Time to have another look outside the wonderful world of Girard-Perregaux. This time we look over at Audemars Piguet and their 2019 new release, the Code 11.59. Seldom a new watch release has received so much criticism as the Code 11.59. AP was and is a manufacture revolving around the Royal Oak. A classic design back from the 1970s that has proven timeless and a huge success, becoming the signature of the brand.
In general, you have to applaud AP for investing into a new collection outside the Royal Oak. It is always tricky if your success rests on a single product or in case of watches on one single iconic design. You always run the risk of becoming out of fashion or being outsmarted by a competitor with a superior product. Yes, the Nautilus comes to mind.
So adding diversity is a good strategy. On the other hand, I do sympathise a lot with the criticism about the Code 11.59. I’m still not sure where it really fits. It’s not exactly a dress watch nor does it have a design DNA from Audemars Piguet, and there has been some truly nice classic designs from AP outside the Royal Oak, like the Perpetual Calendars for example.
I think the Code 11.59 tries to please too many tastes, like a watch designed by a committee. Time will tell if this collection becomes a success or if it will disappear from the shelves again rather quickly. It will be hard to evolve it with a “facelift” to bring a consistent design line to the Code 11.59 without looking like AP dumped the original design. We will watch the further development.