There are very few luxury brands that make a mark in the pages of history and remain relevant in present times. Of these, Audemars Piguet stands tall with its pioneering qualities of innovation, independence and a tradition of creating avant-garde designs. The prestigious brand has reached unprecedented heights under the tutelage of François-Henry Bennahmias who heads the company as CEO.
Conceived in a quaint agrarian village in the vallée de Joux of the Jura Mountains in Switzerland, founders Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet started the atelier’s journey in 1875. Along with a network of artisans experienced in the art of creating exquisite mechanisms, astronomical complications and precise chronographs that form the domain of the brand till today, they made Audemars Piguet an iconic name synonymous with creating Haute horological wonders.
Before Audemars Piguet introduced the ‘model’ concept in 1951, every watch created by the brand was unique and more often than not carried at least one complication. The tradition of including complications dates back to skilled farmers of Le Brassus, dedicating the long winter months to the production of watch parts from the iron ore found in the region. To keep in touch with their roots, Audemars Piguet still uses 100-year-old machines during the manufacturing process.
One of the most important aspects of Audemars Piguet is its ability to innovate and push the boundaries of what a timepiece can achieve, just like its introduction of luxury sports watches in the world. Every creation embodies the essence of Swiss watch-making and a unique savoir-faire that the family-owned Manufacture d’Horlogerie stands for.
Combining its innate abilities honed by practices long gone and modern aesthetics, it has set world records & world firsts that dot the glorious pages of the brand’s history. Here’s a timeline of the brand’s many achievements:
1892 – World’s first wristwatch minute repeater
1899 – Ultra-complicated “Universelle” watch
1921 – World’s smallest repeater
1955 – World’s first perpetual calendar wristwatch with leap year display, day, peripheral date, month and moon phases
1986 – World’s first self-winding tourbillon wristwatch
2015 – World’s first lap-timer chronograph
Audemars Piguet continues to produce designs in limited numbers thus maintaining its presence of exclusivity and reverence in the world. The brand’s new releases are just as sought-after as its vintage creations that are sold in distinguished auction houses. Its timepieces elicit wonder in both, watch connoisseurs and those who are investing in their first watch. Iconic series like The Royal Oak, Millenary, Classique and Haute Joaillerie; are the true testimony of the brand’s pursuit of excellence.
As the brand positions itself as a master of its craft, it breaks the shackles of rules to deliver creations that leave Le Brassus and adorn the wrists of those who greet time and make their own path in the world.