Audemars Piguet

'You, my Royal Oak, are the masterpiece of my career and the magical realisation of a childhood dream'Gérald Genta, designer

Audemars Piguet revolutionised the luxury watch market in the seventies with the Royal Oak, a flagship steel piece designed by Gérald Genta that pushed watch design to a new level. Forward thinking design and technology paired with second-to-none engineering have elevated Audemars Piguet to the frontline of modern watchmaking.

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Audemars Piguet History

The History of Audemars Piguet Watches

Today, Audemars Piguet is considered one of the top three horological brands in the world for quality, complexity and desirability. This kind of global respect is not earned overnight - it is the result of over one hundred years of hard work and dedication. In order to be a leader and not a follower, Audemars Piguet had to differentiate itself from its competitors, which means taking risks; risks that almost cost the company its own existence.

Le Brassus, 1875, in the heart of the Vallée de Joux. Two friends, Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet establish a workshop from which to make movements. Audemars produced and assembled movements whilst Piguet ensured that the completed movements were correctly regulated. The two friends made the Audemars Piguet name successful by being the best at what they did, and over time, the company began to grow, quickly becoming one of the largest watchmaking employers in Switzerland. Quality control was where Audemars Piguet excelled, and this allowed them to produce some stunningly complicated movements.

After the death of Audemars in 1918 and Piguet in 1919, the company continued to be one of the finest in watchmaking. The smallest minute repeater, the thinnest watch, the first skeleton watch; all these achievements boosted Audemars Piguet's reputation as being one of the very best. When the stock market crashed in the 1930's, however, many watchmakers were forced to the brink of collapse, and Audemars Piguet was one of them. The market for luxury goods had fallen flat virtually overnight.

This make-or-break scenario gave Audemars Piguet a chance to try something daring. The up-and-coming off-the-wall design talent that was Gérald Genta was hired to design a piece so bold and unique that it could have very easily sunk the name of Audemars Piguet into oblivion. Taking inspiration from the 1862 battleship, the HMS Royal Oak, Genta used the octagonal portholes as the basis of his case design, integrating the bracelet into it seamlessly. Compared to the period watches of the time, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was a futuristic, dynamic, angular shock to the system.

The biggest shock was not the watch itself, but the price. At its release in 1972, it cost more than every other Audemars Piguet watch and ten times that of the period Rolex Submariner, and so initial take-up was slow. This extreme pricing did, however, introduce a new level of super-premium luxury, being a product that only the most affluent could afford. Once the Royal Oak took, it took well, and in doing so it pulled Audemars Piguet out of the mire and back into financial success.

The Royal Oak evolved into the Royal Oak Offshore in 1993, a modern evolution of the watch that changed history for Audemars Piguet. The large, bold and often colourful Royal Oak Offshore has recreated the niche for super-luxury watches by raising the price bar once again, and opening the floodgates for other, new, super-premium brands to follow in its footsteps. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore can be summed up partly by its use of exotic materials and by its inflated proportions, but mainly for its quality and watchmaking excellence that has run through the DNA of Audemars Piguet since its very beginning.

Audemars Piguet Series

Audemars Piguet Classique Perpetual Calendar

The perpetual calendar is one of the most complex and useful functions in watchmaking history, displaying the day, date, month and year, but... read more

Audemars Piguet Danae

The 2004 Audemars Piguet Danae is a reincarnation of a watch from 1919 that plays with the concept of concealing time. The large, square case... read more

Audemars Piguet Deva

2004 was the 'Femmes du Monde' year for Audemars Piguet, and to celebrate this they introduced the Deva collection. Smart, elegant and... read more

Audemars Piguet Edward Piguet

Of the partnership formed in Le Brassus in 1875 that formed Audemars Piguet, the half that was Edward Piguet was the half that regulated the... read more

Audemars Piguet Givrine

The mystical, elemental femininity that shrouds the Audemars Piguet Givrine is as eye catching and alluring as the dancing tongues of flame upon... read more

Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars

The simple, elegant and subtle round case of the Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars collection does not shout about the wonders that lie within; like... read more

Audemars Piguet Millenary

Binding classical watchmaking tradition with modern creativity, the Audemars Piguet Millenary is as playful and unique as it is mesmerising to... read more

Audemars Piguet Promesse

The elegance and power of femininity is embodied in the slender, sensually curved case of the Audemars Piguet Promesse, a shining, diamond-set... read more

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

The original 1972 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was designed by Gérald Genta as a last-chance effort to pull Audemars Piguet out from the Great... read more

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore collection, first introduced in 1993 and designed by Emmanuel Gueit, is the next step in the evolution... read more

Audemars Piguet Tradition

Inspired by the early pocket watches and cushion-cased wrist watches, the Audemars Piguet Tradition collection embraces vintage design inside... read more

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