Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Selfwinding 38mm

Audemars Piguet's newest model line just got more wearable but, sadly, not more affordable.


Audemars Piguet has gone from strength to strength recently. They seemed to be all over the place a few years ago, from the weird Marvel watches that were far to expensive for any real fans to own to the somewhat disastrous launch of the Code 11.59. Despite this, the hard work of everyone in Le Brassus have made a success out of it. This is also definitely down to the work of the brand’s CEO, François-Henry Bennahmias, who will be leaving Audemars Piguet at the end of the year. Before he goes, there’s just time to show us a couple more watches.

While I am sure the Code 11.59 didn’t hit the ground running as Audemars Piguet envisioned, the endless memes about the name and apparently bland design indicate that is the case, the Code 11.59 has matured quickly. Although I didn’t cover the Code 11:59 when it was first released, I was quietly pleased with its sleek and modern appearance, a truly unique piece in the range which – like it or not – dominated by the Royal Oak.

We’ve seen a fair few different models now, and I’m warming to the Code 11.59 with each new one I see. The newest variants are a very approachable 38mm x 9.6mm, although they’re both made of 18k pink gold so they aren’t approachable in price just yet. Never fear, though, Audemars Piguet is many things, and one of those things is aware of what its customers want. Except that the watch is only water resistant to 30m, maybe the case construction is too complex.

The new watch comes in two distinctive colours, ivory and purple. I doubt very much that purple will be taking over from blue as the de-facto colour of choice for watches, and I like it that way, it makes these even more unique. The dials of both colours are truly striking, the guilloché has been designed by Yann von Kaenel using various techniques. As one would expect, the result is phenomenal and completed entirely by hand. I don’t think I ever want to see the tapisserie pattern used on the Royal Oak here, but I’d love to see this concentric design on the Royal Oak.

Inside the 38mm Cock 11.59 is the calibre 5900, which, surprisingly, isn’t in-house made. Before you light the torches in the comments section, this movement has been crafted for Audemars Piguet by Vaucher, who happen to be part-owned by Hermès and make their movements as well as movements for Czapek & Cie and Parmigiani Fleurier to name a few. These are bought-in movements, but they’re exquisitely crafted and have exceptional levels of finish that Audemars Piguet’s clientele demands. Despite a height of only 4mm, this watch still has a 4Hz beat rate and 60-hour power reserve, and a sexy gold rotor.

These watches come with colour-matched alligator leather straps with 18k pink gold buckles. Thankfully, neither are limited edition watches, and they’re priced from $33,200.