Audemars Piguet - Millenary 4101
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
Audemars Piguet - Millenary 4101

Millenary 4101

Audemars Piguet | 24'900 € Tax inc.

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Millenary 4101

The Millenary 4101 asserts itself as the perfect expression of an idea that took shape and steadily matured in the minds of the Audemars Piguet teams before seeing the light of day. This model with its oval calibre exercises a persistent fascination testifying to the fact that the Manufacture in Le Brassus has once again superseded existing design codes and defied the laws of technology in order to master and even transcend these technical constraints.

Its designer made the deliberately daring choice to give the structural and functional aspects of the movement an essential role in terms of the overall aesthetic. This model features the sleek form of the oval case inherent to the Millenary collection, as well as the signature off-centred dial and imposing Roman numerals. The elaborate design of the watch is distinguished as much by this unusual three-dimensional appearance as by its atypical architecture.

Designed for men who find their way through time while making light of ephemeral trends and show a marked preference for audacity rather than slavishly following the crowd, the Millenary 4101 comes in two original interpretations: one in steel and the other in pink gold. 
By offering its owner the privilege of observing the inner life of its oval movement, the Millenary 4101 breaks free of conventional watchmaking codes. Nonetheless, technical sophistication is not achieved at the cost of aesthetics, since this model marries function and design by granting equal importance to the inside and outside of the watch. This accentuates the striking visual presence of the regulating organ and draws all eyes to its balance, lever and escapement. The heart of the movement is the variable-inertia balance with eight white gold inertia blocks that ensure enhanced long-term rating stability. It beats at a 4 Hz oscillating frequency, meaning 28,800 vibrations per hour, thereby improving timing precision and making the regulating organ less sensitive to extreme disturbances. The selfwinding Millenary 4101 watch has a 60-hour power reserve. Its cross-through balance-bridge echoes the aesthetic of the 3120 and 3090 calibres and ensures enhanced shock resistance. 
In reading off the hours, minutes and seconds on dials, the gaze is inexorably drawn toward the subtle intricacies of the mechanism. Above and beyond their primordial functional role, each of the watch movement components contributes to the aesthetic beauty of the model, giving it an incomparable appearance radiating controlled strength. Each of the five levels that stand out when the watch is viewed in perspective reveals an exceptional quality of execution and finishing. Entirely assembled and decorated by hand, Calibre 4101 features twelve bridges that are snailed, circular-grained and adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif – all of which constitute authentic design elements. The mainplate also bears Côtes de Genève as well as circular graining in two different diameters serving to accentuate the overall three-dimensional effect.
Stainless steel case, black and anthracite dial with pink gold applied Roman numerals and hands.  

Technical specifications

  • Steel
  • Glareproofed sapphire crystal and caseback
  • Water resistant 20 m
  • Proprietary selfwinding oval Calibre 4101
  • Overall dimensions (width/length): 37.25 x 32.90 mm
  • Casing diameter (width/length): 36.75 x 32 mm
  • Thickness: 7.46 mm ◦253 parts and 34 jewels
  • MBidirectional winding 22-carat gold oscillating weight mounted on ceramic ball bearings
  • 60-hour power reserve
  • Cadence of the balance: 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz)
  • Variable-inertia balance with eight inertia-blocks and Breguet overcoil balance-spring
  • Screw-down mobile balance-spring stud-holder
  • Mainplate and bridges: rhodiumed and gilded for pink gold model and anthracite galvanic treatment for stainless model
  • Finishing: all parts decorated by hand.
  • Mainplate adorned with horizontal Côtes de Genève on the front and circular-grained on the back
Bridges bevelled, snailed and adorned with horizontal and circular Côtes de Genève and with circular graining.
  • Diamond-polished jewel sinks,diamond-polished countersinks and bevelled wheel spokes; bevelled screw rims and slots
  • AP monogram as well as Audemars and Piguet family crests engraved on the oscillating weigh
  • Black and anthracite
  • Off centred disc
  • Black small seconds center
  • Pink gold applied roman numerals and hands
  • Hand-sewn black crocodile leather strap with large square scales
  • Folding clasp in stainless steel

Who's who

Audemars Piguet is above all a family story. Over the centuries, the company’s management has always included at least one descendant of distinguished founders Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet. In spite of the crises it has been through, in particular the 1929 Great Depression, which severely impacted the luxury industry, the Manufactory has never stopped producing watches. It was however because of a completely different kind of crisis, in the wake of the discovery of quartz, that Audemars Piguet created one of its major timepieces. And Laurent Picciotto became a part of the “AP” history thanks to another family story... “I had just turned 12 when my father took me to see the first example of this incredible watch, soon after its arrival at Place Vendôme. I could see that he was fascinated by this object, stunned by Gérald Genta’s incredible design. I was rooted to the spot, understanding that a whole new dimension of watchmaking had just been discovered.” The timepiece in question was the Royal Oak, and the new watchmaking dimension was the luxury sports watch. It was 1972, and in his mind’s eye Laurent Picciotto can still see what held his awestruck gaze as a child: “a completely new case shape, an integrated strap – sports luxury of a new kind. I couldn’t get it out of my mind for a long time.” It is true that the Manufactory originally became a part of the history of watchmaking through complications rather than as a result of bleeding-edge creative design. The first watches with complications were delivered in Germany as early as 1895! The road to luxury watchmaking was already marked out, if not yet well worn. In 1915, Audemars Piguet presented the Grande Complication series, with no fewer than 400 watches. This was the age of pocket watches; the number of lines in this type of caliber gave plenty of space for all kinds of watchmaking madness. In 1920 the brand brought out a pocket watch that was the most sophisticated in the world, with an unprecedented total of 15 complications! The destiny of the watchmaker from Le Brassus was significantly affected by the arrival of the wristwatch, which became widespread in the interwar years. There was temporary respite in the race for complications, with the race for miniaturisation taking its place. In 1946, Audemars Piguet presented the smallest caliber in the world (1.64 mm), followed 20 years later by the flattest automatic movement in the world (2.45 mm), with a gold central rotor. The arrival of Gérald Genta and the very atypical design of the Royal Oak challenged the brand’s design codes. It had not previously been present in the sports segment and was used to a more traditional design. “Even now, the watch is laden with emotion,” explains Laurent Picciotto. “When I met Gérald Genta and, one morning in 1992, I put my first Royal Oak in my window display, it was a momentous occasion. I told myself that there is no such thing as chance and that I had become the custodian of my father’s heritage. But that was only the beginning of the adventure!” At that time the brand had not yet become established as the must-have in luxury watches that it is today. These watches are more of a specialist interest for informed enthusiasts than an organised commercial trend. Audemars Piguet long had only one outlet in its own name in the world, in Geneva. And since the brand is above all a family story, it was only natural that it should entrust the privilege of opening its second shop, in rue Saint Honoré, Paris, to none other than Laurent Picciotto. “It was 1997 and we were starting from scratch. The Royal Oak was at last beginning to carve out its iconic place in watchmaking; the future lay before us,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. This journey went on together on an exclusive basis for a decade and now continues with Laurent as an official agent. ‘‘Together we wrote a chapter in the history of the Manufactory, creating limited series and more besides. And the emotion is still just as real today!” Journalist : Olivier Müller

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