Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph Now Comes with a Ceramic Middle Case
The Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection was first unveiled in 2019—to much fanfare. This year, the watchmaker further strengthens the collection with two new Selfwinding Chronographs that employ the use of ceramics—a first for the collection. The bezel, lugs and caseback of each watch are hewn in white or pink gold, while its octagonal middle case is constructed from black ceramic. This two-tone approach to the case may not be new but the construction of the middle case requires a combination of advanced technology, dedicated tools and specialised craftsmanship.
The ceramic middle case of the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph watch is crafted in collaboration with Bangerter, a Swiss supplier of precision components. The manufacturing process is a challenge from start to end and follows a complex industrial process. For one, it needs to be hard‑machined with high-precision diamond tools where the geometrical surfaces are pre-polished and pre-satin-brushed. The seasoned experts at Bangerter would then finish the middle case by hand.
“The teams had to push their limits once more to respond to the new technical challenges of combining a black ceramic middle case with the bezel, lugs and caseback crafted in gold,” said Sofia Candeias, the head of product and design management at Audemars Piguet. “The vertical satin-finishing on the dial also had to be perfectly aligned with the case’s refined traits tires [a type of case decoration].” Both the pink and white gold models feature a smoked dark grey dial with a vertical satin-finished base, which complements the refined satin-brushing on the case, and chronograph counters and inner bezel in black.
The vertical satin-finishing on the dial also had to be perfectly aligned with the case’s refined traits tires
— Sofia Candeias, Audemars Piguet's head of product and design management
Another challenge the Audemars Piguet teams faced with the case was ensuring the ceramic and gold components featured the brand’s trademark alternation of satin-brushing and polished chamfers. The designers also had to achieve the perfect balance between the components’ rounded and angular surfaces in order to allow for an interesting play of light. Flip the watch over to appreciate the elegant decorations on the Calibre 4401’s components such as the column wheel and the chronograph’s hammers through the sapphire caseback. Calibre 4401 is the manufacture’s latest in-house integrated movement.
For more information on the new Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph, click here.
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