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Audemars Piguet History

Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet found a manufactory in Le Brassus, Switzerland. Right from the start, their focus is on complex mechanisms of great beauty. Initially supplying exquisite movements to luxury watch companies including Tiffany & Co and Guebelin, Jules-Louis and Edward-Auguste soon make the move to creating their own complete timepieces.

The pair naturally split their labour: Jules-Louis creates the movements, and Edward-Auguste finishes them, ensuring they are perfectly regulated.

Audemars Piguet et Cie is officially founded.

The Audemars Piguet tradition of including all members of the two families on the board is started. Audemars Piguet et Cie begins to produce watches with significant complications.

Audemars Piguet opens its first Geneva manufactory.

Audemars Piguet premiers the world’s first minute repeater.

The brand begins to make wristwatches.

A new, larger manufactory is created to house a growing workforce.

Jules-Edward Audemars dies. Paul-Louis Audemars, his son, and Paul-Edward Piguet, son of Edward-Auguste, take over the running of the company. The two Pauls are responsible for the creation of the world’s first skeletonised pocket watch, and the thinnest pocket watch movement ever created.

Edward-Auguste Piguet dies.

Audemars Piguet creates the first jumping hour display on a watch. The brand also launches a range of fine ladies’ watches, set with precious stones.

The Wall Street Crash threatens the existence of the company. By the time Jacques-Louis Audemars takes over the business, it has only two employees.

Jacques-Louis Audemars takes the reins.

Audemars Piguet develops the smallest mechanical calibre in history.

Audemars Piguet makes a debut appearance at the Basel Fair (now Baselworld).

The brand launches the world’s first perpetual calendar wristwatch.

Audemars Piguet premiers the world’s thinnest automatic movement. The movement features a gold central rotor.

Audemars Piguet’s masterwork, the Royal Oak, is born. The groundbreaking steel watch is designed overnight by watchmaking legend Gerald Genta. Its shape will come to define the luxury sports watch.

Audemars Piguet releases another world first: the first ever self-winding ultra-thin wristwatch to feature a second time zone. The tourbillon carriage inside this watch is, at the time, the smallest made in history.

The Royal Oak Offshore makes its debut. The Offshore, which will become the favourite watch of Arnold Schwarzenegger, is the world’s first sight of an outsize luxury watch. Its 42mm case gives it the nickname ‘The Beast’. Unusual materials for a luxury watch, including rubber and carbon, are incorporated into the design.

The brand launches the ‘Tradition’ family of complicated watches, showcasing some of the most innovative complications in modern horology. The 100,000th Royal Oak is sold.

Audemars Piguet releases the world’s first carbon-forged watch case.

The Royal Oak celebrates 40 years as a horological legend.

A new Royal Oak concept watch, codenamed RD1, is unveiled at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. The new concept features a never-before-seen interpretation of one of watchmaking’s most sought-after complications: the chime. RD1’s minute repeater is designed using the same principles as a Stradivarius violin. The Audemars Piguet manufacture simultaneously creates acoustic solutions designed to bypass the damping effect of waterproofing. The result is a luxury watch whose chime may be the clearest ever heard.

Here you can see the latest Audemars Piguet luxury watches in our current pre-owned luxury watch collection.

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