Watchmaking: Audemars Piguet defies form and dogma

Audemars Piguet has just unveiled its latest timepieces, concentrates of technology with a proudly vintage identity. With models oscillating between retro-gaming spirit, 80s bling and 60s asymmetry, the Maison du Brassus once again dares to break free from watchmaking codes to offer a timeless experience for the most ardent of collectors.

 

The change in management is not the only new wind currently blowing through Audemars Piguet. In addition to the new CEO ? Ilaria Resta taking over from François-Henry Bennahmias, the Le Brassus watchmaker has unveiled a whole series of highly desirable and no less audacious new products. What do these new timepieces have in common? The shaping of materials, a founding principle of the company since 1875.

 

Brutalism dusted off

 

On May 31, Audemars Piguet unveiled its second creation for the [RE] Master collection, an initiative designed to reinterpret the aesthetics of the Swiss manufacture’s rarest archive pieces.

 

Released in 2020 to coincide with the inauguration of the Maison’s museum-atelier in Le Brassus, the [RE]Master01 was a reinterpretation of a 1943 chronograph, a model produced in 7 examples and now essentially a museum piece, one of which is on display at the Manufacture.

 

©  Audemars Piguet

 

The latest model, the [RE]Master02 Selfwinding, is inspired by this 5159BA 275 mm model, an asymmetrical watch with a 1960s look and a golden yellow case.

 

As Sébastian Vivas, Director of the Audemars Piguet Museum and Heritage, explains, “between 1959 and 1963″, Audemars Piguet created some thirty asymmetrical watches, most of them in editions of less than 10.”

 

The new [RE]Master is 41 mm in diameter, with an extended case at 3 o’clock. Its case is made from a new 18-carat sand gold alloy combining gold, copper and palladium.

 

The [RE]Master02 Selfwinding draws its allure from Brutalist architecture, a post-war movement characterized by angular geometric shapes, devoid of all ornamentation.

 

Produced in a limited edition of 250 pieces ($47,200), the [RE]Master02 brings up to date the avant-garde spirit of the nascent space age that characterized the Sixties.

 

A Royal Oak turned chameleon

 

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Featured Photo: © Audemars Piguet

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Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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