Gübelin-Signed 5093BC Audemars Piguet Disco Volante
Unconvential case design is sexy, end of story. I have a vendetta against the endlessly derivative cases and lugs we see in over half of modern watch releases. Watches and Wonders every year presents a series of vintage throwbacks and minor tweaks. Consistent recall of past work is admitting a death in creativity. By contrast, this extremely distinct AP design of the late 50s defied trends of its era. With a wide yet knife-edge thin knurled bezel, there’s no questioning why Italian collectors dubbed this ref 5093 the ‘Disco Volante’ (flying saucer).
But it doesn’t stop there, as this example sports an integrated Milanese mesh bracelet, and sector dial, and Gübelin signature. There is no chill in sight. Moreover, this is the unsung work of a then-young and quite unknown Mr. Genta. The ref 5093 Disco Volante sports a calibre 2003 which was an ultra-thin movement well ahead of its time. That allowed an overall height of just 4mm, furthering the effect of Genta’s design. While most remember AP for the Royal Oak, it is worth remembering that the manufacture was innovating well before the model and even before this 5093. I can’t think of a modern watch which so boldly defies the trend and, in truth, that makes me a bit sad.
This example is executed in 18k white gold, with light wear throughout. Impressively, its sector dial sports only a few light spots and no serious degradation. The case is full and bracelet sports only light surface wear. It is accompanied by an extract from a very well-regarded vintage retailer.
Find this 5093 here from Amsterdam Vintage Watches for 25000 EUR.