At this year’s SIHH, Audemars Piguet launched the new Code 11.59 series, which has caused a fierce response among watch fans all over the world.
2019 New Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Series
It is worth noting that while introducing the new Code 11.59 collection of Audemars Piguet, Audemars Piguet also launched a series of new self-produced movements, including automatic Centre Seconds 4302 movement (4300 series), automatic chronograph movement 4401(4400) Series), replacing the 3120 series calibre used before Audemars Piguet on Code 11.59 and Royal Oak (15500). Among them, the 4401 chronograph movement is the first self-produced automatic chronograph movement of Audemars Piguet. The Audemars Piguet movement has been fully upgraded. Let’s take a look at the Audemars Piguet 4401 chronograph movement, so what kind of movement is it?
Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Chronograph Watch Uses the 2019 New Audemars Piguet 4401 Chronograph Movement
The new 4401 movement is the first self-produced integrated chronograph movement of Audemars Piguet.
We know that Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin are Swiss traditional watchmaking troikas. In the long period of time, the three major brands used high-quality purchased movements, and the movements mainly came from Jaeger-LeCoultre, Blancpain, etc. (at that time, the self-produced movement was not popular). Among the chronograph movements, Audemars Piguet used the Jaeger-LeCoultre movement and the Blancpain 1185 chronograph movement. After Audemars Piguet launched its own 3120 movement, it added the Dubois-Depraz timing module (3126/3840 chronograph movement) to the 3120 movement for use on offshore chronographs.
The Audemars Piguet 3126/3840 chronograph movement used on the Audemars Piguet Offshore chronograph. This movement adds a timing module to the 3120 movement, so the timing structure of the movement is not visible.
One might say that since Audemars Piguet already has a 3120 calibre with a chronograph module (3126/3840 chronograph movement), why is there a new chronograph movement? This is because, compared to the movement with the chronograph module, the special integrated chronograph movement is more powerful and can exhibit more technical features (modular movement, because the chronograph module is mounted on the front of the movement, so you can not see the timing structure from the backing). According to Audemars Piguet, the new 4401 movement (4400 series) has been developed since 2013. The focus of the new 4401 movement is to highlight performance.
Audemars Piguet’s new chronograph movement 4401 is an integrated chronograph movement, we can see a variety of timing structures such as cylindrical wheel, zero return lever and etc.
In the end, Audemars Piguet developed two new movements. One is the 4300 series (4302) Central Seconds automatic movement, and the other is the 4400 series (4401) automatic chronograph movement. The two movements have the same size with 32 mm, while sharing the spring, balance, escapement, gears, splints and other parts, is Audemars Piguet’s new generation of self-produced movement.
Audemars Piguet 4302 Central Seconds Automatic Movement
Audemars Piguet 4401 Chronograph Automatic Movement
These two movements are the main movement of Audemars Piguet
Let’s take a look at the technical configuration of the 4401 movement.
Audemars Piguet’s new 4401 chronograph movement measures 32 mm in size and 6.8 mm in thickness, and the movement is larger than the Audemars Piguet modular 3126/3840 chronograph movement (29.92 mm). The new 4401 movement has a frequency of 28,800 times/hour, more than 2,1600 times/hour of the 3126/3840 movement. The higher the swing frequency, the stronger the ability of the movement to resist external disturbances. The 4401 calibre uses a traversing balance splint, without card-level weights to fine-tune the balance, the balance has 3 spokes, and 6 fine-tuning weights. The 4401 movement is powered for 72 hours, bi-directional winding, and a 50-hour moving reserve over the 3126/3840 movement. The core configuration of the 4401 chronograph movement is a cylindrical wheel, vertical clutch, and a flyback function.
Audemars Piguet’s new 4401 chronograph movement, we can see a variety of technical details.
Columnar wheels and vertical clutches are standard on modern high-end chronographs, in addition to make the chronograph has a very good handling feel, the petal-like shape is very beautiful. At the same time, the columnar wheel has two layers above and below. When the chronograph is operated, the operation of the column wheel can be seen. Before the Audemars Piguet 3126/3840 was a modular movement, the timing module was on the front of the movement, so these technical details were not visible. This time on the new 4401 movement, you can see it directly.
Removing the auto-turbine 4401 chronograph movement, we can see more construction.
The 4401 movement uses a vertical clutch. The vertical clutch controls the chronograph start and stop by combining/disengaging the chronograph second wheel and the travel time second wheel through the friction plate. The advantage is that the vertical clutch uses the friction plate without the direct engagement of the gear. When the timing is started, the chronograph second hand will not shake. The traditional horizontal clutch and the oscillating gear clutch are the combination/separation between the gear, and the “collision” between the gear teeth will cause the chronograph second hand to slightly jump before and after the timing starts. In fact, the slight change has no effect on the use, but the luxury watch needs to be refined, so the new chronograph movements are adopted with vertical clutch.
Vertical clutch components used in the Audemars Piguet 4401 Chronograph Movement
Audemars Piguet 4401 movement has a flyback function, which is to press the zero button of 4 o’clock in the timing process. The chronograph can be directly reset to zero and restarted immediately, needn’t to stop according to the conventional chronograph (by 2 o’clock button), return to zero (press the 4 o’clock button), start (press the 2 o’clock button again), press 3 times, the flyback function is enough to press once. As far as we know, Audemars Piguet new 4401 calibre has three independent zeroing faders, one for the chronograph second hand, one for the chronograph minute hand and one for the chronograph hour hand. In this part, some chronograph movements, in order to save some cost, use an integral part (3 slots on one part) instead of 3 independent zero-push putters, although the functional effects are the same, in other words, high-end watches are focus on fine work and excellence. The more complex and detailed the structure, the higher the value. These technical details are the distinction between top brands and general brands.
The core components of the Audemars Piguet 4401 chronograph movement including vertical clutch, cylindrical wheel, zero return putter and so on.
In the movement polishing decoration, Audemars Piguet 4401 movement, the upper splint is polished Geneva stripe, the lower layer is fish-scale patterns. The places where the movement can be seen or not can bee seen are polished. The movement uses a 22K gold automatic turret. The automatic gyro has a large area skeleton design, and there is an AP logo in the middle. The complicated parts of the structure can be seen through the skeleton, full of very strong ornamental value.
Audemars Piguet’s new Code 11.59 collection watch is eye-catching.
Audemars Piguet’s new Code 11.59 series watches are all attractive, and aesthetic issues are not expressed here. However, in terms of Audemars Piguet’s new 4401 calibre, the technical level and viewing level of this movement are in line with Audemars Piguet’s troika. In the automatic winding chronograph movement of the major luxury watches, it is absolutely in the lead.