Despite being one of the biggest names in watchmaking, Audemars Piguetoften gets typecast for its Royal Oak — and understandably so. When the Swiss brand came out with the Code 11.59 back in 2019, it almost seemed like it was trying to show the world that it could certainly do much more than the model it’s become synonymous with.
AP has since used the Code 11.59 for some of its most innovative pieces ever, including the recent Starwheel wandering hours watch and a slew of tourbillons. Now, the watchmaker has used the platform to present the company’s most complicated timepiece yet, the Code 11.59 Universelle RD#4. Modeled on a chronograph base, the 42mm watch houses a new in-house caliber 1000 capable of 40 functions, including 23 complications.
For starters, the watch is, at its heart, a split-seconds flyback chronograph with two totalizers on the dial, plus the addition of a flying tourbillon at the bottom. Featuring a perpetual calendar that’s set until the year 2400, the dial has four different windows to display the day, month, year, and day of the week. Perhaps the most notable aspect on the front is the moonphase function, which uses a pair of concentric disks to show the current phase in the lunar cycle. Other complications include a minute repeater and two different chimes.
Perhaps the most impressive thing is, compared to other ultra-complicated watches, the new Universelle doesn’t necessarily look complicated. In fact, from afar, it appears quite normal. Available in four style configurations featuring either 18k white or pink gold cases and either black, cream, or skeletonized dials, the Code 11.59 Universelle RD #4 is starting at CHF1,450,000 (~$1,565,164) from Audemars Piguet. Which makes it one of the most expensive watches in the world.