The Audemars Piguet Millenary Carbon One Tourbillon Chronograph Limited Edition Watch is so light, your brain will tell you that it should be heavier. The 47mm wide, and 42mm tall case feels like a couple of pencils in your hand. The ultra sophisticated mechanical watch is only about 70 grams in weight–a fraction of what other watches weigh. The smooth black case isn’t just any kind of metal, but carbon. Not the ubiquitously popular carbon fiber, but Audemars Piget’s specially engineered forged carbon. It’s made of compressed tiny carbon filaments. The result is much tougher than steel, and you could barely tell you are wearing it. Plus, it won’t feel cold to the touch on a chilly night like metal does.
Parts on the watch that you operate, such as the crown and pushers (also the bezel), are in a deep black ceramic. They match the forged carbon color well, and are also more scratch resistant than steel. It takes a person well versed in fine watches to appreciate how the combination of such materials in a luxury watch is akin to any delicacy. At first, the timepiece appears unassuming, though unique. The pleasing Millenary style oval case compliments the natural curves found on every wrist, while construction details in the watch make themselves apparent once you handle the fine piece of craftsmanship. In fact, the watch isn’t actually unassuming, but rather so well designed that it isn’t conspicuously odd to look at, even though it appears like no other timepiece out there. It has a polished look that might not be to everyone’s taste, but can universally be complimented.
The Millenary Carbon One Tourbillon Chronograph watch utilizes Audemars Piguet’s in-house made by hand caliber 2884 hand-wound mechanical movement with a tourbillion escapement. Further highlights include a massive 10 day power reserve surging through two mainspring barrels, a power reserve indicator, a column wheel based 30 minute chronograph, and a dark colored construction using metals each with an exotic polish and decoration. Viewing the dial is as much about reading the time as it is about admiring the movement. Sapphire crystals on the front and rear of the watch make that easy to do.
A bold look and rugged material construction don’t necessarily make for a sports watch. The Millenary Carbon One is a complex mechanical work of art, meant for horological satisfaction and an enhancement to one’s style. Water resistant to 20 meters and made of hard materials, the watch is designed to deal with your daily life. Though, with a likely price of around $200,000 (final price announced when it is officially released in January, 2010), while wearing the watch you should make “activity” a spectator sport.
Ariel Adams is the Haute Living Watch Editor, and also publishes the luxury watch review site, aBlogtoRead.com.