FEATURED: EVOLUTION OF THE ROYAL OAK SELFWINDING CHRONOGRAPH

AUDEMARS PIGUET unveils a new 41mm chronograph

It seems Audemars Piguet is not going to relent when it comes to ‘proving’ the point. The Code 11.59, a watch that the global “watch junta” came down heavy on; with their no-holes barred opinions, Audemars Piguet has done what my mum did when I was little. I remember my tantrums as a child, I abhorred eating bottle gourd, a common vegetable cooked in Indian homes. She would give it to me, cajole me to just taste it, promising me that she has done better and would taste really good. But me being me, stuck up and obstinate, I would not eat it. She’d wouldn’t relent, let me keep staring at my plate and after an hour, come and grate some cheese all over the vegetable and I’d happily munch it down. Audemars Piguet sure has sprinkled cheese, as integrated chronograph, Calibre 4401, launched in 2019 within the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet, appears in the Royal Oak collection.

This sweet chronograph, pardon my drool, got me at – a column wheel and the flyback function. The column wheel works in collaboration with a vertical clutch system. When the chronograph is started or stopped, the hands respond accordingly without any hint of jumping. Furthermore, the push-pieces feel smoother when pressed. A patented zero resetting mechanism ensures that each one of the counter hands instantaneously resets to zero.

For the first time, the Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph has been fitted with a sapphire case-back, affording sight of the integrated chronograph’s column wheel and the so-called “dance” of the chronograph hammers. When the reset button is activated, the hammers, driven by an operating lever, hit the chronograph’s heart-piece cams to bring the chronograph wheels and hands back to zero. Moreover, the wearer is granted views of the 22-carat pink gold oscillating weight and refined finishing, including “Côtes de Genève,” circular graining, circular satin and polished chamfers throughout. The case, which has been modified to accommodate the new movement, now has a slightly thicker height of 12.4 mm.

The dial features a “Grande Tapisserie” pattern and pairs blue or brown hues with pink gold-toned counters, pink gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating. The Manufacture has subtly updated the dial design. The positions of the minute counter and hour counter have been reversed, augmenting readability, while the date disc is located closer to the inner bezel.

The model is available with a matching 18-carat pink gold bracelet or a colour-coordinated alligator strap.

So, the next time big momma tells you something, you better listen. Keep your tantrums at a downlow, because she’ll be giving back to you, all the things you made a hue and cry about, only this time around, you’ll be drooling over the Oak, as you always do and don’t break that Code!

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