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 in the cradle of high-end Swiss watchmaking. This ruggedly beautiful region offered many natural resources including iron ore that gave these early watchmakers the means to evolve and thrive. Today this breath-taking landscape provides inspiration for the brand’s employees.
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 a non-precious metal, and yet half a century on, it remains the brand’s best-seller.
Descendants of both families remain on the board of directors today, making it the oldest watchmaker managed by its founding families.
Five interesting facts about Audemars Piguet
- Audemars Piguet produced the world’s first wristwatch with a minute repeater back in 1858.
- 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.
- 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 a riveted helmet that was attached to his wetsuit by eight screws.
- Only 40,000 watches are made per year and there is no desire to increase this number, keeping Audemars Piguet watches exclusive.
- 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.
Brand ID Card
Company status: Independent company
Senior Management: François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO
Number of employees: 1,600
– Royal Oak
– Royal Oak Offshore
– Royal Oak Concept
– CODE 11.59 by Audemars Piguet
– Royal Oak (ST) 41 mm
– Royal Oak Chronograph (ST) 41 mm
– Royal Oak Offshore 44 mm
Retail prices in USD: From USD 21,000 to 50,000 (excluding exceptional pieces and limited editions)
Annual production: 40,000 pieces