The Rake


Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie

A common interpretation of the Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 collection, unveiled at SIHH in 2019, is that it epitomises, in beautiful harmony, two distinct eras in the brand’s history: pre- 1972 traditionalism and post-1972 avant-gardism. Few readers of this publication will need the significance of that date explained, but, as a clue, it involves a certain Gérald Genta piece named after eight British Royal Navy ships, themselves named after a tree in which Charles II hid following the battle of Worcester in 1651.

Later last year, Audemars Piguet — which is the manufacture that came up with the world’s first minute repeater wristwatch (1892), the first skeletonised pocket-watch (1934), the thinnest ever, at the time, wristwatch (1946), and the world’s thinnest self-winding perpetual calendar (1978) — followed that up with a Supersonnerie Minute Repeater version. It’s a truth universally acknowledged in horological circles that chiming watches are the most complicated of complications, involving an assembling of hammers, gongs and other parts that surpasses other watchmaking feats in terms of intricacy. And this one won the men’s complication watch prize at GPHG (Grand Prix D’Horlogerie De Genève).

The latest version sees just five Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie timepieces introduced to the range, each boasting an enamel dial crafted by Anita Porchet, who is widely recognised as the most accomplished enameler in Switzerland (Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Piaget are among those who have commissioned her services).

For three of the pieces, antique gold (thin sheets of fine metallic foil) have been applied to the enamel and fused to it at a temperature of 800 degrees Celsius, using a

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