This week Audemars Piguet introduced a wandering hours timepiece based on a 1991 timepiece called the Starwheel.
The Code 11.59 Starwheel is a modern version of the original, in a 41 mm x 10.7 mm semi-circular two-tone black ceramic and 18K white gold case.
Like historic models, as well as modern wandering hours timepieces from watchmakers such as Urwerk and Montblanc, the Starwheel has three hour satellites (four hours per satellite) that rotate (wander) around the dial, while a small hand points to an arching retrograde scale, indicating the minutes. In this instance, there’s also a center seconds hand that uses the more traditional outer chapter ring to indicate 0-60 seconds.
Audemars Piguet caliber 4130, which is derived from the caliber 4309, uses an add-on module to deliver the semi-complicated wandering hours functionality while maintaining a respectable 70-hour power reserve. The movement is nicely decorated, with Geneva stripes, beveled edges, and a gold oscillating weight, all visible through the sapphire caseback.
Adding to the visual allure of this particular Code 11.59 timepiece is a blue aventurine dial that subtly contrasts the black opaline aluminum hours discs, highlighted by white gold hands and a black inner bezel.
One detail that’s particularly attractive, contemporary, and a refreshing alternative to leather, is the tapered black rubber strap, with a simulated textile pattern.
The Code 11.59 Starwheel (Ref. 15212NB.OO.A002KB.01) retails for $57,900.
Photo by Audemars Piguet.