Le Brassus, February 2023 – Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet introduces a new highly contemporary two-tone Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater Supersonnerie. For the first time, this refined complication features a smoked sapphire dial which gives a glimpse of the intricate mechanism it encloses. This timepiece also presents a case that interweaves 18-carat pink gold with a black ceramic octagonal case middle, providing an elegant contrast. Blending advanced technology and aesthetic with refined age-old skills, this timepiece foregrounds the Manufacture’s uncompromising approach to fine watchmaking craftsmanship.
A contemporary new look
This new edition to the Supersonnerie saga comes in a two-tone 18-carat pink gold case with a black ceramic octagonal middle case. All the case elements have been finished by hand with refined decorations. The Manufacture’s trademark alternation of satin-brushing and polished chamfers conveys a rich play of light that accentuates the timepiece’s multi-facetted architecture.
The smoked sapphire dial allows the wearer a glimpse of the complexity of the Minute Repeater Supersonnerie mechanism beneath. Pink gold details recalling the case colour also adorn the dial, providing an elegant contrast. The pink gold hands, hour-markers, “Audemars Piguet” signature and the small seconds counter’s gold thread have all been achieved thanks to galvanic growth, a sophisticated process akin to 3D printing.
Turn the watch over and a visualisation of sound waves has been engraved onto the solid caseback, indicating the Supersonnerie sound technology inside.
A contemporary black textured rubber-coated strap adds the finishing touches.
This new minute repeater timepiece houses the hand-wound minute repeater movement, Calibre 2953, featuring the Manufacture’s Supersonnerie technology that was first introduced in the Royal Oak Concept RD#1 in 2016. This feat of micro-engineering brings unprecedented acoustic performance, exceptionally refined sound quality and the clear harmonic tones of traditional pocket watches to this contemporary minute repeater wristwatch.
Over the past decades, minute repeaters had gradually lost their volume and clarity of sound due to the need for more robust and water-resistant cases. To recover the tonality of older chiming watches, Audemars Piguet embarked on an eight-year sound-research programme in collaboration with EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, reviewing the case construction and chiming technology. Inspired by the sonic power of older minute repeater pocket watches and of musical instruments, a dedicated community of academics, engineers, musicians, technicians and watchmakers devised the Royal Oak Concept RD#1 in 2015, which led to the launch of a new minute repeater wristwatch in 2016: the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie.
The exceptional acoustic performance, sound quality and harmonic tone are granted by patented gongs, a unique case construction and a striking regulator. The performant gongs are not attached to the mainplate, but to a new device acting as a soundboard which improves sound transmission. The redesigned striking regulator eliminates unwanted noise thanks to its more flexible anchor system. Finally, this innovative Supersonnerie technology also provides a sharper tempo, as the hours and minutes chime without interruption when there is no quarter chiming sequence. Furthermore, a security function prevents the user from altering the time display while the striking mechanism is active.
An ongoing history of minute repeaters
The success of the Supersonnerie acoustic breakthrough is the latest chapter in a long history of Audemars Piguet repeater timepieces that date back to the founding of the company in 1875. Records show that more than half of the 1625 watches produced between 1882 and 1892 included a chiming mechanism, while between the years 1892 to 1957, Audemars Piguet was a pioneer in the development of repeater wristwatches thanks to its expertise in miniaturisation. Fast forward to the 1990s and the Manufacture was again at the forefront of minute repeater history as it played a pivotal role in the complication’s revival.
The creation and constant development of Audemars Piguet’s chiming watches continues to evolve today with this latest Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater Supersonnerie timepiece that brings one of the most sophisticated complications in the history of Haute Horlogerie into the future both in terms of its cutting-edge technology and its ultramodern design.
“Born in Le Brassus, raised around the world.”
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater Supersonnerie / 41 mm Technical Specifications
- Minute repeater Supersonnerie, hours, minutes and small seconds.
- Black ceramic case middle, 18-carat pink gold bezel, lugs, and caseback, double curved glareproofed sapphire crystal, solid caseback with small apertures to create a resonance chamber, water resistant to 20 m.
- Case thickness: 13.6 mm
- Smoked sapphire dial, pink gold applied hour markers and hands.
- Black rubber-coated strap with 18-carat pink gold AP folding clasp.
- Hand-wound Calibre 2953
- Total diameter 30 mm (13 lignes)
- Total thickness 6 mm
- Number of jewels 32
- Number of parts 362
- Minimum power reserve guaranteed 72 h
- Frequency of balance wheel 3 Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)
About Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet is the oldest fine watchmaking manufacturer still in the hands of its founding families (Audemars and Piguet). Based in Le Brassus since 1875, the company has nurtured generations of talented craftspeople who have continuously developed new skills and techniques, broadening their savoir-faire to set rule-breaking trends. In the Vallée de Joux, at the heart of the Swiss Jura, Audemars Piguet has created numerous masterpieces, testament to the Manufacture’s ancestral savoir-faire and forward-thinking spirit. Sharing its passion and savoir-faire with watch enthusiasts worldwide through the language of emotions, Audemars Piguet has established enriching exchanges among fields of creative practices and fostered an inspired community. Born in Le Brassus, raised around the world. — www.audemarspiguet.com