By Kien Lee
For the new Millenary Frosted Gold Philosophique, Audemars Piguet drew inspiration from the aesthetics of 17th-century single-hand timepieces. With it, the Swiss manufacture invites women to defy contemporary conventions of reading time.
CEO François-Henry Bennahmias puts it succinctly, "At Audemars Piguet, we have always charted our own course, following our firm convictions and starting our independent trend... This watch takes a break from the rushing minutes of our world and invites you to set your own tempo."
Indeed, this new watch is a throwback to the Philosophique timepiece that Audemars Piguet launched back in 1982, and was a challenge laid out philosophically and sentimentally to liberate oneself from then, amidst the quartz crisis, a relentless quest for precision. It harkened back to a time centuries ago when a single hand simplified energy transmission in a watch, without the expectation to accurately tell time to the minute.
By today's standards, the single-hand function has become more of an emotional evocation.
The canvas on which to execute the single-hand display of time is the Millenary collection, iconic for its elliptical case. Inspired by architecture and art, the Millenary timepieces have since 2015, been exclusively designed for women.
The Millenary Frosted Gold Philosophique adds a unique and innovative twist, the single hand pointing to the hour indices to indicate the time in fact follows the oval shape of its case! This is executed by a new self-winding movement, calibre 3140.
A closer look reveals the hour hand itself mounted on a circular disc in the middle of the dial - instead of a conventional fixed point in the middle of a dial - and through a patented mechanism is able to remain equidistant to every hour marker, traveling in an elliptical path.
The 18-carat pink gold or white gold cases which the watches are available in, feature alternate satin brushing and Frosted Gold finishing. The latter is a technique which Audemars Piguet first presented in its Royal Oak collection, working with Florentine jewellery designer Carolina Bucci. A surface treatment process rooted in an ancient gold micro-hammering technique, also called the Florentine technique, creates the diamond dust effect and shimmering sparkle. All this is done with the added complexity to maintain the distinctive shape of the Millenary case.
Flipping the watch around, the transparent caseback showcases the oscillating weight which powers the automatic movement, and is coloured in the same shade as the dial, featuring the family crests of the Audemars and Piguet families, respectively. Finally, the single hour hand is polished and sand-blasted.
Sized at 39.5mm by 35.4mmm, the Millenary Frosted Gold Philosophique fits comfortably on slender wrists, even with its elongated case shape. The straps are satin-finished blue or brown alligator straps with a matching pin buckle.
The Millenary Frosted Gold Philosophique is available only at Audemars Piguet boutiques. Find out more at audemarspiguet.com