Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Review of the Millenary 4101 ~ Fine finishing and wonderful aesthetic


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Let me start off by saying that i don't really like the original base millenary watches. I'm not talking about the fancier ones with complications as some of them are real nice eg the maserati tourby that i took pics of here LINK i'm referring to the time only base model or the chrono versions where the dial and it's varying elongated arabic numerals are at play. the romans on the dial that remains on this piece are fine by me but those stretched out arabics are deal breakers. the ladies variants the starlit sky i did find appealing though and the oval starwheel is one of my fave APs... so oval can't be that bad if done right...

so what could AP do to get the base millenary right or a contender in the AP stable since all lines are overshadowed by an octagonal monster :) well i believe they've found the answer in the 4101. AP presented the millenary 4101 in 2011 SIHH. All I saw were press images of the piece and it looked nice to me then. The interest was piqued but forgotten over time. Fortunately I was able to come across a lovely pink gold piece and managed to get some quick shots of it. pics and thoughts of it follow...

a gorgeous front... horizontal Côtes de Genève (geneva waves) wonderfully finished bevelled bridges, including the gold one holding the balance wheel at the 9 0'clock position... fine dial side finishing all round... beautiful rhodiumed and gilded plates
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and a gorgeous back... circular Côtes de Genève, snailing, sunray graining, and a lot of nice perlage (aka stipling/circular graining/spotting). nice AP 22 carat rotor with the Audemars and Piguet family crests and AP monogram
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  looking into the movement pics... Diamond-polished jewel sinks, diamond-polished countersinks and bevelled wheel spokes with bevelled screw rims and slots
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And some more detailed shots of the front... black and anthracite dial with applied pink gold Roman numerals Pink gold hands
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wonderful anglage for the external and rounded angles all round
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conclusion

What does an exceptional hand finished movement say about a timepiece then? It speaks of quality. it speaks of class and horological tradition and craft to make things beautiful and remarkable.

it's a winner! in my books and also a winner of the public prize for gphg :)
note it's time only watch and there is nothing fancy technically about the movement, a standard automatic with the standard lever escapement. a great aesthetic achieved with it's wonderful movement design architecture with it's multiple bridges and wonderful finishing that comes together so very nicely and make it a standout piece. oh i have to start saving my pennies...  

Millenary 4101 - 15350OR.OO.D093CR.01.. Case dimensions (width/length/thickness: 47 * 42 * 13 .. Bidirectional winding 22-carat gold oscillating weight mounted on ceramic ball bearings.. 60-hour power reserve
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maybe go for the slightly more accessible steel version :) steel version reflects a rich grey color from an anthracite galvanic treatment. US retail is US$20,600 for the steel and US$33,900 for the Pink Gold
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