Behold the Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Universelle RD#4, the most complicated wristwatch ever to be made by the storied Swiss watchmaker. It’s the latest in the series of AP’s ultra-complicated research and development watches which started with the RD#1 in 2015. The newest creation features a jaw-dropping combination of 40 functions, which includes 23 complications and 17 “technical devices.” AP claims the timepiece took over 7 years to develop. It incorporates innovations from the previous three R&D models – RD#1’s Supersonnerie, RD#2’s ultra-thin perpetual calendar, and the flying tourbillon from last year’s RD#3. However, despite its massive list of many different types of complicated mechanisms, the timepiece focuses on ergonomics and ease of usability.
The watch is said to be inspired by the iconic L’Universelle pocket watch movement made by Audemars Piguet in 1899 for German watchmaker Dürrstein, Uhrenfabrik Union Glasshütte. That pocket watch has 26 functions, including 19 complications. The RD#4’s round case measures just 42mm in diameter and 15.55mm in thickness, which is pretty impressive considering its laundry list of complications and functions along with its hunter caseback.
Housed inside the case is the Calibre 1000 which is constructed out of 1,155 components and still measures 8.75mm thick. The 40 functions offered by the masterpiece include grande and petite sonnerie, minute repeater, flying tourbillon, semi-Gregorian perpetual calendar (day, large date, month, year, astronomical moon, moonphase), flyback chronograph, split seconds. All complications can be operated with the help of three crowns with co-axial pushers on the right side of the case as well as three push-pieces on the left.
AP will present the Code 11.59 Universelle RD#4 in four different versions. The first two references feature white gold cases with either a black galvanic gold dial or an opaline beige PVD gold dial. On the other hand, the other two references get either a pink gold or white gold case and have open-worked dials that offer a view of the Calibre 1000.
The watch comes paired with a black alligator with gold AP folding clasp, while there’s an additional black textured rubber-coated calfskin strap on offer. The standard dial versions are priced at CHF 1,450,000 (about $1.5 million) and the ones with open-worked dials can be yours for CHF 1,600,000 (roughly $1.75 million) apiece.