Text and photos by Alexandre Ghotbi
© April 2006 by Alberto Schileo, Alexandre Ghotbi and ThePuristS.com
and you may click on the image to enlarge it.
Audemars Piguet this year, is putting the emphasis on a model which seems to be less popular among AP aficionados: the Millenary. For me the original shape of the Millenary is what AP is about: horlogerie extravaganza and thinking out of the box!
2 new Millenary pieces absolutely blew me away. The first being the Cabinet Piece n° 5 which is an vericaly presented perpetual calendar with dead seconds, a seven day power reserve and featuring AP’s new escapement with a double spiral balance.
During developement and design process, AP had to face the problem that there was no appropriate hairspring available for the very high inertia balance wheel. However, as necessity often is the mother of invention, they found that by combining two hairsprings they could not only overcome the actual problem, but actually obtain a superior solution in many other chronometrically important aspects! The different elements of the dial are constructed at different levels which make them look as if they are floating under the crystal. A SUBLIME watch with a strong personality, presence and certainly one of the most exciting pieces I saw this year! Amazing!!
Next was the Millenary MC12 tourbillon chronograph with carbon plate and aluminium bridges. The design is directly inspired by the Maserati MC12 supercar, a fantastic piece of machinery for the wrist which shall be reserved for a happy few of 150.
Next was AP’s answer to Hublot’s Big Bang which itself was an answer to AP’s Royal Oak Offshore: the new Royal Oak Offshore Rubens Barichello which is produced in rose gold, steel and titanium featuring a ceramic bezel and pushers, the screws on the bezel are inspired by the screws on a F1 engine.
A very surprising complication was the Jules Audemars Decimal Minute Repeater Tourbillon which like the Voutalinen chimes the 10 minutes after the hour and not the quarter hours as like in the more traditional models.