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An old Spanish saying states that good perfumeIt is sold to me in a small bottle. We could apply it perfectly to the new Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet 38 millimeters. The Le Brassus manufacture launched a collection in 2019 and since then it has been consolidating itself as the emblem of Audemars Piguet in the segment of so-called classic watches. Or, rather, elegant. Because the truth is that Code 11.59 has very little classic, although the latter deserves a debate on another occasion. Focused on the new Code 11.59, this new version reveals its evolution process. This is what we have seen in the five years that the collection has been on the market. This constant process has gained interest in recent months with the arrival of the first versions in steelwith which it has a point in common that we will discuss later.
It must be remembered that the Code 11.59 was born with a very interesting concept of a unisex watch, with a single case size of 41 millimeters. As we have already explained on previous occasions, the Code 11.59 box is very special. In its design it combines circumferences (bezel and back) with octagons (carriage), it lacks a bezel and the lugs are openworked and hanging in the air, with a very fine separation from the case, barely perceptible to the human eye. As François-Henry Bennahmias wanted in its development, the Code 11.59 was a watch with personality, but also designed to offer a perfect aesthetic balance on the wrist, with measurements designed to the tenth of a millimeter.
A new “betrayal”
The evolution of Code 11.59 has gone through several phases. First came new materials (both forms of gold combined) and ceramics, new dials and complications. The maturity of the collection was palpable with the arrival of the aforementioned steel version. Beyond its unquestionable attractiveness, The steel version contradicted one of the founding premises of the collection, conceived as a product made exclusively of gold. It is true that ceramics had already been incorporated since 2020, but this was well hidden in the octagonal middle of the case.
The second of the “betrayals” to the original spirit of Code 11.59 is the release of this 38 millimeter version. It is clear that we are no longer talking about a unisex watch, but rather a creation designed for women. It is true that, according to current trends, we could consider a 38 millimeter watch as also designed for the male audience. This may happen in the future, but the choice of purple and ivory tones confirms that these first 38-millimeter Code 11.59 are clearly designed for female clientele.
Changes to the cover
Last year’s steel version of Code 11.59 came with a new cover design which, in our opinion, improves the 2019 version. The smooth surface was replaced by a guilloché work by the Swiss craftsman Yann von Kaenelthe Arabic numerals on the quarters disappeared and the hands changed design by incorporating openwork and luminescent elements.
The Le Brassus offices must also agree with us, because they have decided to adopt this new dial design to the 38-millimeter Code 11.59. Only the enhancement is saved, which maintains a brief scale of 5 minutes in order to recharge the front.
Movement (almost) premiere
Logically, the Caliber 2329 that the 41-millimeter Code 11.59 has been using to date was impossible to fit into the new 38-millimeter format. This incompatibility has not been a problem for Audemars Piguet. The feverish pace of development of movements that the manufacture has developed in recent years has provided a quick solution with the presence of the Calibre 5900 in this Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet 38 millimeters.
This self-winding movement was introduced last year within the 37-millimeter Royal Oak line. It is a mechanism of thin thickness (4mm), high frequency (28,800 alternations per hour) and power reserve in line with current demands (60 hours). The movement includes a 22-karat rose gold oscillating weightvisible through the sapphire case back.
CODE 11.59 BY AUDEMARS PIGUET AUTOMATIC 38 MILLIMETERS
Self-winding caliber 5900, 26.2 mm diameter, 186 components, 29 jewels, 28,800 beat/h, 60 hours power reserve.
Hours, minutes, seconds, date.
Rose gold, 38 mm. 9.6mm thick. Sapphire crystal. Back with sapphire window. Water resistance to 30 meters.
Purple or ivory. Applied rose gold indices, rose gold hands with luminescent coating.
Purple or ivory alligator, with large square scales. Rose gold pin buckle.