Watch of the Week: Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater Supersonnerie

With its hand-wound minute repeater movement, ‘galvanic growth’ detailing and rich-ringing chiming technology, take a look at the manufacturer’s latest…

If this watch were to have a watch-word, it would be ‘clarity’. Because, being the latest timepiece to tick its way into Audemars Piguet’s ‘Supersonnerie’ range, the 41mm model has a clear-ringing, sweet-singing party trick; it can chime hours, quarters and minutes. 

A hand-wound minute repeater movement — ‘Calibre 2953’ — affords it this striking skill, and builds on technology that was introduced by the Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer’s Royal Oak ‘Concept RD#1′ in 2016.

It’s an incredible thing; 362 intricately shaped racks, cams, snails and wheels — the product of an eight-year research programme to recapture the rich tonality of historic chiming watches. It’s a calibre that also fits the gongs of its minute repeater to a soundboard, which means that the case material has little bearing on the tone or timbre of the chiming. And this, in turn, gives the watchmaker the opportunity to add multiple new materials into the Code 11.59’s construction.

Because, while it may have a hand-finished 18-carat gold bezel and lugs, that octagonal case middle is fashioned from black ceramic, and features the Audemars Piguet’s trademark alternating satin-brushed and polished chamfers. The solid caseback — with small apertures that create the watch’s full-toned resonance chamber — is even engraved with a sound wave motif, a nod to the ‘Supersonnerie’ technology.

But flip the watch over again, and its ‘clarity’ comes into play once more. For, under those tightly ticking pink gold hands, a smoked sapphire dial tricks the eye — offering a crisp, clean glimpse at the complex mechanism beneath, but casting enough colour across that greyed-out glass that the time remains readable.

And this time is told elegantly, with pink gold detailing on the dial. From the hour markers and the small second counter’s gold thread, to the ‘Audemars Piguet’ signature, these features and fine points are created using a process called ‘galvanic growth’, a modelling method similar to 3D printing. 

It’s a gleaming rose gold colour that continues onto the clasp, buckling up a black rubber-coated strap — and bringing this whole watch into clear-cut, full-circle focus. 

Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater Supersonnerie

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Want more from Audemars Piguet? Check out this Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Ultra-Complication Universelle RD#4…

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