Audemars Piguet is a Swiss watch manufacturer that was founded in 1875 by Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet. The company has been family owned since its inception and is currently run by the fourth generation of the Audemars family. Based in Le Brassus, Switzerland, Audemars Piguet is considered one of the most prestigious watch brands in the world. The brand’s timepieces are known for their intricate designs and complicated movements, and they are often used as status symbols by celebrities and other high-profile individuals. Before we dive into who some of those “high-profile individuals” have been over time, let’s learn more about the history of Audemars Piguet.
Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet were both only 23 years old when they founded the company. They met while working for another watchmaker in the Vallee de Joux and decided to start their own business together. In 1891, they moved to a new workshop in Le Locle where they began producing pocket watches with complications such as minute repeaters and chronographs. In 1925, Audemars Piguet released one of its most iconic watches: the Royal Oak. This model was designed by Gerald Genta and was unlike anything else on the market at the time – it featured an octagonal bezel made from steel instead of gold, which was very unusual for a luxury watch. The Royal Oak was an instant success and helped put Audemars Piguet on the map as one of the premier watchmakers in Switzerland.
Throughout its history, Audemars Piguet has been known for making watches for royalty and celebrity clients, as well as producing some of the most complicated mechanisms ever made. Audemars Piguet and Grace Kelly share a long-standing relationship that dates back to the actress receiving a watch from the Swiss manufacturer as a gift from her husband, Prince Rainier III of Monaco. In 1976, AP created the reference 6102 “Royal Oak” in honor of Kelly, which featured a unique diamond-set bezel. The two collaborated again in 1982 on another special edition timepiece known as the “Lady Royal Oak” quartz watch. Most recently, in 2015, Audemars Piguet released an updated version of the “Lady Royal Oak” with a new case design and movement. Other high-profile people who have worked with Audemars Piguet include Jackie Kennedy, Fidel Castro, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jordan.
Today, Audemars Piguet produces both men’s and women’s watches that are known for their exquisite craftsmanship and innovative design concepts. The company continues to push boundaries when it comes to horological technology, releasing new complication models each year that impress even the most seasoned collectors. While beautiful watches don’t all need to be worn by celebrities, the constant appreciation that these people have for Audemars Piguet proves their unique status as a watchmaking company.