Elite traditional movements come in a sporty aesthetic in keeping with the era of more relaxed vibes.
Here's a fun fact about the Audemars Piguet brand: more than half of the 1,625 watches it produced between 1882 and 1892 included a chiming mechanism, 28 of which were Grand Sonnerie. In 1892, in collaboration with Louis Brandt & Frere, Audemars Piguet created the first minute repeater wristwatch (29.3 mm) with two hammers placed at a distance that could strike the hours, quarters and minutes on demand. So when it comes to bell watches, it's safe to say that this isn't the Audemars Piguet brand's first rodeo. Code 11.59 Audemars Piguet Grande Sonnerie Supersonnerie is a trilogy that contains the latest iteration of that body of knowledge.
The ringing feature incorporates Audemars Piguet's patented Supersonnerie technology introduced in 2015, in which the gongs, rather than being attached to the main plate, are anchored to a soundboard component that enhances sound transmission, working as an echo chamber that amplifies the ringing, giving it the acoustic performance of the watch as a pocket watch, which has a case large enough to allow the sound to reverberate.
To this, Audemars Piguet added a carillon — meaning it has three gongs and a hammer instead of the traditional two gongs — that strikes the quarter hour in three consecutive notes (high, medium and low) instead of two. This is traditional watchmaking at its most advanced, but presented in a deliberately modern package.
Blending traditional and contemporary elements, the cases are crafted from 18K rose, yellow or white gold combined with a ceramic bezel and black opaline inner bezel. The open movement, dial, hands and markers are coloured to match the gold case. It is the first time black ceramic has been incorporated into the gold case of the Grand Sonnerie Supersonnerie Carillon collection, and the first time yellow has been used in the Code 11.59 line.
Another first in this collection is the sapphire dial that allows a full view of the movement, recently created for the occasion. Modifications to the hand-wound calibre 2956 dial include the opening of the bridges at four and six o'clock and a change from a circular grain decoration in favour of a satin finish.
The Code 11.59 Audemars Piguet Grande Sonnerie Supersonnerie case measures 41mm and comes on a black rubber bracelet with matching gold stitching, a calfskin lining and a gold AP folding clasp. Each of the three versions is unique and can be purchased at a price of CHF 715,000 (approximately $770,000).