — over seventy years since Audemars Piguet first released the Ref. 1533 — they bought the original at auction and set about bringing it back to life.

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