The saying “All things old are new again” has never been more true than with Audemars Piguet’s Remaster 01. Based on a chronograph from 1943, the watch was put together as a way to mark the new Bjarke Ingels-designed museum that Audemars Piguet opened in their hometown of Le Brassus, Switzerland (that opening has been pushed back to June, however, because of the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn’t stop the watchmaker from putting out the Remaster 01).
Michael Friedman, Audemars Piguet’s head of complications, said, “We wanted to shake things up a little bit. We didn’t want to create a historical reissue, because we do not make watches today like we did in the 1940s. We took the design and aesthetics of this 1943 chronograph and we modernized it for today.” What Mr. Friedman is saying is that the Remaster 01 borrows the original’s champagne dial, olive-shaped pushers, blue tachymeter scale, and case with two tones (pink gold and steel). The Remaster even goes so far as to reproduce the “45” above the 30-minute register, which was requested by Jacques-Louis Audemars in the 1940s so that he could time the length of soccer game halves.
The modernizing of the watch comes in the form of a larger case size (40mm instead of 36) as well as water resistance. The Remaster will also get a modern integrated automatic flyback chronograph, where the original had a manual wind movement. The movement also will not be made by hand like the original. “We don’t have that capacity today,” confesses Friedman. “What we are trying to do is take something from the past and experience it through the prism of today. The best futurists are the most cognizant historians—that’s why the museum isn’t siloed or separate from what we do. It’s at the center of everything.”
The Remaster 01 will be limited to just 500 pieces. Friedman has stated that Audemars Piguet will not be revisiting this watch again, but they may look at other remasters—hence the 01 numberings on this version. While the original chronograph was recently purchased through a Phillips auction for $355,567, purchasers of the Remaster 01 won’t have to pay quite so much. The watch is priced at $53,100.