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Audemars Piguet [RE]Master02: An Ode to Brutalism

Audemars Piguet [RE]Master02: An Ode to Brutalism


Watch manufactures have long drawn inspiration from artistic and even architectural movements, and the new Audemars Piguet [RE]Master02 Selfwinding is no exception. The watch draws on brutalism, aka a popular building design born in London after the Second World War, for its design code – think of icons such as the Barbican. In line with this style, the watch favours simple yet strong block-like designs and exposed space above intricate decoration. Only 250 pieces of this limited edition timepiece are available.

The 60s: The golden age of AP’s asymmetrical timepieces

That said, as the name suggests and aficionados will be aware, this is the second [RE]Master timepiece we are seeing from Audemars Piguet, following on from the first ever [RE]Master01 released back in 2020. That watch, as some may recall, reinterpreted a chronograph from 1943. By contrast, this watch pays tribute to a historic asymmetric watch from 1960, the model 5159BA. Only seven units were released – one of which now resides at the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet. It featured an asymmetrical 27.5 mm rectangular case in 18-carat gold, alongside a dial shape that was far from traditional.

During this period, Audemars Piguet actually produced a number of Brutalist-inspired models. These distinctive timepieces featured angular geometric shapes, devoid of any ornamentation. Between 1959 and 1963, more than 30 models were created – most of which were produced in fewer than ten pieces. No wonder, then, that the watch aesthetic made for the perfect [RE]Master limited edition.

Between 1959 and 1963, Audemars Piguet created more than 30 asymmetrical models, most of which were produced in less than 10 pieces. [RE]Master02 is a fantastic opportunity to revive this forgotten golden age.

Sébastian Vivas,
Heritage and Museum Director, Audemars Piguet

The case of the Audemars Piguet [RE]Master02

Audemars Piguet has a long and varied history when it comes to creativity: over the years, AP has toyed with a wide variety of materials, colours and case forms, ranging from traditional geometries such as the circle, square and rectangle, to more unexpected trapezoidal or octagonal shapes. This bring us to the new limited edition, which features an asymmetrical 41mm rectangular case. It glows beautifully thanks to the use of AP’s new 18-carat sand gold alloy, showcasing a tone that oscillates between white and pink gold, depending on the light and movement of the wrist. We first saw this alluring new tone on a Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked model. Taking its name from sand dunes, it uses gold, copper and palladium to achieve its warm appearance.

The case, with its many facets, makes an impact with its sharp corners and chunky integrated lugs. Edging towards the crown, this innovative case also follows the slope of the sapphire crystal. While decoration remains minimal, the brushed case features a satin finish for a raw look that contrasts with the polished, faceted dial. Last but not least, the caseback features the words ‘Limited Edition’, while the material also matches nicely to the open view of the asymmetrical oscillating weight.

One-of-a-kind dial

Moving on to the one-of-a-kind dial: a closer look at this rather mathematically clever dial reveals a mixture of different geometric shapes, from rectangles to triangles. Notably, the linear satin-finished dial forgoes any hour markers, allowing the ‘Audemars Piguet’ logo, obtained by galvanic growth’, to take more of a central role. Yet more interesting, however, is the process used to create the ‘Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50’ dial. Created using Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD),the dial consists 12 triangles of different sizes and shapes, separated by galvanised sand-gold-toned partitions that meet at the centre. Each individually machined brass triangle is given a linear satin finish before being placed on a brass plate using minuscule legs.

18-carat sand-gold hands, in combination with the carefully divided dial, indicate the time. Additionally, the sapphire crystal covering the dial furthers the asymmetrical element of its design. In fact, the sapphire crystal has a 15.8° bevel for greater visual impact. This is no small feat, and required two years of research and development in order to meet AP’s requirements as well as to ensure the watch’s water resistance to 30 m.

An ultra-thin movement

Powering the new [RE]Master02 is the calibre 7129, an extra-thin hour and minute movement without date indication. Notably, it uses the calibre 7121 as its base, which some may recognise from the 2022 Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ Extra-Thin models. This movement, despite its 2.8 mm height, produces more energy thanks to its new construction and its larger barrel, enabling the mechanism to achieve greater precision over a longer period of time. The oscillating weight, mounted on ball
bearings, is equipped with two reversers to ensure bidirectional winding. In addition, AP’s engineers insert inertia blocks into the thickness of the balance wheel, thus preventing aerodynamic friction from slowing it down.

While the watch may well be minimalist, the movement is not. The calibre 7129 features refined decorations such as Côtes de Genève, circular satin, snailing, sunray brushing, circular graining and polished angles. All of this, as well as the handsome oscillating weight, are visible via the caseback.

Availability of the [RE]Master02

Some may recall that the first [RE]Master model, introduced in 2020 to mark the opening of Audemars Piguet’s museum, was a limited edition of 500 piece. This latest watch, marking the second in the series, is even more limited. Only 250 pieces of the Audemars Piguet [RE]Master02 are available. The watch comes on a handsome dark alligator strap, which stays true to the suave aesthetics of the early 1960s. The price of the timepiece is 46,700 euros.

BRAND Audemars Piguet
MODEL [RE]Master02
CASE MATERIAL 18-carat sand gold
DIMENSIONS Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 9.7 mm
WATER RESISTANCE 30 m (~3 bar)
DIAL Linear satin-finished asymmetrical dial
STRAP/BRACELET Alligator strap in contrasting shades of blue with matt finishing
and 18-carat sand gold pin buckle
MOVEMENT Calibre 7129
FREQUENCY 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
FUNCTIONS Hours, minutes
PRICE EUR 46,700. Limited to 250 pieces.