The History of Audemars Piguet Watches
A well-respected watch brand that blends tradition and innovation
Founded in 1875, Swiss brand Audemars Piguet combines tradition and innovation to create high-end watches of style and precision.
Switzerland has a proud history of quality watchmaking and, when it comes to horology, the country is synonymous with quality, precision and innovation. In fact, Switzerland is central to the luxury watch market and, over the centuries, has been the birthplace of many well-known watch brands, including high-end watchmaking company, Audemars Piguet.
Founded in 1875, Audemars Piguet started life as a partnership between two watchmakers – Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet. Prior to setting up the company, Audemars created complicated blank watch movements for other manufacturers to use, whereas Piguet specialised in the final regulation of watches. They found that their skills and knowledge complemented each other and they decided to go into business together, with Audemars taking responsibility for production and any technical aspects of the business, while Piguet concentrated on sales and management.
The cradle of high-end watchmaking
Both Piguet and Audemars were proud members of the network of artisans based in the Vallée de Joux – considered by many to be the cradle of high-end Swiss watchmaking. It is in this location that the two watchmakers decided to set up their first workshop, which they designed around a well to enable them to draw water from a spring nearby. The workshop grew slowly at first, with fewer than 50 people up until the mid-twentieth century, but has since more than doubled in size – reflecting the growing popularity of this luxury watch brand.
Dedication to excellence
From the very beginning, Audemars Piguet demonstrated a strong dedication to excellence. The company specialised in striking mechanisms, chronographs and astronomical complications, and is credited with creating the first repeater wristwatch in 1892. With excellent attention to detail and intricate quality control procedures, Audemars Piguet pushed technical and theoretical boundaries, becoming known for the creation of timepieces of exceptional precision and style. In fact, the company’s watchmaking expertise is so well-respected that luxury brands such as Cartier and Bulgari use Audemars Piguet movements in their own watches.
With more than 140 years’ horological experience, the Audemars Piguet philosophy is centred around marrying innovation and tradition to create rare and exciting pieces. Up until the 1950s, each Audemars Piguet watch was truly unique, placing them in extremely high demand. And even today, through its ‘model’ concept, the company remains committed to producing only very small series of watches which are created in line with the watchmaking traditions that the founders held dear.
Audemars Piguet today
Today, Audemars Piguet retains a strong link to its history and traditions. The company continues to operate out of Le Brassus in Switzerland and is the only high-end watch brand to still be owned and operated by its founding families. With a strong commitment to its founding principles, this independent, family-run business has seen continued success, generating over 900 million CHF in turnover last year. And with the owners’ ongoing commitment to quality and innovation, and the luxury watch market showing signs of resurgence, Audemars Piguet can continue to go from strength to strength.
Top Audemars Piguet watches under $50000