The term Millenary is defined as a thousand and AP’s official website likens this bold design as something innovative from the Brand for the Third Millenium.
Aside from this necessary verbatim; this shape is not new to their history. The oval case design has been around since the 1980’s but with the Millenary 4101, it is fair to say a Audemars Piguet has delivered a model worthy to be the Royal Oak’s brother in arms.
The Jules Audemars collection has quietly offered a very traditional approach, which has long stood true with those seeking a classic timepiece with or without complication from one of the top Manufacture’s. The Edward Piguet family garnered less affection despite its instantly recognisable rectangular case for varying reasons but typically it was always the price – Audemars Piguet has recognised calibre – this ability & execution warrants a certain price point but the Edward Piguet collection rarely pushed the consumer to feel a true affinity like the Royal Oak has from day one.
The Millenary 4101 seems to bridge this gap nicely…the price point of the steel model sits not too far above the ultra thin Royal Oak & the visual beauty of this model helps explain this difference given the meticulous attention to detail, design & ergonomics.
Visually the watch is stunning as the movement & case are specifically designed to show the oscillating balance wheel & bridges alongside a stylised dial with sub seconds dial. The oval case offers part satinised & part polished areas with a sapphire casebook that illustrates the incredibly clever movement that has been built specifically to ensure the rotor does not disturb the visibility of the balance wheel.
Both the steel & rose gold models are substantial pieces that definitely feel luxurious but like most watches of non-typical proportions, it must be tried on to be truly appreciated. The Royal Oak & especially it’s gym junkie sibling, the Offshore can at times be large for some wrists but the Millenary’s oval shape will sit perfectly on almost all wrists & especially under shirt cuffs…we would definitely suggest you take a test run.
Ultimately, Audemars Piguet will always struggle with the burden of the Royal Oak, it’s place in horological history is cemented & virtually any incarnation of this iconic watch will gain immediate good will. Any other offering from this grand old house will forever be in the shadow of its bigger & more successful elder brother!
However, with the Millenary 4101, AP have at least managed to fulfil some of the criteria that has worked so well with the Royal Oak. First of all, it’s a cool watch…it really is a funky, inspired visual masterpiece! Secondly, it is offered in steel alongside the rose gold version so budding collectors & those eying their next purchase will give this model a look in without breaking into re-mortgage territory. Overall, if you want to buy an Audemars Piguet but either don’t like the Royal Oak (shock…horror!) or already have one, the Millenary finally gives the consumer a reason to buy into the Brand from a different angle – long overdue but well worth the wait!
Model as pictured is the rose gold version, model ref: 15350OR.OO.D093CR.01 – UK RRP £ 29,400.00. (In stock now)