Audemars Piguet produced only 307 chronographs between the 1930s and 1950s. Two years ago, the luxury Swiss watch manufacturer reacquired one of those rare wristwatches at a Phillips auction—for CHF 340,000. This unique piece (crafted in 1943) informs the brand new, limited edition [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph—a “remastering” of the historic design, not a reissue. Aesthetically, the timepiece adheres to its inspiration source with great success; this isn’t another vintage nod but a contemporary retelling of a story that simply must be told, punctuated with precise, clever and colorful details. Inside, the brand’s most recent technological developments bring the watch to life.
For the artistic adaptation of 1943 to 2020, Audemars Piguet increased their canvas from the original 36mm case size to a 40mm one. Perhaps the adoption of the vintage “Audemars, Piguet & Co Genève” logo represents the most subtly spectacular commitment to the original, but the exquisite two-tone case (with caseband, lugs, and caseback in stainless steel; hour and minute hands, bezel, pushers and crown made of 19-karat rose gold) epitomizes the translation. Impeccable flourishes—blue chronograph hands and tachymeter scale; the red 45 in the chronograph minutes subdial—pop off the vertical blushing on the yellow gold-toned dial (with an undeniable champagne glow).
Underneath the handsome, legible mid-20th century design, Audemars Piguet placed the caliber 4409 in-house, selfwinding chronograph mechanism. This is a modified version of the caliber 4401 movement that debuted within last year’s CODE 11.59 chronograph. It furthers their commitment to technical mastery.
Audemars Piguet initially intended to use the [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph to celebrate their forthcoming Bjarke Ingels-designed museum in Le Brassus, Switzerland (which holds the inspiration piece) though the museum’s opening has now been postponed. In a limited edition of 500, the [Re]master01 will retail for $53,100, through Audemars Piguet boutiques only.
Images courtesy of Audemars Piguet