04/26/2024
 4 minutes

Audemars Piguet vs. Piaget – Which one rules?

By Barbara Korp
Audemars-Piguet-vs-Piaget-2-1

Audemars Piguet vs. Piaget – Which one rules?

Audemars Piguet and Piaget – not only their names, but also their histories, are similar. While Audemars Piguet was founded in 1875, Piaget’s heritage dates back to 1874. Both companies have an impressive past. They started out making pocket watches and soon turned to wristwatches, with Piaget focusing on ultra-thin timepieces and jewelry watches, and Audemars Piguet creating timepieces with highly sophisticated complications.

To this day, these two brands remain distinctly different in style and image: Audemars Piguet sells only in its exclusive boutiques, with long waiting lists to purchase one of its timepieces. Piaget, on the other hand, sells its watches at selected authorized dealers, with no waiting times to purchase one of its watches.

So which brand is more exciting and, dare we say, better? Our ultimate head-to-head will try to answer that question.

Design and Style

Audemars Piguet design is easy to put into words: influenced by the iconic Royal Oak. Ever since star designer Gérard Genta created it, it’s been the brand’s most popular model, and its popularity continues to grow, even now. Today, a large part of the Audemars Piguet collection borrows from this icon; whether sporty, elegant, or even nerdy, almost all AP models (except for their classic dress watches) all contain their fair share of Genta DNA.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Piaget on the other hand is all about the jet-set lifestyle. Whether its timepieces are set with fine jewels, ultra-thin, solid gold (or all of these at the same time), Piaget watches are head-turners. Not only are they elegant, they sparkle and shine as well. Piaget’s mastery of the art of jewelry making is truly second to none.

What both of these brands have in common is their high standards of quality, making every one of their watches a masterpiece. Feel drawn to the sporty elegance of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak? Fallen captive to the glittering Piaget jewelry watches? Simply listen to your heart, and choose the brand that fits your personality best.

Quality and Craftsmanship

It’s hard for me as a watch lover to make a call here. I mean, both of these watchmakers are masters of their craft, and they deliver resounding proof of what they can do with each and every timepiece. But to be fair, Audemars Piguet is truly one of the best watchmakers in the world, and for good reason.

AP has that special something that separates “very good” from “unique”. It’s what makes it possible to collaborate with masters of other trades, such as fine jewelry designer Carolina Bucci.

Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak Frosted Gold Carolina Bucci
Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak Frosted Gold Carolina Bucci

Watch Collections and Models

What both brands have in common is that their most famous collection is a sports watch: the iconic Royal Oak for Audemars Piguet and the Polo for Piaget. The Polo, as sporty and elegant as it is, is nowhere near as famous as the Royal Oak. In fact, the Royal Oak takes up so much of AP’s bandwidth that the only other line that does not include watches in the Royal Oak design language is the Code 11.59 collection of more traditional timepieces.

Piaget goes another direction. Along with the Polo, it features a wide selection of ladies and jewelry watches. You’ll find the Limelight or Altiplano collections, with extravagant pieces that blur the line between watchmaking and jewelry. The lack of a single icon in the Piaget catalog is more than made up for by its amazing variety and popularity among women.

Piaget Limelight
Piaget Limelight

Functionality and Technology

Even though the sports watch is the focal point of both of these brands, let’s not forget that they’re also masterpieces of craftsmanship, and anything but your everyday smartwatch. Watches from both brands are luxury products and require careful handling. No, you don’t need to handle them with velvet gloves or take them out of the safe only on special occasions. But it’s a good idea to leave them at home for your next tennis match, or any other activity where your wrist might get a jolt or two.

Both brands deliver exciting technology, with Audemars Piguet’s masterpiece automatic calibers, and Piaget’s perfection of wafer-thin movements. These watchmakers simply embody innovation. What I love about Piaget, for example, is how they keep outdoing themselves with the next thinner watch; their ultra-thin calibers are amazing and unparalleled, not even by Audemars Piguet.

Piaget Altiplano G0A39111
Ultra-thin: Piaget Altiplano G0A39111

Pricing and Value Retention

Prices can be a touchy issue when it comes to luxury watches. After all, can a mechanical watch really cost so much when smartphones tell the time with better accuracy? Nitpicking aside, you have to admit that both brands are worth their respective prices; they have a long, amazing heritage and exceptional craftsmanship, both of which are reflected in their prices. Piaget’s entry-level models are much more affordable than Audemars Piguet’s and more readily available, which in my opinion puts them ahead of AP when it comes to price.

In terms of price performance, however, Audemars Piguet is clearly ahead. Demand for certain AP models has become so strong, particularly in recent years, that their value increases basically the moment you’ve bought one. Piaget timepieces on the other hand have the advantage that you can walk into a dealer and buy them on the spot; you do not have to wait years to own one.

Summary: Audemars Piguet or Piaget?

Whether you choose Audemars Piguet or Piaget, you’re getting a true masterpiece. As a lover of sporty watches, Audemars Piguet will always be ahead of the game as far as I’m concerned. But should I ever change my style and want something more elegant, like a jewelry watch, Piaget will most likely be the brand I turn to first to find the next amazing luxury timepiece to add to my collection.


What do you think about this article?


About the Author

Barbara Korp

The moment I learned that watches were a lot more than just simple jewelry, I was hooked; I become enamored with the elegance of timekeeping. But there was one small hitch: most models were just too big for me to wear! That didn't discourage me, however. In fact, I developed quite a niche interest.

Read more

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