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AUDEMARS PIGUET WATCHES BUYING GUIDE

Since it was established in 1875 Audemars Piguet has proudly defied traditional watchmaking conventions to create innovative timepieces that make horological history. Nestled in the Vallee de Joux, the home of complex watchmaking, the iconic brand embraces the natural beauty of its surroundings and the abundance of natural resources to create some of the world’s most sought after luxury timepieces.

 

Audemars Piguet Buying Guide

 

 

History

Audemars Piguet was brought to life by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet in 1875. The end of the 17th century saw farmers in the rugged region of the Jura Mountains dedicating their days through the dark winter months to watchmaking – transforming their farmhouses into ateliers for the production of watch parts such as wheels, semi-precious stones, pinions and specialist parts of watch assembly. Part of this tight-knit community of artisans in the Vallee De Joux, Audemars and Piguet were passionate about creating timeless luxury watches that would inspire for generations to come. They each appreciated that watch mechanisms represented the passage of time – dictated to by astronomy and nature – offering a wealth of inspiration for the young brand. Respecting the foundations of watchmaking is at the heart of the luxury brand, with technical skills and a finely tuned sense of detail continually pushed to the limits since the very beginning.

Both Audemars and Piguet had a passion for excellence, one which saw the duo create striking mechanisms, chronographs and astronomical complications from the very early days of the brand. Such was their commitment to the art of craftsmanship of the approximate 1,500 watches made my Audemars Piguet between 1882 and 1892 it is reported that more than 80 per cent of the included at least one complication and in many instances, several complications.

Continually inspired by the wealth of natural resources surrounding their Le Brassus Manufacture the duo respected the role of the region played in keeping the watch industry ticking along, with the first ever Audemars Piguet building positioned next to a well to draw water from a nearby spring.

The brand’s workshops grew slowly, originally employing less than 50 people until the 1950s then more than 100 from 1970 onwards. Responsible for creating individual and unique timepieces with the greatest care and respect for traditional watchmaking, Audemars Piguet staff were renowned for their dedication to craftsmanship, paving the way for models of the future.

Speaking of the brand’s commitment to harbouring the skills of times gone by Oliver Audemars, Vice President of the Board, said: “Audemars Piguet is more than a company. It remains independent and family owned, responsible for the transformation of knowledge and know-how to the future generations. Here in Le Brauss, where it all started in 1875.”

And while the future remains bright, with chapters of continued excellence still to be written, the luxury timepieces brought to life by the creative artisans of Audemars Piguet are still crafted where the brand’s founding fathers took up tools.

 

Audemars Piguet Buying Guide

 

 

Craftsmanship

Tradition and avant-garde are intertwined at Audemars Piguet, where impeccable craftsmanship is ingrained in the brand’s DNA. The brand understands that in order to break the rules, one must master them first and over the years has pledged to make every second count – surpassing the technical and theoretical boundaries to create ever more demanding mechanisms.

As the world of Haute Horlogerie continues to evolve, so too does Audemars Piguet with artisan watchmakers continuing to grow and develop whilst remaining true to the brand’s rich heritage. And it all begins with an idea – putting pen to paper and allowing creativity to flow. At Audemars Piguet watch designers are considered to be artists, however, each designer must factor in technical limitations that could lie ahead – meaning that foresight is perhaps their biggest ally when creating timepieces of the future. A computer aided design follows, moving from paper to screen to create a 3D image, allowing the designer to work to scale and taking every detail into consideration before a wax model is made. Every AP watch is reflective of the era in which it was created, often anticipating design evolutions to come. From the Art Deco designs of the 1920s to the dramatic bracelet watches of the 1960s, the design evolution of Audemars Piguet is undeniable.

Every Audemars Piguet luxury watch is a technical masterpiece, with assembly a painstaking process. Artisan watchmakers continually pay homage to ancient techniques of the past, keeping time honoured skills alive. All AP watches are crafted by hand on the extra thin instantaneous date calibre 2121 on a daily basis, pinning up the spring to the collet, pinning up to the stud on the balance cock and fitting the balance spring. Meanwhile, crafting the mechanical movement is also a work of art, with the pre-assembly jewelling process vital to ensuring smooth running of the calibre. When the time comes to complete the chasing up process, every watch undergoes a further month of testing to ensure perfection.

 

Audemars Piguet Buying Guide

 

 

Iconic Models

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Royal Oak

First unveiled in 1972 the Royal Oak was heralded as the world’s first luxury sports watch made in stainless steel. Designed by Gerald Genta, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak overturned the prevailing rules of watchmaking, entering a new era of watch design and manufacture. A horological icon, it features a self-wining movement while the central rotor was the thinnest in the world.

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Royal Oak Offshore

A timepiece not afraid to make an impression, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore a dream of designer Emmanuel Guiet in 1989. The bigger, bolder and more daring brother of the Royal Oak this 42mm model was introduced at Baselworld 1993 and nicknamed ‘The Beast’ due to its impressive proportions. There are now 120 different variations of the watch that wasn’t afraid to challenge industry standards and expectations.

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Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin

This model is the world’s thinnest self-winding perpetual calendar at just 6.20mm – a new watchmaking record. Master craftsmen and women worked tirelessly to re-engineer the three storey movement into a single 2.89mm, making it ultra-thin while combining and rearranging functions to boost efficiency, robustness and reliability.

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Royal Oak Frosted Gold

To celebrate 40 years of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for ladies the brand unveiled a frosted gold design. A collaboration with respected jewellery designer Carolina Bucci the model features the ancient Florentine technique and shoes AP’s tradition of experimenting with jewellery techniques.

 

Ambassadors / Partnerships

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Art Basel

Audemars Piguet is known for its commitment to exploring the connection between artistic excellence and technical mastery. The brand has been a global Associate Partner of Art Basel since 2013, presenting innovative lounge concepts in the Collectors Lounge of Hong Kong, Basel and Miami. Opting to partner with collaborators who reinterpret the brand’s home in the Jura Mountains and its deep rooted history offers Audemars Piguet to share its passion for craftsmanship with the world.

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Golf

Over the years Audemars Piguet has developed friendships with leading golfers from around the world. Mastering skill and discipline of the game is a must for these sportsmen and reflective of the brand’s commitment to quality. AP is proud to have close working relationships with golfers including Wesley Bryan, Patrick Cantlay, Bud Cauley and Darren Clarke to name just a few.

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Tennis

With a shared passion for excellence, Audemars Piguet is proud to join forces with some of the world’s most respected celebrities. The brand has a close relationship with tennis ace Serena Williams, supporting her on her quest for victory on the court. Audemars Piguet also has a bond with fellow tennis player Stanisla Wawrinka, also known as Stan the Man’ who is a three time Grand Slam tournament winner, Olympic chmpion and Davis Cup winner.

 

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ROX Magazine

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