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Our Vision - December 2017

Cover Story

AUDEMARS PIGUET

MILLENARY TIME


 For the SIHH 2018 fair, Swiss Manufacture Audemars Piguet brings a refreshed line of spectacular watches for women.

The new line of Millenary timepieces has a distinct style of its own. The collection has roots that go back to 1995. One of the key features is undoubtedly the contemporary inspiration of the design. Modern architecture, design and art finds a subtle expression in this watch.

For 2018, the collection is updated with new ‘second-skin type’ metal bracelets. These adorn the white and pink gold cases launched in 2015. The classy case and dial contrast with the bracelet’s Polish finishing. This completely transforms the watch, giving it a vintage look that matches the oval shape of the case and the roman numerals on the dial.

The Milanese bracelet of the watch was fashionable in the 50s and 60s. The new collection takes a twist on that with the new Polish finishing. With Polish finishing on these metal bracelets there is an additional factor of a very comfortable feel on the wrist, just like a second skin. Also noteworthy is the new, suppler meshing enriched by several adjustable links. The Polish bracelet is the result of rolling-up a thread around an axis. This thread is then directed to the right, then to the left, to create a regular alternation, whereas on the Milanese bracelet, the wires are all threaded in the same direction. The Polish finishing offers new challenges to the production process, as each bracelet is individually handmade.

One of the watches has an opal dial, introducing this fine stone for the first time on a Millenary timepiece. It also presents the Frosted Gold finishing technique, which Audemars Piguet has only used on the Royal Oak collection so far. This technique has been created in collaboration with Florentine jewellery designer, Carolina Bucci.

The defining feature of the Frosted Gold resides in its shimmering sparkle, which in turn comes from a surface treatment process rooted in an ancient gold "hammering" technique, also called the Florentine technique. The technique involves beating the gold with a diamond tipped pneumatic tool vibrating at 200Hz, which creates tiny indentations on the surface that give a sparkle effect similar to that of precious stones, like diamond dust. For this new Millenary, the bezel, the inner bezel, the top of the lugs and the case’s sides at 9 and 3 o’clock have been frosted. The hand-wound Manufacture movement is built back to front.

Audemars Piguet once again transcends the stellar expectations of its women clientele, providing them with a beautiful timepiece that is designed to be an heirloom.