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Audemars Piguet - Test Bench

Audemars Piguet Test Bench

Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet.

One year after the spectacular launch of the Code 11.59 collection, Audemars Piguet is expanding its range by introducing new definitions of existing models. In this column, we have opted on this occasion to analyze the collection’s selfwinding model.

Exterior

The two-tone case and the flammé dial (in this instance black) are the real novel features of this 2020 vintage of the model. Having already reviewed the chronograph version of the collection, we won’t go into detail about the design of this watch, which is undoubtedly its greatest asset. We will simply point out its flowing nature, its subtle connection to the iconic Royal Oak, the technical complexity generated by this aesthetic, as well as an undeniably distinctive and assertive character. The 41mm case now comes in a two-tone version, with a white gold bezel and caseback embracing the red gold case middle. The symmetry of the case and its finishes lend themselves particularly well to the exercise. Meanwhile the color-gradient dial with its softly darker circumference features exemplary subtlety.

Test Bench

Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet © Audemars Piguet

Movement

The 4300 family of calibers, from which the present 4301 is derived, was developed in conjunction with the highly acclaimed integrated flyback chronograph composing the 4400 line and which we tested previously. The family resemblance can be seen in the architecture of the movements as well as in their finishes. The instantaneous calendar indicator is located between the 4 and 5 o’clock hour markers. This choice, rather than the traditional position at 3 o’clock, preserves the symmetry imposed by the four large Arabic numerals punctuating the dial. The 4Hz frequency is ideal to guarantee the precision of a three-hand selfwinding watch. Unfortunately, in a number of instances including contemporary constructions, this frequency does not always guarantee power reserves meeting expected current standards. The 70 hours of autonomy of this Code 11.59 are thus all the more remarkable in that it is indeed a selfwinding movement. The technicality, timekeeping precision and construction of this caliber are thus ideal for a watch of this type, while its finishes are entirely in keeping with the brand’s reputation and the production volumes of this caliber whose use is not limited to this model.

Test Bench

Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet © Audemars Piguet

Tests

The design of this watch is at once, technical and distinctly recognizable. It is also perfectly ergonomic. In spite of a robust (one might almost say “Offshorian”) construction in gold, no discomfort was felt even after several days of wearing it. One should add that it is easy to forget it is even on the wrist. Like the design of the watch, its movement is an unquestionable success. It ticked all the boxes of excellent chronometry, reliability and autonomy. A feat worth emphasizing, in that this caliber must be versatile in terms of the future functions that will be added and the different models for which it is intended. It will also have to demonstrate great longevity, as we are all more than ever aware of the development costs entailed by such a movement.

 

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The brand

Audemars Piguet is one of the few independent family-owned watch businesses and has been based in Le Brassus, in Switzerland's Vallée de Joux region, at the heart of the fine watchmaking industry, ever since the company was first established in 1875.

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