Audemars Piguet’s [Re]master01 Chronograph- A Reinterpretation of One of Their Most Classic Watches

Vintage watches have been one of the biggest trends in the watch industry in recent years. Brands with rich histories are taking this opportunity to bring back their classics. Audemars Piguet (AP) is going to release the [Re]master01 self-winding chronograph, a vintage revival of their Ref. 1533 from the 1940s. The watch is limited to 500 pieces and is priced at US$53,100 (without taxes). 

AP’s new collection of [Re]master01 self-winding chronograph 

The [Re]master01 chronograph is inspired by AP's Ref.1533 released in the 1940s

The most renowned watch from AP is perhaps that from their Royal Oak collection, released in the 1970s. With its steel case and octagonal bezel, the Royal Oak watch has taken its rightful place as a premium sports watch. Prior to the Royal Oak, particularly before the 1950s, AP had only designed watches according to their clients’ needs, making each watch incredibly unique. 

A demand for time-keeping surfaced in the 1930s which drove many brands to start to produce chronographs. AP had also begun to design wristwatches at that time but chronographs only accounted for less than 10% of AP’s total output. Ref. 1533 was made during the Second World War. 

According to official data, amongst the 307 chronographs produced between the 1930s and the 1950s, only 9 were Ref. 1533 watches. The [Re]master01 is based on the rare Ref. 1533 in stainless steel and gold which was released in 1943. Only three of them were produced. 

The Ref. 1533 that was sold at auction a few years ago 

One of the three Ref. 1533 in stainless steel and gold was sold at Phillips Geneva in 2015 for CHF305,000 (US$317,515). It is said that AP acquired the watch and put it in their antiques collection. 

The news that AP has decided to make the [Re]master01 based on the design of Ref. 1533 is a joy to many watch lovers. The [Re]master01 adopts the original’s champagne dial, olive-shaped chronograph pushers and chamfered crown in 18k pink gold as well as the old-school ‘Audemars Piguet & Co Genève’ logo and Art Deco style number ‘12’. 

AP’s signature ‘Audemars Piguet & Co Genève’ logo is commonly seen on watches produced in the early 20th century. It came from AP’s workshop in Geneva which was set up from around 1885 to the 1970s for the convenience of sales and clients. 

The Art Deco style number ‘12’

The new watch adopts the original’s olive-shaped chronograph pushers and chamfered crown in 18k pink gold 

The [Re]master01’s case measures at 40mm

The Ref. 1533’s case measures at 36mm in diameter and was considered one of the larger watches at the time as most watches had 31-34 mm cases. The [Re]master01 has a diameter of 40mm which is more well fitted to modern-day designs. The black transferred hour markers, rose-gold hour, minute, and second hands as well as steel blue chronograph hands and blue transferred tachymetric scale of the original are kept. 

Although the [Re]master01 is very similar to Ref. 1533 appearance-wise, its internal design has been completely upgraded. The watch is powered by AP’s Caliber 4490, driven by a column wheel and equipped with a flyback function, where the original had a manual wind movement. The caseback material is also made with sapphire crystal which shows the watch’s chronograph movement. 

The [Re]master01 is powered by AP’s Caliber 4490

The 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock has a ⅘ indication above the 15 minute mark

The positions of the three counters on the chronograph have also been changed. The 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock has a ⅘ indication above the 15 minute mark which is the same as the original. It was initially added under the request of AP’s third-generation leader Jacques-Louis Audemars (1910-2003) who was a football fan and wanted to time the duration of each half of a match. 

[Re]master01 is the perfect blend of vintage looks and modern technology that watch lovers cannot miss out on. Those who are interested can make an appointment with an AP boutique near you.