Titanium case, glareproofed sapphire crystal and caseback.
“Salmon” dial with “Grande Tapisserie” pattern, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating, “salmon” toned inner bezel.
Titanium bracelet with AP folding clasp.
Perpetual calendar with week indication, day, date, astronomical moon, month, leap year, hours and minutes.
The first wristwatch equipped with a perpetual calendar device was created by British watchmaker Thomas Mudge in 1762 and became a popular feature of pocket watches for discerning gentlemen in the next century. The first series of perpetual calendar watches launched by Patek Philippe in 1941 were the 1518 and 1526.
It should be noted that for most of the 20th century, only Patek Philippe and swiss Audemars Piguet produced perpetual calendar watches. Wearing a perpetual calendar watch in the context of that time is like attending a dinner party, with a Cray supercomputer tied to the wrist, but it expresses it with extraordinary elegance and beauty.
Okay, back to the heroic trio of “Le Mic” Rochat, Golay and Berney or the RGB team. Why did they decide to build an ultra-thin automatic perpetual calendar movement? Well, it turns out that Audemars Piguet has one of the deepest and most meaningful history in this kind of complex function. In fact, we can go all the way back to Jules Louis Audemars, one of the two founders of the brand.
Before creating the brand with Edward Auguste Piguet in 1875, Audemars first had to graduate from watchmaking school. In order to do this, he must make a “school watch” to represent his mastery of the education taught.
Audemars, apparently a replica automatic watches dancer from the beginning, showed an incredible quarter-repeat pocket watch with dead seconds (seconds only beat every second instead of incrementally moving) and-yes , You guessed it-perpetual calendar.
Looking at this watch, you will notice that the complete leap year cycle is displayed on the subdial at 12 o’clock, which means a full 48 months, and it also indicates which year in the cycle (displayed as the first, second, and second 3rd or 4th) Decrease every month.
This is the traditional way of displaying leap years. It is worth noting that pocket watches often omit the leap year display. Take the Patek Philippe pocket watch made by American car manufacturer James Ward as an example. In order to set up the watch, it must be sent to the watchmaker who usually takes the dial.
The fact that Audemars Piguet decided to show the full cycle will set an important precedent for an amazing watch that will be launched by a brand named after him in exactly 80 years.
According to Michael Friedman, when the watch age began to become mainstream in the 20th century, Audemars Piguet occasionally got involved in calendar complications. However, these are always unique commissions for discerning and wealthy customers. The total data letter of watches with calendar complications manufactured before 1950 is 208, including this extremely beautiful two-tone reference 5503 complete calendar. From a design point of view, it is in line with this year’s inspirational reference 5513 The obvious similarity is [Re]Master 01 Chronograph.
But then in 1955, Audemars Piguet introduced the 5516, the world’s first perpetual calendar watch with a leap year display, which brought real horological enthusiasm.
Previous series reference. 5516
There are a total of 12 reference 5516 examples. Three of the watches are equipped with a perpetual calendar, but there is no leap year indicator. Michael Friedman refers to these watches as “pre-series” watches, and we are very impressed with two of them here.
This black and white picture on page 128 of Audemars Piguet 20th Century Complicated Wristwatches shows two of these watches. The first watch numbered 52722 was created by a watchmaker. He discovered a perpetual calendar mechanism, which he called working under a dial that he called “60 or 70 years old” and decided to combine it with the 13VZSS movement Made a pretty gorgeous watch.
In the Audemars Piguet Registers of Completed Watches, a watchmaker stated that he has transformed the historic 14-figure perpetual calendar bottom work “qui traînait depuis 60 à 70 ans” (has hovered between 60 and 70 in the company’s stock Years), and then he modified it into a Calibre 13VZSS made in 1947. Then, this watch 52722 was sold in Bangkok in 1951, where it may have belonged to the same family for at least half a century, and Audemars Piguet believes it still exists today. chrono4usale.com
This work was completed in 1947 and finally sold in Bangkok in 1951. The movement number of the second watch is 52542. It was manufactured in 1948 and delivered to the famous retailer Gübelin in 1950. Please note that it is characterized by a more stylized and expressive case. In this case, the dial has a date, and the central hand reads the scales printed on the periphery. Interestingly, the third in this pre-series exists.
The next interpretation of 5516 corresponds to Photo No. 1012 (from the manufacturer’s archive); equipped with a peripheral date and moon phase display at 12 o’clock, a step forward to the later 5516 design specification, but does not show the leap year cycle; the first The example appeared in the 1948 production register; the movement number 52542, the caliber 13VZSS, was delivered to Gübelin in 1950.
Perpetual calendar watch. Movement number 66136, case number 11151. 13VZSSQP movement, 18 carat gold case. Gold dial, silver plated. Black enamel numbers. Apply the golden time scale. Gold chronograph hands. Blue steel calendar pointer.