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Audemars Piguet Millenary Chronograph Luxury Watch Review

http://www.thewatchbox.com/watches/audemars-piguet The Audemars Piguet Millenary Chronograph is a mass of glorious contradictions. In a segment dominated by round watches this 18-karat rose gold Millenary goes long – oblong. While rivals take pains to ensure symmetrical balance in design, the Millenary Chronograph looks like a Dali falling into a black hole. And while competitors in the haute horologerie flee from controversy, the Millenary revels in its audacity. Le Brassus, Switzerland-based horological hitmaker Audemars Piguet launched its original oval-shaped Millenary luxury wristwatch in 1995. Of the many watches to test the oval case concept, the Millenary has proved to be the most enduring – and most ambitious – by far. Since the 1970s (Omega Dynamic) and as recently as the 2000s (Ulysse Nardin Macho Palladium 950), the oval watch has been a recurring sight on the luxury landscape. The Millenary alone has succeeded against the round case orthodoxy. Styled for its '95 debut by 25 year-old design prodigy Emmanuel Gueit of Royal Oak Offshore fame, the Millenary's prestige rose dramatically when its 38mm case expanded to a contemporary 47mm width in the early 2000s. By the end of the decade, Audemars Piguet was well on its way to establishing the Millenary as a third pillar of its product line alongside the high horology pieces and the small universe of Royal Oak variants. This full-size Audemars Piguet Millenary Chronograph boldly declares that the definitive oval opus had arrived. Now more than an offbeat profile, the controlled chaos of the Chronograph’s dial elevated the basic Millenary into the realm of the avant garde. Millenary's ultra-lux musical makeover starts with a daring flourish; the asymmetry of this watch is brash and bold. Audemars Piguet’s dial seems to be drawn apart by opposing forces, and the extreme contrast of guilloche and smooth, light and dark, matte and polished surfaces dazzles. So compelling is the effect that it’s easy to believe that the hands themselves are off center; like the best of M.C. Escher, the effect belies reality. Bold applied gold Roman numerals ensure upscale specification and dramatic luster. The guilloche of the silvered inner dial is off-center, and its eccentric cut accentuates the visual tension of the composition. Rose gold hands and sub-dial chapter rings maintain the haut-de-gamme standard while complementing the dominant color of the watch. The Millenary Chronograph is rendered in brushed and polished 18-karat rose gold that alternately dazzles and mutes the ambient light. Rose gold is the warmest variant of the Midas metal, and its use on the Millenary Chronograph creates a charming companion for all occasions. While the Millenary Chronograph plays well with a black-tie ensemble, it's equally at home in smart casual attire. Short curved lugs ensure that the Millenary fits even petite wrists without threatening awkward "overhang." The case is 47mm wide, but it measures only 42mm high, and the rapid taper of the lugs ensures that any wrist amenable to a 40-42mm Rolex Oyster model is an excellent match for the Millenary Chronograph. Inside the sculpted gold case beats a self-winding Audemars Piguet caliber 2385. Based on the thin and fine F. Piguet caliber 1185, this integrated chronograph design hails from one of the most celebrated movement families of the late 20th century. Having powered high horology standouts from Vacheron Constantin, Harry Winston, Blancpain, and every variant of the standard Audemars Piguet Offshore, the exquisitely crafted F. Piguet 1180 series has a history of rolling with high-rollers. See this audacious and versatile Audemars Piguet Millenary Chronograph in high-resolution images on www.thewatchbox.com. Video and content by Tim Mosso.