AP Code 11.59 “Debate”


AP Code 11.59 (courtesy audemarspiguet.com)

Props to fratellowatches for trying to tell the truth about watches. Specifically, the AP Code 11.59, a $26,800 watch so bland it should be called Code Vanilla. See guys? That’s how you do it. Unfortunately, Robb Nudds’ and Balazs Ferenczi’s Sunday Morning Showdown had all the verisimilitude of Championship Wrestling . . .

Everything about the case and the movements is on point. And the sapphire crystals that look like they’ve staggered out of a Salvador Dali acid trip and onto your wrist? Yes. Please. There’s more to come from this collection, but what we’ve got already is about as tantalizing a release as we’ve seen in the last decade. So come on, Ferenczi, tell me why I’m wrong.

Instead of saying “because it’s boring AF,” Mr. Ferenczi launches into paragraphs of pretentious prevarication, further watered down by some good-natured ass kissing of both his “opponent” and Audemars Piguet.

It is not easy to stay on top and maintain the quality of the products without becoming a one-trick pony . . . Audemars Piguet did great with the Royal Oak. More than great actually, they created amazing, breathtakingly beautiful timepieces. Hey, I’m not against development, don’t get me wrong…but come on, are we really talking about a watch case? Of course, it’s beautifully engineered. What else did you expect in that price range? And we haven’t even talked about the dial.

AP Code 11.59 white dial

Let’s get ready to ruuuuummmmbbbblllle!

Nope. No dial diss – a task that makes shooting fish in a barrel seem like chess. All we get is two watch guys playing the dozens, with rhetorical excursions into the advisability of doing acid at Baseworld (I recommend antiviral drugs), Brexit and penis size. Yes, I was waiting for a “Jane, you ignorant slut” moment.

At no point does Mr. Ferenczi kick his compadre or the AP Code 11.59 in the proverbial testicles. This is as close as he gets:

This kind of “look” isn’t about the refinement: It’s about the immediate impression a watch like this can make. It’s the same kind of tactic as Diesel shoving four quartz modules into one case — shock and awe. Neither ages well…

Audemars Piguet is the Royal Oak. The brand, above all others, needs to realize that and have a bit more humility when openly rocking the boat with a new release. Maybe one day Audemars Piguet will come up with a new concept that will sell well and be regarded as a peer of the Royal Oak. The Code 11:59, however, will be long gone and forgotten by then.

I lost track of how many punches were pulled. I suspect – as I’m sure you do – that this is as close as a mainstream watch blog can get to ripping a major manufacturer a new one – lest the jobbing journos lose access to new models, luxurious junkets and other perks.

Click here for the unvarnished truth about the AP Code 11.59’s marketing misegos. Because really, the AP Code 11.59 should be called The Emperor’s New Watch. You heard it here first.


  1. AP creates amazing, breathtakingly beautiful timepieces and the Offshore Chronograph.

    They legitimately do ruin Gerald’s design far more than they enact any kind of worthwhile changes. And the Royal Oak is…almost their entire output. You can’t really blame them for doubling down on a winner, but the rest of their catalog is dreadfully staid. The only non-Jane is ~maybe~ the Millenary?

    The finished quality is obvious, but they clearly haven’t had a single designer in house since 1972. Which really begs the question, is the company so high up their horology butts they think they don’t ~need~ an actual design team if their watches are ‘nice’ enough? That appears so?

    Well if I can’t afford it I don’t want it, so it’s a good thing it’s crap anyway!

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