Audemars Piguet – one of the world’s most celebrated timepiece manufacturers – dates back to 1875. Two young men founded the company: Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet. The duo, both natives of Le Brassus, Switzerland, settled in Vallée de Joux upon graduating from school in 1874. There they joined the watch manufacturing industry where they honed their skills. While Audemars specialized in the production of component parts, his counterpart, Piguet, focused on the final regulation of the timepiece. The firm they founded was originally known as Audemars, Piguet et Cie. The registration of the Audemars Piguet trademark took place in 1882. Since that time, members of their respective families have managed the company, directly or indirectly.
Audemars Piguet was officially founded seven years later and it became a major employer in southwestern Switzerland. Following the institution of direct supervision and strict quality measures, Audemars Piguet opened a branch – its first – in Geneva, in 1889. Audemars Piguet created its own components and assembled them within its factories. From 1894 to 1899, Audemars Piguet produced over 1,000 timepieces, among them intricate and complex watches. The Audemars Piguet company realized a steady growth even after the demise of Audemars in 1918 and Piguet the following year. The Audemars Piguet name became even more famous with ustomers such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co. and Bulgari playing a role in the success of Audemars Piguet. They re-branded and sold Audemars Piguet watches under their own brand names. Audemars Piguet is credited for various achievements including the following: creation of the world’s smallest minute repeater, creation of a jumping second-hand pocket watch, creation of the world’s thinnest pocket watch (1925) and creation of the world’s first skeleton watch in 1928.
Although it experienced difficult times during the Great Depression and the Second World War, Audemars Piguet survived and bounced back in the 1940s and 1950s. Today Audemars Piguet is one of the biggest watchmakers in Switzerland. Audemars Piguet remains true to its tradition of using handmade techniques for the best quality, and produces well over 25,000 timepieces every year.
Audemars Piguet is known for its six popular watch models namely, the Royal Oak, Royal Oak Offshore, Millenary, Jules Audemars, Tradition and the Classique. The Royal Oak was designed by Gérald Genta in 1972. It was revolutionary since Audemars Piguet made it out of stainless steel rather than gold. Its most recognizable feature is its state-of-the-art engineered strongbox case. It also has an octagonal bezel secured by eight hexagonal screws. Moreover, it has visible water-resistant gaskets and its dial is adorned with an exclusive motif. Its collection consists of various watches, which include the following: Self-winding, Day & Date, Dual Time, Chronograph, Perpetual Calendar, Equation of Time, Tourbillon, Tourbillon Chronograph, Grand Complication and Leo Messi.
The Royal Oak Offshore model is a magnificent luxury sports watch. The components of this popular Audemars Piguet product are large and distinct. Audemars Piguet uses high-tech materials such as ceramic, forged carbon and Grade 5 Titanium to manufacture it. The model is engineered in such a way that it can resist damage from magnetic waves. Its collection includes rare watches like the Arnold Schwarzenegger Legacy Chronograph and the Chronograph Michael Schumacher alongside less limited models like the Self-winding and Grande Complication, among others. The Millenary model, designed by Octavio Garcia, is unique because of its oval shape. Its design allows room for Audemars Piguet to reveal the intricate hand-finished inner workings. Watches under this model include the Chronograph, the Tourbillon and the Minute Repeater with AP Escapement.
The Jules Audemars collection consists of magnificent watches characterized by round cases, understated dials and streamlined bezels. Models include the Extra-Thin, Moon-Phase Calendar, Dual Time, Chronograph and the Large Date Tourbillon. Audemars Piguet unveiled the Tradition collection in 2008. It derives its inspiration from a 1923 cushion-shaped pocket watch. Among its prominent features are cambered bezels and emblematic lines. Popular watches under this collection include the Traditional Extra-Thin, Traditional Perpetual Calendar, Traditional Perpetual Calendar Minute Repeater and the Minute Repeater Tourbillon Chronograph. Last, but not least, is the Classique collection, which comprises brilliant and complex pocket watches. Watches from this collection consist of magnificent in-house calibers with rare horological complications and include the Classique Grand Complication Pocket Watch and the Classique Clous De Paris.
Audemars Piguet watches are a major hit with the rich and famous around the world including renowned sportsmen. Indeed, Audemars Piguet products have been endorsed by popular and successful sports figures including Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Novak Djokovic, Michael Schumacher and Sachin Tendulkar, to name a few.