Founded in 1875, Audemars Piguet has since been responsible for creating and manufacturing some of the world’s finest luxury watches. In addition to being the world’s oldest watch manufacturer, the company continues to thrive today and is widely considered to be among the top tier of watchmaking manufacturers. The company is the product of partners Jules Audemars and Edward-August Piguet, who met at the age of 21 in the Vallee de Joux. Both had completed training to become watchmakers and were seeking jobs in the local industry. After their initial meeting in 1875, Audemars and Piguet decided to combine their talents to found the company that would later be known as Audemars Piguet. In the beginning, Audemars was responsible for the production and technical sides of the business, while Piguet was in charge of sales.
Audemars Piguet watches have always been known for their craftsmanship and precision. This tradition started back in the late 1800s, when the partners were just starting out. It is interesting to note that between 1894 and 1899, only 1,208 watches were produced. This is a testament to the quality and care that the partners took in creating each and every watch for their line. During those five years, Audemars and Piguet created the “Grande Complication” series, which is a very widely known model that is still produced today. Not only does a Grande Complication watch offer normal time indication, it also features minute repetition, perpetual calendar, and chronograph. Today, Audemars Piguet watches are still considered to be one of the most exclusive brands on the market. The company is revered as a classic and prestigious maker of precise timepieces. It is actually referenced several times in current songs by artists such as Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, and Jim Jones, who are also known to have used Audemars Piguet watches.
The Legacy of Audemars Piguet
Though the founding partners (Audemars and Piguet) died before 1920, their legacy and commitment to excellence lives on. Shortly after the death of the founders, the company set the world record for the smallest five-minute repeater movement ever. The record remains unchallenged to this day. In 1921, the company created the first jumping-hour wristwatch driven by calibre HPVM10’’ and in 1946, the caliber 9’’ ML (1.64 mm thick), which in turn enabled Audemars Piguet to create the world’s smallest hand-wound movement for a wristwatch. The great-grandchildren of Audemars and Piguet currently head the company and ensure the continuity of its legacy.
The Audemars Piguet Collections
Even though the company has enjoyed substantial success, Audemars Piguet watches are still crafted by hand. Numerous pieces in the collection have enjoyed lasting success. Perhaps the most notable of these is the Royal Oak design, which was named after the famous “royal oak” that was hollowed out and served as a haven for King Charles II. The Royal Oak is not only the most popular selection of the Audemars Piguet watches, it is also considered to be one of the finest luxury sports watches on the market today.
Audemars Piguet at Wingate’s
Wingate’s is proud to offer a selection of both fine never worn and used Audemars Piguet watches for men and women including several varieties of: Gold Coin, Jules Audemars, Millenary, Royal Oak, and Tourbillon.
Audemars Piguet, leading the watch making industry
Audemars Piguet watches stand out among all other watches not just for their superior design and unparalleled quality. They stand out because they represent so many “firsts” in the watch-making business. The release of the Royal Oak watch in 1972, for example, was a bold move. The steel sports watch was the first such timepiece released by a high-end watchmaker. The self-winding Royal Oak features a second time zone. And for the active man who needs and wants everything, the Royal Oak Grande Complication includes a perpetual calendar, phases of the moon, minute repeater, chronograph, and is water resistant to 20 meters.
The uniqueness of Audemars Piguet watches is evident in its continued line of fine pocket watches. Unlike most other makers of fine, high-end watches who have discontinued pocket watch production, Audemars Piguet continues to offer its classic Grande Complication pocket watch, with a perpetual calendar and split-second chronograph.
Modern design and classic beauty
Audemars Piguet’s designers retain the classic beauty of their timeless pieces in each and every design, while incorporating modern, striking designs that make the watch truly unique. More traditional elements can be seen in their classic designs and the Grande Complication pocket watch, but one look at their stunning Millenary watch reveals a deeper, more modern design that is worthy of the most stylish wearer. The Millenary’s design adds a touch of flair and creativity to any outfit, and can be used for both casual or formal dress.
The Millenary Chalcedony Tourbillon, one of the latest in this series, reveals new heights in creativity and innovation. This Audemars Piguet watch, with a stingray band, features a soft pink gold case and incorporates the delightfully light bluish tints of chalcedony that can be seen directly through the surface. The openworks display gives you a fascinating look at the inner workings.
Ladies’ watches in this series are true works of art, and the Millenary Précieuse line is one of the most glamorous pieces available for women available today. You can complete the set with the matching choker, earrings and ring. Audemars Piguet watches in ladies’ designs are not limited to the Précieuse however, and a beautiful version of the Royal Oak for women adds a touch of class to any wardrobe. Still others are strictly for the ladies, with fabulous and feminine designs ranging from the diamond-studded Deva, to the finely-crafted designs of the Danae, and the delicate Givrine.
Audemars Piguet in the Community
Audemars Piguet has come to be known as one of the oldest and finest watch makers in Switzerland, but they are also very well known for their sponsorship of events such as classic car rallies, and the landmark Gstaad Classic, an auto race for collector’s cars made prior to 1976. Audemars Piguet has created a special edition Royal Oak Offshore to commemorate the event. Audemars Piguet is also the title sponsor of the International Polo 2009 tournament, as well as the fascinating elephant polo event held in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Audemars Piguet is also very well known by those close to the movie industry. The Audemars Piguet watch is worn by many well-known movie stars, and the company is also a presenting sponsor of the Tony Awards. One well-known example, Arnold Schwarzenegger helped developed an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore T3 Chronograph for his role in the film Terminator 3.