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Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet - one of the oldest manufactures of Haute Horlogerie

Audemars Piguet is the only traditional Swiss watchmaking company that is still family-owned even after 140 years. The founding fathers Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet both came from traditional watchmaking families who had been living in the Swiss town of Le Brassus in the Vallée de Joux for generations. Both graduated as a watchmaker and founded the family business in 1875. Audemars was enthusiastic with innovative movements and took over the technical management while Piguet dedicated himself to the commercial tasks and opened one of the first watchmaking sales branches in Europe and America.

From 1881 onwards, the company "Audemars, Piguet & Compagnie" focused on the production of high-quality pocket watches, but with a special interest in manufacturing under own names, instead of other brands. 

„Grand Complication“

The "Grand Complication" presented at the world exhibition in Paris won a special prize. For the first time, the pocket watch incorporates several complications: a chronograph, a perpetual calendar and a minute repeater. The "Grand Complication" (1889) represented the first highlight in the company's recent history.

 


The small studio in the parents' house Audemars was
no longer adequate to meet the demands, so that in 1907 a factory had to be built. This factory is still the company headquarters of the manufactory. After the First World War the manufactory was taken over by the sons of the founders. The global economic crisis also brought Audemars Piguet almost to the brink of bankruptcy, only the resumption of production for foreign brands, was able to save the company from ruin.

The basis for the prospering growth and success of the brand was created in the post-war period. AP made ultra-flat hand-held and automatic calibers, e.g. the "Jules Audemars".

Royal Oak - a revolution in stainless steel with cult status

The luxury brand celebrated the greatest success in the 1970s with the "Royal Oak" - meanwhile a timepiece with cult status among the AP watches. The spin-off models of the Royal Oak, the robust Royal Oak Offshore for example, make up a large part of the range until today.

Audemars Piguets "Royal Oak" was for the time a very revolutionary sports watch. "All of them thought we'd fall miserably," recalls the retired Audemars Piguet Museum Director Martin Wehrli. For the watch made of steel instead of gold, with a habit of neediness, designed by the legendary watch designer Gérald Genta, only failure was prognosticated. But everything should be different. When 1974 Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli began to wear his model on the wrist, the stainless steel watch with the octagonal bezel advanced to the design icon. "A list of celebrities who have not worn Royal Oak would be made faster than the list of famous Royal Oak owners," says Martin Wehrli proudly. The Royal Oak not only became a trendsetter for luxury sports watches, but is also still considered a classic among the men's watch of the manufactory. The vintage "Royal Oak" models of the first series are today very sought collector's models.

The best-known brand ambassador of the luxury brand is football star Lionel "Leo" Messi. In 2005, Leo was given a Royal Oak for his title as the goalkeeper of the Spanish League. The model sparked his love for watches and he became a collector.

In 1986, the first Tourbillon was launched in the yellow gold case with a mechanical movement. This was the first extra-flat watch in the history of modern watchmaking.

The Millenary collection by Audemars Piguet

In 1995 the Swiss watchmaker presented the Audemars Piguet Millenary collection. This unique collection is characterized by neoclassical principles. The sight of the three-dimensional depths, the decentralized dial and the extraordinary elliptical shape of the case inspire immediately. With the Millenary 4101 Audemars Piguet realizes the dream of every watch lover by making the mechanics of the timepiece completely visible.

«Jules Audemars» Chronometer

The "Jules Audemars" Chronometer belongs to the timeless, classic models of the glorious watch manufactory. The wristwatches of this collection impress with their traditional round housing, their exquisite workmanship as well as refined complications. The timers of the «Jules Audemars» line embody Audemars Piguet's know-how in the field of the ultra-vigorous caliber, which has been able to set up a whole series of records over the years. Only precious metals are used in the production of Jules Audemars watches.

Since its inception, Audemars Piguet has been producing around 26,000 exclusive watches of the highest price class per year at three locations in Switzerland. Each timepiece of the world famous brand is manufactured by hand and combines precision, skill and tradition that have been inherited for generations.

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