About Audemars Piguet Watches
Founded in 1875 by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet, not only does Audemars Piguet remain in Switzerland's Vallée de Joux almost 150 later but it is also still a family business run by the descendants of the founders.
During the first 100 years of the company, Audemars Piguet was focused on creating very fine complicated watches. In fact, Audemars Piguet created the very first minute repeating wristwatch in 1892. From that time until the late 1970s, Audemars Piguet only manufactured a total of 550 complicated wristwatches, of which no two were the same. This included 35 minute repeaters, 188 calendar wristwatches, 307 chronographs, and 20 double complication wristwatches equipped with both calendar and chronograph functions.
However, the 1970s proved to be a landmark decade for Audemars Piguet—one that would forever change the direction of the company. Audemars Piguet unleashed the Gerald Genta designed Royal Oak watch in 1972. Unlike any watch in the market during that era, the Royal Oak was a large stainless steel watch fitted with an octagonal bezel, integrated bracelet, and hobnail dial with just the time and date. While the avant-garde watch was met with trepidation at first, the Royal Oak was, in fact, responsible for establishing the luxury sports watch category. The likes of the Patek Philippe Nautilus, the IWC Ingenieur “Jumbo,” and the Vacheron Constantin 222 (later known as the Overseas), and the Piaget Polo soon followed.
Given the success of the model, it comes as no surprise that Audemars Piguet has focused on making the Royal Oak its signature timepiece. Over the years, Audemars Piguet has offered the Royal Oak in a variety of styles, materials, sizes, and complications.
In 1993, Audemars Piguet wrote the next chapter in its luxury sports watch lineup with the introduction of the Royal Oak Offshore model. Clearly inspired by the original Royal Oak yet featuring its own design traits, the Royal Oak Offshore was even bigger and brasher than its predecessor and quickly picked up the nickname “The Beast.” Like the Royal Oak, the Royal Oak Offshore chronograph also had an eight-sided bezel and an integrated bracelet, but it included bold design details such as exposed gaskets and silicon rubber chronograph pushers. Today, the Royal Oak Offshore collection boasts vibrant colors, oversized silhouettes, and rugged materials like ceramic and rubber.
In 1995, Audemars Piguet introduced the Millenary collection, inspired by a vintage watch from the brand’s archive and named in honor of the approaching new millennium. Characterized by its oval-shaped case, skeletonized dial for a view of the movement within, and an off-center subdial for the time, the Millenary is one of the watch world’s most distinct designs.
Named after one of the manufacture’s founders, the Jules Audemars collection is home to Audemars Piguet’s classically styled timepieces with time-honored watch complications and mechanisms like tourbillons, ultra-thin movements, grande sonnerie, and so on. In 2019, Audemars Piguet unveiled a brand new collection called Code 11.59 with cases that combine octagonal midsections, round cases, open-worked lugs, and double curved sapphire crystals.
From the bold and sporty Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore models to the unconventional Millenary and Code 11.59 timepieces, Audemars Piguet clearly lives by its motto, “To break the rules, you must first master them.”