Audemars Piguet watches History

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Audemars Piguet History

The History of Audemars Piguet

Index

The History of Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet Models
Audemars Piguet case dating and identification

Audemars Piguet History

Audemars Piguet long history dates back to 1875 when a then 23 year old Jules Audemars joined forces with a 21 year old Edward Piguet, also a trained watchmaker, both of them having learned their trade after finishing public school in their hometown of Le Brassus. At the time, Jules was fabricating complicated "ebouches" (blank watch movements, to be finished and fitted by a watch manufacturer) from a workshop he had set up at his parents farm, while Edward was working as a self employed "repasseur" (a master watchmaker who performs the final regulation on a watch). Thanks to orders pouring in from Geneva Audemars was forced to engage more watchmakers, one of whom was Edward Piguet, whom he knew from schooldays. Soon after, they decided to cease to work as suppliers to established firms and instead manufacture and market the complicated watches that were their mutual passion. Audemars, Piguet & Cie was thus born.

Almost from the beginning, Audemars was in charge of production and the technical side, while his partner Piguet focused on sales and management. This formula worked so well that it was maintained after the death of the founders: prime responsibility for technical matters lay with members of the Audemars family, while commercial affairs were in the hands of the Piguet family.

Audemars Piguet is the oldest watch manufacturer still owned by the founding family. A member of the Audemars or Piguet families has always sat at the board of directors since the company's birth in 1882 and, thus, directly contributed to the destiny of the company.

Audemars Piguet's watchmaking history timeline:

1899
A "Grande Complication" pocket-watch emerges from the Audemars Piguet work-shops. It is equipped with grand and small strike and minute repeater chiming on three gongs, with an alarm striking on independent gongs, perpetual calendar, deadbeat seconds, and chronograph with jumping seconds (fifth of a second indication,) and split-seconds hand.

1915
Audemars Piguet sets a world record that remains unmatched to this day, by creating the smallest five-minute repeater movement of all time.

1921
Audemars Piguet creates the first jumping-hour wristwatch driven by calibre HPVM10.

1946
Thanks to calibre 9'''ML which is a mere 1.64 mm thick, Audemars Piguet creates the world's smallest hand-wound movement for a wristwatch.

1955
Introduction of the first Audemars Piguet wristwatch equipped with a perpetual calendar mechanism (calibre VZSSQP): this time-piece displays the "regular" irregularity of the months, while taking account of the leap years.

1972
Audemars Piguet creates the Royal Oak (calibre 2121), the first high-end steel sports watch, instantly recognizable thanks to its guilloché dial, its octagonal bezel secured with eight hexagonal screws, and its integrated bracelet. The watch is designed by Gerald Genta.

1986
A new world first: Audemars Piguet makes the first ultra-thin self winding tourbillon wristwatch (calibre 2870). The tourbillon carriage is the smallest ever made.

1989
Audemars Piguet creates the Dual Time, the first wristwatch to display the time in a second time zone and yet driven by a single self winding movement (calibre 2229/2845).

1993
Audemars Piguet launches the Royal Oak Offshore, designed for extreme sports. It features rubber clad pushers and crown, a massive (for the time) 44mm case and its water resistant to a depth of 100m. The watch is an instant hit.

1994
Whereas this mechanism had thus far only been integrated within pocket- watches, Audemars Piguet fits it within a wristwatch and presents the first hand-wound movement with grand and small strike and quarter repeater sounding on two gongs (calibre 2868).

1995
The Manufacture adds a split-seconds chronograph to its Triple Complication launched in 1992, thus giving rise to the first "Grande Complication" self winding wristwatch (calibre 2885).

2000
Celebrating the 125th anniversary of the company founding, the Jules Audemars Dynamograph wristwatch (calibre 2891) "Chiming Grand Strike" is added to the Audemars Piguet Classic Collection. It is characterized by a new qualitative indication: that of the torque supplied by the mainspring.

2002
For its 30th anniversary, the Royal Oak treats itself to the Concept watch. Its aesthetics are resolutely futurists; the materials used for its case, titanium and 602 alacrite, stem from cutting-edge technological research; and its original movement (calibre 2896) reaches new peaks of sophistication.

2004
Launch of the fourth piece in the Tradition d'Excellence Collection. Limited to 20 pieces, this Royal Oak hand-wound tourbillon chronograph has a double ten-day power-reserve indication and a 30-minute counter. The watch is equipped with the 2893 calibre. The case back and the bracelet are made of platinum 950.

2005
Audemars Piguet presents the Edward Piguet Moss Agate Tourbillon. This tourbillon is the world's first watch to be equipped with a plate in moss agate, a natural semi-translucent mineral graced with a fine mottled pattern reminiscent of plant-life motifs.

Jules Audemars & Edward Piguet Audemars Piguet "Miniature Minute Repeater & Perpetual Calendar" Made for Cooke & Kelvey, London. Audemars Piguet Wristwatches with jumping hours - 1921. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak - 1972 14202ST.0.0944ST.01 1986 First self-winding ultra-thin tourbillon wristwatch - 1986. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time 26120ST.OO.1220ST.02 Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars "Chiming Grand Strike" Audemars Piguet Royal Oak "Concept" 25980AI.0.0003KE.01 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon 25969PT.OO.1105PT.01 Audemars Piguet Edward Piguet Moss Agate Tourbillon

Audemars Piguet Models

SPORTS COLLECTION

By introducing in 1972 the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, first luxury sports watch in stainless steel, the manifattura forever shifted the parameters by which Haute Horlogerie is measured. Since then, the great history of this watch, combination of audacity, craftmanship and experience, keeps going forward with new interpretations of the classic, using revolutionary new materials like carbon, titanium or alacrite, and with the introduction of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Off Shore venturing into extreme sports. For it's 30th anniversary in 2002 the Royal Oak collection was augmented with the Royal Oak Offshore Concept, a watch that pushes the limit of innovation. In 2004, Audemars Piguet created the Lady Royal Oak, worthy companion of the legendary octagon.
MODELS
  • Royal Oak
  • Royal Oak Ladies
  • Royal Oak Off Shore

CLASSIC COLLECTION

From the elegance of an ultra flat watch, to the poetry of a minute repeater, from the ingenuity of a tourbillon to the sofistication of a perpetual calendar or even to the precision of a chronograph... all of these traced back to the names of two precursors of modern Haute Orlogerie and founders of one of the oldest and most prestigious watch brands in the world, these complications can be found in the lines Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet.
MODELS
  • Jules Audemars
  • Edward Piguet
  • Classiques

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE COLLECTION

Since 1999, Audemars Piguet has slowly been creating the first five of a total of eight masterpieces, limited to twenty pieces each, that constitute the Tradition of Excellence collection. Each one of these watches has pushed the watchmaking art to new frontiers, using cutting edge technology and creativity. The latest on the collection, Cabinet #5 features a Millenary case in Platinum , a linear read perpetual calendar and a brand new high performance escapement that requires no lubrication.
 

CONTEMPORARY COLLECTION

For the beggining of the third millenium, Millenary reinvented class, by proposing a variation on a pure oval inspired by one of mankind masterpieces: the Roman Coliseum. The Millenary for lady, stunning for their grace and soft lines, represent the dream of the urban woman, always concerned with her originality. In it's Haute Jewellery versions, zapphires and diamonds adorn this watches with insurpasable elegance.
MODELS
  • Millenary

LADIES COLLECTION

2004 was the Femmes du Monde year at Audemars Piguet, and it proved to be a great one, with several new lines introduced. The square is reinvented by the Deva, and enhanced by sapphires and vivid colors in the Myriade, while the Danae conceals the secret of time beneath its cover. A longtime ladies classic, the Promesse line is now expanded with several new versions: a large in stainless steel with laquered dial and a whole variety of diamond motifs on the mini.
MODELS
  • Deva
  • Danae
  • Dream
  • Givrine
  • Promesse
  • Facettes
  • Myriade

Audemars Piguet case dating and identification

Model identification

Every Audemars Piguet watch has a movement number engraved on the mainplate, generally next to the balance, and a case number which is engraved on the outside of the case-back. In the example picture: Number 25 is the sequential number of these particular model/reference. D67746 is the case number, sequential across all watches manufactured by Audemars Piguet. There is no certain way to tell the age of an Audemars Piguet , but certain estimates can be made with the case number: there are 100,000 watches with the same letter, and AP manufactures 20,000 watches a year (VERY aproximately) so that the letter of the serial number changes aproximately every 5 years. A known fact is that production of the F series started sometime in 2004. In the example watch with case number D67746: D started in 1994, plus 1 year per 20,000 on the case number will make this watch a 1997-98.