7 Things You Didn’t Know About Audemars Piguet
With brand ambassadors like Serena Williams and Stanislas Wawrinka, Audemars Piguet (AP) is the epitome of luxury. For more than a century, the brand has been producing high-end watches that have graced the wrists of A-list celebrities, entrepreneurs and even royalty. But the brand behind these watches is still a bit of a mystery to watch beginners.
Here are seven things that you didn’t know about Audemars Piguet.
1. AP Was Born in Vallée de Joux in 1875
The Audemars Piguet brand was born in 1875 in Le Brassus, nestled in the Vallée de Joux of Switzerland. Situated in the Jura Mountains, just north of Geneva, the valley provides all of the resources needed to help the luxury watches market grow and thrive, including rich forests and rocks from which iron can be extracted.
Audemars Piguet still crafts its watches by hand in Le Brassus. The company produces 40,000 timepieces each year and is an active member of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH.
2. Audemars Piguet is Still Family Owned and Operated
The famous luxury watch brand was founded by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet. Today, Audemars Piguet is the only luxury watchmaking company that is still owned and operated by its founding families.
Today, the fourth generation of Audemars, Jasmine Audemars and Olivier Frank Edward Audemars, are leading the company.
3. AP Perpetual Calendars Do Not Need Adjustment Until 2100 and 2200
WATCH: Michael Friedman and Lucas Raggi share the secrets behind the AP Perpetual Calendar.
AP watches with perpetual calendars have an incredibly complex and intricate construction, and do not require any adjustment until 2100 and 2200.
These calendars have a mechanical memory capable of mapping 48-month time cycles that automatically factor in months with 30 or 31 days. This complex mechanism can also adjust for the shortened month of February, even if it’s a leap year.
4. AP Still Uses Traditional Watch Assembly Practices
Every timepiece that leaves the Audemars Piguet’s workshop is assembled using traditional methods and by hand, from pinning the spring to the collet to fitting the balance spring.
Before assembly, master watchmakers must carry out the jewelling process, which plays a crucial role in ensuring that the calibre runs smoothly.
The jewelling and assembly process is painstakingly carried out over weeks and sometimes months.
WATCH: Take a tour inside Audemars Piguet Traditional Assembly Line
5. The Royal Oak Transformed Luxury Sports Watches
In 1972, Audemars Piguet released The Royal Oak, a luxury sports watch crafted with stainless steel. It was the first of its kind and transformed the industry. The watch featured self-winding movement as well as a central rotor that was the thinnest in the world. Other innovative features include an octagonal bezel and a wristband that integrates seamlessly into the case.
WATCH: 1972 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 5402 A-Series Ultra Thin
6. Audemars Piguet Has Many “World First” Achievements
Innovation has always been a cornerstone of AP. The brand’s ability to push boundaries and innovate has helped them achieve many world-firsts, including:
- 1892: The world’s first wristwatch minute repeater.
- 1921: World’s smallest repeater (15.8 mm).
- 1955: World’s first wristwatch with a perpetual calendar.
- 1986: World’s first self-winding tourbillon wristwatch. It was also the world’s thinnest and smallest tourbillion wristwatch.
- 2015: World’s first laptimer chronograph.
7. The Brand Offers Complete Maintenance Service
AP watches are crafted by master watchmakers who take great care to create each piece with precision and artistry. To help ensure that each timepiece continues to operate properly and efficiently, they offer complete maintenance services. Watches are examined by master watchmakers prior to servicing, which is carried out quickly and efficiently.
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