Audemars Piguet’s latest watch for ladies is an elegant complication, or more specifically, a simplification with a twist. Inspired by a wristwatch from the 1980s, the Millenary Frosted Gold Philosophique has only a single hand for the hours, and nothing else. But the hour hand doesn’t travel in a circle, instead it traces the oval shape of the case.
Single-handed pocket watches already existed in the 18th century, when the precise time was not a concern for most people. But Audemars Piguet revived the concept in 1982 with the original Philosophique, a one-handed wristwatch styled like a pocket watch, with its crown at 12 o’clock.
Though it was a men’s watch, the original Philosophique is tiny by modern standards, measuring just 32mm in diameter, making it significantly smaller than today’s Millenary Philosophique for ladies.
Available in white or pink gold, the Millenary Frosted Gold Philosophique features a striking, contrast case finish of granular “frosted gold” and mirror-polished surfaces. Inspired by Florentine jewellery, the frosted surface is achieved by hand, with a sharp tool that creates tiny indentations on the gold.
The dial is finished with an irregular “hammer-like” surface, echoing the case decoration. But more intriguing than the decoration is the trajectory of the hour hand. Instead of travelling in a circle, the hour hand follows an elliptical path, tracing the outline of the oval Millenary case.
This is possible because the hour hand moves on two axes: an axis at the base of the hand, which in turn sits on the outer edge of a rotating disc on the dial.
The watch is powered by the newly developed cal. 3140, a variant of the cal. 3120, the brand’s workhorse in-house movement, with the key difference been the additional gearing for the hour hand motion. Notably, the engraving on the rotor – depicting the Audemars and Piguet family crests – is filled with lacquer to match the colour of each dial variant.
Material: 18k pink or white gold, hand-hammered
Water resistance: 20m
Movement: Cal. 3140
Frequency: 21,600bph, or 3Hz
Power reserve: 50 hours
Strap: Alligator strap with 18k gold pin buckle
Price and availability
The Millenary Frosted Gold Philosophique is available in 18k white gold (ref. 77266BC.GG.A326CR.01) and 18k pink gold (ref. 77266OR.GG.A823CR.01). Both are priced at US$29,500, or 41,400 Singapore dollars, and available only at Audemars Piguet boutiques. For more, visit Audemarspiguet.com.
Update September 18, 2019: Price in Singapore dollars added.Back to top.