Nostalgic much? Meet the Audemars Piguet [RE]Master01
Audemars Piguet is known for having produced some of the boldest watches of the last century.
The Royal Oak broke the ‘round watch with leather strap’ mold when it debuted in the 1970s, and since then the brand has doubled-down on crazy new materials and even more design-orientated lines (the Millenary collection remains one of the most striking watches in existence).
Generally, AP doesn’t spend too much time looking at its past; it’s CEO Francois-Henry Bennahmias is obsessed with Star Wars, for example. But that’s about to change.
It’s latest self-winding chronograph is one steeped in heritage, but brought back up to date with a modern movement and materials.
Back to the future
The aptly-named [RE]master01 takes inspiration from one of the brand’s most important chronographs, the Audemars Piguet Ref. 1533 from 1940.
According to the AP, it was the watch that kickstarted the trend of luxury sports watches; back then, chronographs weren’t synonymous with sports the way they are now, that happened in the 1970s courtesy of the TAG Heuer Monaco, Rolex Daytona and Omega Speedmaster.
In the 1940s, Audemars Piguet created several dress watches featuring a chronograph function – and one of its best examples was Ref. 1533. It had a 36mm case, which could be ordered in a mix of stainless steel and pink gold (which was unheard of at the time).
The original watch featured teardrop lugs (very Art Deco) and that 3-counter chronograph. A vintage model, which is currently hidden deep within Audemars’ Heritage Collection Archives, served as the example for its latest watch, the [RE]master01.
What’s old is new again
One look at the new [RE]master01 and you’ll be able to see the similarities between it and its vintage cousin.
Many of the details have been brought back and refreshed, from the two-tone case, the lug shapes and the dial elements. Of course, while it certainly looks vintage this certainly isn’t old-school.
The case is made of a combination of stainless steel and 18-carat pink gold. The case has been bumped up to 40mm, allowing for a larger movement under the hood and its bigger dial.
That Art Deco look and feel certainly remains in this new version, complete with stylized markers and thin gold hands. The fonts and the sub-dials have been faithfully reproduced, and the 3-hands for the chronograph are in blued steel – just like the original. This time around though, the [RE]master01 decided to go with yellow gold on the dial, instead of rose gold.
And in a faithful tribute to the original, the [RE]master01 has the signature ‘Audemars Piguet & Co. Geneve’ on the dial (despite all of AP’s watches now being made in Le Brassus).
No spring chicken
The new model features AP’s new in-house flyback chronograph movement. It first appeared in last year’s Code 11.59 range, in the form of Calibre 4409.
It offers a traditional chronograph movement, with flyback – which means the hands can be returned to zero and restarted instantly with a single push of the button. There is a 70-hour power reserve, and the movement has been decorated to the highest level possible.
The new watch comes with a hand-stitched light brown calf leather strap, with a steel pin buckle. The watch also comes along with a brown alligator strap.
The Audemars Piguet [RE]master01 will be available later this year for US$53,100. Only 500 models will be produced.
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