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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

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