Steel sports watches show no signs of slowing down in the industry anytime soon – and Audemars Piguet is jumping on board with the introduction of six new steel Code 11.59 models. The novelties consist of a trio of three-hand models, as well as three new chronographs. In comparison to their precious metal predecessors, these watches utilise not only a new material, but also a new aesthetic that focuses upon ergonomics and legibility, as well as new patterned dials.
The steel Code 11.59 cases
The 41 mm cases of the new Code 11.59 timepieces mark the introduction of steel into the core collection. Ever since the launch back in 2019, Code 11.59 watches have come in 18-carat white- or pink-gold cases, alongside a few ceramic middle cases since 2021. Steel, however, did not make an appearance until now. Four of the new editions use steel, while the other two (one three-hand and one chronograph model) with beige dials also incorporate a black ceramic middle case.
An updated architecture
Notably, Audemars Piguet are updating the already complex architecture of the Code 11.59 by refining the models further. From the ultra-thin bezel to octagonal middle case, Audemars Piguet finish the cases to the highest standard, alternating between polished and satin-finished surfaces. Meanwhile, the steel crowns are now more rounded with shallower yet more pronounced indentations than on earlier models. In addition, the two beige models have black ceramic caps. According to the maison, we can expect to see these design changes appear on the precious metal models in the near future, too.
To witness yet bigger changes, however, one must turn to the dial. The new stamped dials of the Code 11.59 editions consist of concentric circles, creating a ripple pattern never before been seen in the collection. Created by Audemars Piguet alongside prestigious Swiss guilloché craftsman Yann von Kaenel, the motif aims to provide the utmost legibility as well as a defining, recognisable aesthetic specific to the line.
A complex process
Stamping the dials is no easy feat, however. Yann von Kaenel meticulously makes the stamps by hand, creating waves that are decorated with hundreds of tiny holes. The result is a richly textured dial that glimmers and plays beautifully with the light. Building upon this deep pattern, the maison then colours the dials using PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) for the blue and green dials, and a galvanic process for the beige editions.
A range of colours
Two of the new Code 11.59 references showcase an iconic colour from the Royal Oak collection: ‘Blue Nuit, Nuage 50′. On the three-hand Code 11.59 model, designers counterbalance this deep blue with a grey inner bezel. Meanwhile, the Code 11.59 chronograph model in the same colour alternates between sandblasted two-tone blue and grey counters, as well as a fully grey small seconds counter. Meanwhile, the two varying khaki-green Code 11.59 novelties feature a matching inner bezel, plus a rhodium-plated outer zone on the Selfwinding Chronograph.
Last but not least, the beige editions feature a smoked effect that evolves into black by the flange. Furthermore, the Selfwinding Chronograph features beige counters, alongside a black outer zone and black small seconds counter. This matches to the black ceramic middle case and crown.
Refinement is key
Continuing to develop the Code 11.59 is vital to Audemars Piguet, meaning refining the design remains in focus at the horology house. The watchmaker places an emphasis on legibility by honing in on the details of the dial. Thus, new elongated hour-markers in white-gold replace the Arabic numerals that are present on the models’ predecessors. These hour markers, alongside the hands, are flattened, faceted and polished, before being coated with Super-LumiNova for round-the-clock legibility. In addition, the angle of the inner bezel is now wider and less steep, thus reducing the difference in height with the dial. The seconds scale is also now more detailed than before.
While the new three-hand Code 11.59 models utilise the watchmaker’s in-house calibre 4302 with hours, minutes, seconds and date, the calibre 4401 is an integrated self-winding chronograph movement with column wheel and flyback function. Both movements integrate a patented mechanism that provides stability and precision when setting the watch.
The Code 11.59 chronographs’ calibre 4401 also features a vertical gear train that prevents the hands from jumping when the chronograph is activated or stopped. Furthermore, a patented reset mechanism ensures that each counter hand returns to its original position.
The sapphire crystal caseback on all Code 11.59 novelties reveals the calibres’ impressive traditional decorations, as well as a brand new 22-carat pink gold open-worked oscillating weight. This new rotor is exclusive to the Code 11.59 line. Last but not least, both calibres have a solid power reserve of 70 hours and beat at a frequency of 4 Hz.
Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 in steel: Price and straps
As for the straps: Audemars Piguet match each dial of the Code 11.59 novelties with a rubber strap in the same colour. These straps feature a textile pattern and have a comfortable calf leather lining. In a final update, the strap’s pin buckle swaps the long engraved ‘Audemars Piguet’ signature for the AP monogram.
As for price: the blue and green dial three-hand models cost 24,800 euros. The beige dial three-hand model costs 27,200 euros. Meanwhile, the green and blue dial chronograph models cost 34,300 euros, while the beige dial chronograph’s price is 36,600 euros.
|MODEL||Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph
|REFERENCE||15210ST.OO.A343KB.01 (Three-hand, Blue dial)
15210ST.OO.A056KB.01 (Three-hand, Green dial)
15210QT.OO.A064KB.01 (Three-hand, Beige dial)
26393ST.OO.A343KB.01 (Chrono, Blue Dial)
26393ST.OO.A056KB.01 (Chrono, Green Dial)
26393QT.OO.A064KB.01 (Chrono, Beige Dial)
|CASE MATERIAL||Steel or Steel with black ceramic middle case
|DIMENSIONS||Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 12.6 mm
|WATER RESISTANCE||30 m (~3 bar)
|DIAL||‘Bleu Nuit, Nuage 50’, Green, or Smoked beige dial
|STRAP/BRACELET||Beige leather and rubber strap with stainless steel AP pin buckle.
|MOVEMENT||Code 11.59 Selfwinding: Calibre 4302
Code 11.59 Selfwinding Chronograph: Calibre 4401
|POWER RESERVE||70 Hours
|FREQUENCY||4 Hz (28,800 vph)
|FUNCTIONS||Code 11.59 Selfwinding: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Code 11.59 Selfwinding Chronograph: Flyback chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds and date.
|PRICE||15210ST.OO.A343KB.01 – EUR 24,800
15210ST.OO.A056KB.01 – EUR 24,800
15210QT.OO.A064KB.01 – EUR 27,200
26393ST.OO.A343KB.01 – EUR 34,300
26393ST.OO.A056KB.01 – EUR 34,300
26393QT.OO.A064KB.01 – EUR 36,600