In 1875, the 24-year-old watchmaker Jules Louis Audemar joined the then 22-year-old Edward August Piguet in establishing their watchmaking workshop in their hometown. Their home is located at the heart of the village of Le Brassus, North of Geneva, Switzerland. It is also home to some of the finest watchmakers in the region. Their strong belief in the skills of their community gave birth to the renowned Audemars Piguet timepieces.
Built on Tradition of Unique Craftsmanship
In this region, the art of horology was mastered by farmers who initially learned and practiced it during the winter season only. But as the place became renowned for its skilled watchmakers, they converted their farmhouses into ateliers, where the finest specialist parts are used to create timepieces manufactured by hand.
The founders of the company initially worked independently of each other. Audemar’s expertise was in creating exquisite designs, while Piguet focused more on performing the quality inspection and final assessment of the product produced in their factory. In essence, Audemar took over production while Piguet went out to market and sell their products. Despite the advent of industrialization, Jules and Edward focused on nurturing their artisans’ talent and started mass-producing handmade watches. They focused on creating complicated mechanisms by hand. Their designs combined traditional elegance blended with current trends in art and fashion.
Their work was first recognized with the development of the first-minute repeater timepiece. It was called “Grande Complication” and was introduced to the market in 1899. It had 7 different unique features like perpetual calendar, grand and small strike, and minute repeater on a set of three gongs. Because of the popularity of “Grande Complication”, they needed to expand their company operations. They built their first factory in 1907 next to the original farmhouse where they started.
In 1915, they developed the smallest 5-minute repeater caliber measuring 1.32mm. In 1934 they developed the very first skeletonized pocket watch. They also developed the thinnest wristwatch in 1946. They had 30 artisans working for them during that time, but when they started to become famous, the numbers grew to 100.
The Birth of the Royal Sports Watch
Their timepieces became well known in the sports world with their first high-end sports watch introduced to the market in 1972. The production of this watch not only revolutionized the design of sports watches but gave birth to the use of steel in manufacturing luxury timepieces. This metal was combined with white gold screws and an octagonal steel bezel that is still present in the timepieces under The Royal Oak design. It was the very first watch that combined the demanding world of sports with the need for finesse in luxury timepieces.
This attention to great original designs has further increased the popularity of the brand, thus ushering in a new era in the company. The growth continued as a result. At present, the Audemars Piguet company has more than 2,000 employees distributed over different manufacturing sites in the region.
The Holy Trinity of Watch Manufacturers
The Audemars Piguet watch manufacturing company is one of the top three or “The Holy Trinity” of luxury watchmakers in the whole world. They were recognized alongside Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. These three leaders in the watch industry were acclaimed for the use of top-quality materials in producing watches. They are also famous for their long history of producing top-of-the-line watches and for consistency in the craftsmanship used in manufacturing their product. Their brand name is not as popular as those of mainstream brands. Yet, they are most commonly associated with top luxury brands in fashion, such as Cartier in Paris and Tiffany in New York, who to this date sell the Audemars Piguet brand.
The Best Features of the Brand
Audemars Piguet watches are renowned for their dedication to fine craftsmanship and strict attention to the aesthetic details of the timepieces that they make. The company is very meticulous in checking from the biggest to the smallest details of their timepieces. This type of attention is one of a kind in the industry. The finishing and engraving found in the watches is proof of their focus on quality, bringing them fame in the watch manufacturing arena.
2. Measure of Accuracy
AP watches, unlike quartz timepieces, follow several quality standards to define accuracy and precision. To them, it depends on the length of time between the time the watch was bought and the date it was last serviced. It is also based on the model of the watch and how active is the lifestyle of the owner. Accuracy and precision will also be measured by the way the owner is safeguarding the watch. They follow a strict rule in winding, adjusting, and safekeeping their watches, as found in the instructions that are placed in each box.
Being in the luxury watch market, the brand is considered one of the most expensive around. Their price point is driven by the popularity of the brand in the luxury market segment. In terms of resale value, the AP brand is on average compared to Rolex and Patek Philippe. (Rolex is the most popular Swiss watch brand at the moment and garners the highest resale value in the market).
Choose Audemar Piguet
These are the reasons the Audemars Piguet company is hailed for their master craftsmanship in timepieces for over 130 years. Every piece they sell in the market is a product of meticulous handicraft and design by the top watchmakers in the world. Each part is strictly assessed and retouched to ensure that no sign of imperfection is seen. They are the master of innovation in design after introducing the concept of combining unique metals such as carbon titanium and precious gems such as diamonds to create collectible masterpieces.
It is indeed a privilege to own one – the only question is: are you ready to buy one?