The new Audemars Piguet Millenary 4101 (ref. 15350ST.OO.D002CR.01) automatic watch was officially presented a couple of weeks ago at the SIHH 2011 and immediately became a new icon of the Swiss brand.
Just like it was done with the recently presented Piaget Emperador Coussin Tourbillon Ultra-Thin and the gorgeous De Bethune DB28 in titanium, the new Audemars Piguet Millenary 4101 takes the idea of a skeletonized watch and, literally, turns it inside out.
The main idea behind the whole concept of skeletonization is to show off the inner workings of a mechanical movement.
The result is a beautifully crafted (in most cases, but not always) display, which is a real pleasure to admire, but (again, in most cases, but not always) a real pain to look at when all you need is to find out what time it is now.
Millenary’s signature off-centered main dial that takes less than half of the real estate of the huge 47 x 42 mm oval-shaped case, was the best candidate to make a skeleton watch, which is both beautiful and, at the same time, absolutely legible.
As you can see on the pictures, AP’s engineers reworked the automatic movement in such a way, that its regulating organ that comprises the balance, lever and escapement is moved to the periphery of the caliber and, judging by the looks of it, is positioned right in the F1 focus of the oval.
It is anchored to the movement with a massive-looking bridge, which (like the rest of the 12 visible bridges) is decorated with horizontal Cotes de Geneva stripes.
The main hours and minutes display is done in two solid metal parts and, decorated with applied Roman numerals, is perfectly legible, although the leaf-shaped hands would look even better if they were not skeletonized, but simply covered with some Superluminova.
As usual, the result is a finely crafted, well-balanced and, let me admit that, highly desirable watch that can prove a huge success, if Audemars Piguet will manage to find the point of intersection of the supply and demand curves.
See also: Audemars Piguet Millenary Minute Repeater Hand-Wound in Titanium (Ref. 26371Ti.OO.D002CR.01)
Photos: Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet Millenary 4101 (ref. 15350ST.OO.D002CR.01) automatic watch specification
Price: $24,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, AP Caliber 4101, 34 jewels, 253 components, 22-carat rose gold rotor, hand-built, in-house, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Power reserve: 60 hours
Case material: Stainless steel or Rose gold
Bezel material: Stainless steel or Rose gold
Case shape: Oval
Bezel shape: Oval
Case size: 47.00 mm x 42.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 13.00 mm
Hands: Rose gold or Steel
Water resistance: 20 meters
Crystal: Sapphire with antireflective coating
Case back: Sapphire