Audemars Piguet

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Audemars Piguet
Industry Watch manufacturing
Founded 1875
Founder Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet
Headquarters Le Brassus, Switzerland
Area served
Products Wristwatches, accessories
Revenue $600 million (2012)
Owner Audemars, Piguet and three other families
Number of employees
Royal Oak Offshore watch by Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet (AP) (French pronunciation: ​[odmaʁ piɡɛ]) is a manufacturer of luxury Swiss watches founded in 1875 by watch makers Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet. Tiffany & Co, Cartier and Bulgari use Audemars Piguet movements, but since 2012 Bulgari has made their own in-house movements for select timepieces.


The roots of Audemars Piguet date back to 1874, when the 23-year-old Jules Louis Audemars met Edward Auguste Piguet, then only 21, at Vallée de Joux, they were both born in Le Brassus. When they graduated from school, they went to Vallée de Joux to start working together in watch manufacturing.

Thus Audemars started producing component parts for movements and Piguet got the job of a repasseur, maker the final regulation of the timepiece. In 1875, they founded a firm later known as Audemars, Piguet et Cie.[1]

Since 1882, members of the Audemars and Piguet families have always been on the board of directors and have, therefore, directly or indirectly run the company.


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Perpetual calendar moon phases with thin automatic movement
Star Wheel. Hours on sapphire disks

The business started with Audemars managing the production and technical part, and Piguet focusing on sales, and success was not immediate. The Audemars Piguet trademark was registered in 1882; however, it would be seven years later that the company was officially founded. At this point, Audemars Piguet et Cie became one of the largest employers for watch-making in the whole of Vaud, southwestern Switzerland.

The company opened its first branch in Geneva in 1889, and began creating its own components and assembling within its factory with direct supervision and strict quality control.[2]

Between 1894 and 1899, the company produced about 1,200 timepieces, including some very complex watches. When Audemars and Piguet died, in 1918 and 1919 respectively, the company steadily grew and became more famous. As the success of the company's business was rising, its customers became Tiffany & Co, Cartier, and Bulgari, who rebranded and sold Audemars Piguet watches under their own house names. Today, these watches are only identifiable as Audemars Piguet products by their serial numbers.[2]

Later, Audemars Piguet launched several watches like the smallest minute repeater in the world and a jumping second hand (i.e. the second hand jumps from second to second in quanta rather than progressively) pocket watch. In 1925, Audemars Piguet introduced the world's thinnest pocket watch, at 1.32 millimeters.[3] Only three years later the company created the first skeleton watch.

At the end of the 1920s and the beginning of the 1930s the success of Audemars Piguet started dimming. The crash of the stock market as well as the Depression slowed the development of many Swiss companies.

During World War II the manufacturer was able to come back on the market by producing a range of ultra-thin chronograph models, notably the Calibre 2003. The sales of Audemars Piguet started growing in the 1940s and 1950s. Together with Jaeger-LeCoultre it designed the thinnest automatic movement. The latter included a 21 carat gold rotor placed in the center. Their "Royal Oak", which uses a custom Jaeger-leCoultre movement, was produced in 1972 and is considered to have created the market for the stainless steel luxury watch.[4] It was designed by Gerald Genta.[4]

Today, the company, along with Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin is sometimes claimed to be one of the "big three" Swiss watchmakers.[5] Every timepiece manufactured in-house is still made using the old-fashioned hand-made technique.[6]

The Audemars Piguet watch group is composed of 1,100 employees, fourteen distribution subsidiaries and sixteen boutiques around the world. It comprises three production sites: Le Brassus (SA de la Manufacture d'Horlogerie Audemars Piguet & Cie), LeLocle (Audemars Piguet: Renaud et Papi SA), and Meyrin (Centror SA).[7]

The manufacture Audemars Piguet produces 26,000 timepieces per year.[8]


Since 1999, Audemars Piguet has been the sponsor of the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, a 2000 metres Group One Thoroughbred horse race at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong around the end of April each year.

In 2007, Audemars Piguet offered its support to the Clinton Foundation. The Foundation works around the world on global issues, including education, health, poverty issues, and fight against HIV/AIDS. The company created the Jules Audemars Clinton Foundation Equation of Time watch in a limited edition of 126 pieces. The watch incorporated complex astronomical features. It shows sunrise and sunset times, perpetual calendar, and astronomical moon.[9]

Audemars Piguet was a sponsor of Team Alinghi, winners of the America's Cup in 2003, making a series of Alinghi limited edition watches.


Like many other brands of luxury watches, Audemars Piguet has a number of ambassadors, including: Stanislas Wawrinka, Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Schumacher, Lionel Messi, Sebastien Buemi, LeBron James, Michelle Yeoh, Serena Williams, among many other personalities and athletes.[10]

Special editions[edit]

Audemars Piguet has made a number of special and limited edition watches for celebrities and athletes. They include Stanislas Wawrinka, Sachin Tendulkar, Rubens Barrichello, Jarno Trulli, Quincy Jones, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sebastien Buemi, Shaquille O'Neal, Lionel Messi, LeBron James,[11] Rory McIlroy[12] and Jay-Z.


In 1992 Audemars Piguet created a foundation dedicated to forest conservation through environmental protection and youth awareness.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b World Tempus (April 2013). "Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias, a new master". [1]. 
  2. ^ a b "Audemars Piguet Watches". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  3. ^ "Audemars Piguet History". The Watch Quote. Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  4. ^ a b "Financial & Business News - CNBC Business". Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  5. ^ E.g. by one dealer:
  6. ^
  7. ^ [2][dead link]
  8. ^ "Industry News and Buying Guide". Professional Watches. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  9. ^ "Audemars Piguet Supports Clinton Foundation". 2008-03-26. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  10. ^ Audemars Piguet (2008). "Partnerships". Archived from the original on 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links[edit]