A History of Audemars Piguet Watches

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A History of Audemars Piguet Watches

In 1875, Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet joined forces to produce watches with complex mechanisms. Based in La Brassus in the heart of Vallée de Joux in the Swiss Jura region, Audemars Piguet has been creating and marketing under its own name a range of Haute Horlogerie watches.

Jules-Louis took control of the technical management of the company, while his associate Edward took charge of sales.

Through World War I and the Great Depression the company managed to develop and despite the harsh economic situation at that time, mainly due to the production of ultra thin and ladies wristwatches. However, despite their survival through this difficult period, production was severely hit. In 1932, they produced only 2 watches compared to nearly 2000 in 1920, resulting in the workforce being reduced.

After the Second World War, the company reorganised and created a new line of watches that were more accessible. In the period of the 1950s - 1960s the company saw a big increase in sales. In 1967 they produced the thinnest automatic movement and three years later produced the world's thinnest movement to include a date display.

In 1972 Audemars Piguet launched the worlds first high end sports watch in stainless steel - The Royal Oak. The watch launched at the Basel watch fair was a radical departure from the current watch trends. The unique octagonal bezel was a revolutionary shape in watchmaking. The shape was inspired by the HMS Royal Oak, the first armoured British warship built in 1862. A small detail of this ship was the octagonal portholes with exterior frames secured with visible bolts.

The industry reacted with scepticism at the market launch, but soon the critics fell silent as the Royal Oak was a success beyond expectations. Today, it is synonymous with the name Audemars Piguet

Arguably among the finest luxury watch manufacturers in the world, Audemars Piguet boasts a history that is rich with tradition. One of only a handful of watch companies that produces and assembles its own movements and complete timepieces.

Today, Audemars Piguet continues to produce stunning timepieces and has collaborated with numerous sportspeople to produce limited edition timepieces. Sporting ambassadors have included Juan Pablo Montoya, Rubens Barrichello (Formula 1) Nick Faldo, Vijay Singh, Darren Clarke (Golf) Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar (Cricket). Audemars Piguet also continues to sponsor Yachting and Motorsports events.

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