Discover the world of Audemars Piguet watches at Wrist Aficionado
Audemars Piguet Watches holds a rather special position in the Swiss watchmaking industry, and since 1875, they have been producing exquisite watches & movements. The 1972 sports model by Audemars Piguet changed the world of luxury watches and became one of the most famous watch designs of the century. Today, the flagship model of the Audemars Piguet brand is the Royal Oak.
It was the year 1875 when Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet laid down the foundation for one of the major brands in the Swiss watchmaking industry. To this day, the company remains independent and is led by its founding families. Celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger & Michael Schumacher have worn Audemars Piguet watches for decades. Audemars Piguet presented the Royal Oak in 1972, which was the first steel sports watch of Haute Horlogerie.
Audemars Piguet (AP) watches use a unique selection of materials that are simply breath-taking and combine it with a high affinity towards the arts & crafts. In essence, the brand symbolizes a unique approach to the art of watchmaking. Following a long-running heritage of making mechanical watches the way they are supposed to be made, all Audemars Piguet watches are manufactured using the finest materials and cutting-edge technology.
Each watch under the brand’s roof is an object of sheer excellence as it’s made with the utmost care under the most suitable conditions to produce. AP is all about delivering excellent watches by perfecting the craft, and when we talk about Audemars Piguet watches for men, the Royal Oak is undeniably the brand’s most popular offering. On the other hand, although launched initially for men, the Audemars Piguet Millenary & the Royal Oak are today formidable contenders in the luxury watches for the women segment too.
The History of the Unique Manufacturer
Audemars Piguet’s history stretches back to over 140 years. In 1875, shortly after completing his education as a ‘repasseur’ (or inspector), Jules-Louis Audemars founded AP in Le Brassus, Switzerland. A repasseur conducts the final inspection of a watch before it leaves the manufacturer, and he/she corrects any mistakes and assembles the parts so that they function. Le Brassus is located in the Vallée de Joux, a Swiss valley, known for being home to many world-renowned watch manufacturers, such as Jaeger-LeCoultre, Blancpain, and Breguet.
From the start, they have been pushing innovation forward while defying convention and creating mechanical masterpieces. Some of their first work consisted of intricate pocket watches that featured a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar, and a chronograph function. In 1889, when they were still relatively new to the scene, their “Grande Complication” pocket watch won a medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris.
By 1891, Audemars Piguet built the world’s smallest movement with a minute repeater - clocking in at just 18mm. To date, it is still the smallest minute repeated on the planet. Also, in 1934 the company developed the first skeleton watch. They later went on to manufacture watches, which were the thinnest in the world, like the ultra-thin automatic tourbillon wristwatch, which came out in 1986. In 1972, the company introduced the Royal Oak wristwatch, which helped AP rise to fame within the watchmaking industry.
Revolutionary Pioneer of the Watch Industry
Luxury watches from AP are some of the best in the world. The brand is considered as one of the “Big Three” of the Swiss watch industry, alongside Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe.
The Le Brassus-based brand’s most famous model is the Royal Oak. When it arrived in 1972, it turned the world of luxury watches on its head, as at over 3,600 Swiss francs at the time, these distinct stainless steel watches cost just as much as a gold watch. This model established the luxury sports watch genre, which includes the Patek Philippe Nautilus today.
In 2018, with the Royal Oak RD#2, which is the world’s flattest automatic watch with a perpetual calendar, Audemars Piguet made watchmaking history once again.
‘The Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph’ is yet another highlight from Audemars Piguet. From 2018 versions of this watch came with a skeletonized dial in stainless steel or rose gold. They are exceptionally rare, as each version is limited to 50 pieces. Along with the timepiece itself, the power reserve of the in-house caliber 2947 is quite impressive, and it lasts seven days when fully wound.
Audemars Piguet believes - Rules are meant to be broken
Audemars Piguet is among the few independent watch manufacturers out there who are still praised with worldwide adoration. No matter if it is London, Singapore, or Berlin – The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is recognized for its perfection around the globe.
Along with the Royal Oak flagship model, Audemars Piguet creates many other popular collections. The Jules line offers a classic design, whereas a striking shape and skeletonized form characterize the Millenary series.
Further, the movements in the brand’s Millenary Line are unique as they are organized in such a way that they can be viewed through the skeletonized casings. Another unique model, which can now only be seen in the pre-owned market, is the Edward Piguet with an elegant rectangular case, which was the hallmark of this line. Audemars Piguet has long been established at the forefront of watchmaking as the horological perfection of the brand is second to none.
From Arnold Schwarzenegger to Michael Schumacher - It is a favorite among the rich and famous
Wrist Aficionados, Watch collectors, and several other celebrities who have fallen for the charm of the bold character watch avidly follow Audemars Piguet. Arnold Schwarzenegger sported a specially designed limited edition Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore in two films – “Terminator 3” and “End of Days.” Michael Schumacher, the Formula 1 legend, also owns a limited edition Royal Oak Offshore that the company created in his honor.
In 2012, the Royal Oak Concept Laptimer Michael Schumacher was presented, and the seven world championship titles of the legend himself were present on the watch in the form of seven stars. Other brand ambassadors include footballer Leo Messi and basketball player LeBron James.
Audemars Piguet promotes sustainable development and also involves itself in other environmental causes. The Audemars Piguet Foundation is also engaged in projects that raise awareness in children regarding sustainable development, environmental protection & reforestation objectives. Each Audemars Piguet watch that they sell contributes to financing the foundation.
Individuals around the world never hesitate to rely on precise timepieces, and Audemars Piguet as a brand stands for the luxury of the highest quality. Audemars Piguet doesn’t back away from a challenge either, a concept that is easily recognized in each timepiece created by them.
Why Buy an Audemars Piguet watch at Wrist Aficionado?
Aesthetics - Their effort in production can be seen since the movements, cases, and dials are a real eye-catcher, and are excellently processed and finely finished. Pure luxury in the truest sense of the word is an aesthetic exploration of what is possible in human craft and engineering.
Stylistic confidence - Another reason we at Wrist Aficionado would like to go for an Audemars Piguet watch is the bold & iconic style that makes it so intriguing. The company has taken many risks and left conventions behind to create something new.
High manufacturing standards – All their watches include a great deal of master craftsmanship, which has become rare even in the Swiss watch industry. Even today, the famous tapestry dials are only produced on machines that are up to 100 years old and by employees who are the most experienced.
Image - If a well-known Swiss watch brand perhaps deserves to be called a “luxury watch,” then it is probably Audemars Piguet. The brand displays sportiness as well as finesses that are not there in many other luxury watch brands.
Audemars Piguet’s most popular models
The Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet’s main watch is more than just a sports watch. It is a royal icon that redefined the whole watch market. People even began thinking that Audemars Piguet was insane when, during the quartz crisis, the company released a steel watch that cost as much as a gold watch by Patek Philippe. But the model struck like a bomb and created a whole new category of premium sports watches that were not in existence before.
With Royal Oak Offshore, Audemars Piguet released a reinterpretation of the Royal Oak itself. It was as daring as the original and shared the same attributes, such as being massive, oversized & martial. Many watch connoisseurs didn’t quite like it, but celebrities loved “the beast,” as it was known later. Meanwhile, the “offshore” is considered the watch par excellence.
As the first Royal Oak from the 70s, the Royal Oak Quartz model in plain stainless steel is also there. In contrast to the automatic movement, it doesn’t have to be moved regularly always to show the correct time.
The Audemars Piguet Classic Ultra-Thin is regarded as a true classic among vintage watches. It is very subtle and effortless and has fascinated entire generations. Thanks to its incredibly flat case, it can simply disappear under any shirt sleeve when needed.
Jules Audemars was the horological genius amongst the founding duo. He designed & assembled the highly sophisticated works of the young company. The most classic series by Audemars Piguet is named in his honor. Watches belonging to this series are subtle and are manufactured and finished to the highest quality standards.