Renowned for achieving numerous world firsts and for its scintillating feats of mechanical watchmaking, Audemars Piguet premiered the Millenary Collection in 1995. Distinguished by its elliptical case, the off-kilter timepiece was so named as a tribute to the impending third millennium.
While it wasn’t an instant hit with watch enthusiasts, the ovoid wristwatch gradually evolved into a vaunted symbol of prestige. Since then, the Millenary Collection has continued to convey the classicism, innovation and creativity that are the very hallmark of Audemars Piguet.
Complemented by pronounced lugs and decorated with bold numerals, the unconventionally-shaped timepieces were inspired by the worlds of art and architecture. Initially conceived as a men’s watch, the first Millenary timepiece for women was unveiled in 1998. In 2015, the watchmaker dedicated the collection to the fairer sex, featuring intricate dials accentuated by laborious hand finishes, precious materials and complications.
The new Millenary Frosted Gold Philosophique is the perfect embodiment of the collection’s DNA. Designed to encourage women to reappropriate time, it features a lone hand to tell the hour. Devoid of any numerals or minute or second hand on the beautiful hammered-finished dial, time becomes a leisurely construct for the wearer.
Single-hand watches are not new. They were fairly common in the 17th century; in fact, Audemars Piguet produced its first Philosophique watch in 1982: a round-cased watch wielding a single hand trailing the hours.
What’s unusual about the new Philosophique is its ability to tell time fairly accurately despite the missing minute hand, indicators and markers.
Thanks to a new self-winding movement, calibre 3140, a patented mechanism moves the gold minute hand in an elliptical trajectory instead of the conventional circular revolution. With the hand mounted on an ovoid transparent sapphire disc corresponding directly to the hour wheel, it is able to precisely tell time.
The watch is presented in a 39.5mm by 35.4mm satin-brushed gold case, enhanced by a frosted gold finish created using a traditional micro-hammering technique reinterpreted by Florentine jewellery designer Carolina Bucci.
Adorning the Millenary Frosted Gold Philosophique’s caseback is a gilded oscillating rotor, emblazoned with the coat of arms of the Audemars and Piguet families.
The watch is available in two iterations: a pink gold case with a brown dial and a white sapphire cabochon or a white gold case with a blue dial and blue sapphire cabochon.
“At Audemars Piguet, we have always charted our own course, following our firm convictions and starting our independent trends, even during times of crisis,” describes Audemars Piguet CEO Francois-Henry Bennahmias.
“We continue today with our new Millenary Philosophique. This watch takes a break from the rushing minutes of our world and invites you to set your own tempo.”
For more on the Millenary Philosophique, visit the Audemars Piguet website.
This story first appeared in the September 2019 issue of A.