Audemars Piguet is an independent Swiss manufacturer that was founded in 1875 by watchmakers Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet. They set up their business in the Vallée de Joux, north of Geneva, in the cradle of high-end Swiss watchmaking. This ruggedly beautiful region is nestled in the Jura Mountains and offers natural resources such as forests, water, ice and rocks from which iron ore could be extracted. This ore gave early watchmakers the means for the watch industry to evolve and thrive. Today this breath-taking landscape provides inspiration for the brand’s employees.
Descendants of both families remain on the board of directors today, making it the oldest watchmaker managed by its founding families.
The company was the first to create a high-end sports watch in steel when gold was the luxury standard. Named the Royal Oak, the collection was criticized for its use of non-precious metal, and yet 46 years on, it remains the brand’s best-seller today.
In 2019 Audemars Piguet launched a new collection: The Code 11.59, the first important new collection in over 20 years with 13 new references, six new models and three brand-new calibers, including a long-awaited new manufacture integrated chronograph. This new pillar of Audemars Piguet is an acronym (see below).
C for Challenge – Challenge the limits of craftsmanship
O for Own – Our roots and legacy
D for Dare – Follow convictions
E for Evolve – Never stand still
11:59 – The last minute before a new day
Five interesting facts about audemars piguet
1 – founded in 1858
Audemars Piguet produced the world’s first wristwatch with a minute repeater (hourly chiming function) back in 1858.
2 – the royal oak collection
The Royal Oak collection was named after a British battleship the HMS Royal Oak, which was made out of the wood from a tree within which the future King Charles II hid to escape the Roundheads during the Battle of Worchester in 1651.
3 – Gerald Genta
The Royal Oak’s designer, Gerald Genta (1931-2011), came up with the iconic octagonal bezel after seeing a diver come out of Lake Geneva with his riveted helmet on that was attached to his wetsuit by eight screws. Genta translated this design into an octagonal watch with eight screws on the bezel. This octagonal design has remained a feature of the collection almost 50 years on. The Royal Oak was the first stainless steel timepiece to be marketed as a luxury watch. At the time of its release in the early 1970s, men wore gold watches for their dressier needs and steel watches for sport. In spite of mixed reviews at the time of its launch, it went on to be a huge success and has continued to be a start collection for the brand today.
4 – limited production
Only 32,000 watches are made per year and there is no desire to increase this number, keeping Audemars Piguet watches exclusive.
5 – celebrities who wear Audemars piguet
Famous people spotted wearing Audemars Piguet include Lebron James, Jay Z, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Don Cheadle, Usher, Adrien Brody, James Corden and Serena Williams among others.