Audemars Piguet Watches: A History
Founded in 1875, in the small mountain town of Le Brassus, in the heart of the Vallee de Joux, the Audemars Piguet, or AP, watch brand has come a long way from its humble beginnings. At the time, this region was known for the highlands, which were ideal for farming. However, during the harsh winter months, the land remained dormant, and villagers turned to watchmaking as a source of income, which was possible thanks to the iron oxide found in the fertile grounds. Many villagers of this area turned to this profession; however, it is Edward Auguste Piguet and Jules Louis Audemars who founded the brand that is now synonymous with luxury and wealth. Today, Audemars Piguet is still independently owned by the family members of the founders.
Audemars Piguet Models
Introduced in 1972 and designed by the renowned Gérald Genta, the Royal Oak is one of AP’s most recognized models. These watches feature an octagonal bezel, “tapisserie” dial, and an integrated bracelet.
Launched in 1993 as an anniversary piece, the Royal Oak Offshore was a sportier iteration of the original Royal Oak. This collection consists of divers and chronographs with bold colors and unique materials.
Released in 1995, the Millenary collection perfectly combines watchmaking art and design in its unique play on perspective and balance. These exceptional wats provide a three-dimensional view into the caliber through a rare oval shape.
Considered one of the brand’s most significant launches since the Royal Oak, Code 11.59 was launched in 2019. Discover this contemporary and precise collection featuring 13 references, 6 models, and 3 new in-house calibers.
Refined and artful, the Jules Audemars collection of elegant dress watches pays tribute to the brand’s two founding fathers.
Audemars Piguet Finishes & Materials
Featuring a rare savoir-faire no longer taught in horology school, the Royal Oak collection has a decorative guilloché pattern on the watch dials. Petite tapisserie is seen on the extra-thin Royal Oak models, Grande tapisserie on self-winding and quartz Royal Oak models, and Méga tapisserie on the Offshore collection.
Audemars Piguet introduced black ceramic into the Royal Oak line in 2017. This one-of-a-kind material is comprised of zirconium oxide and yttrium oxide. Black ceramic has also been introduced to some Offshore models.
Jewelry designer Carolina Bucci partnered with Audemars Piguet to produce the frosted gold finishing on 18-carat pink Frosted Gold Royal Oak models. AP later introduced this case finishing to some Millenary models.
Aventurine glass is obtained by introducing black copper oxide and cobalt during the cooling phase, which colors the glass in blue and produces a constellation of mineral particles. This beautiful material is featured on watch dials in the Millenary collection.
Audemars Piguet Complications
AP’s perpetual calendar movement maps time cycles of 48 months through mechanical memory. It factors the varying numbers of days in each month, while adjusting the number of days in February. This exceptional movement only needs manual adjustment every 100 years.
In 1986, Audemars Piguet manufactured the world’s first selfwinding tourbillon wristwatch. It takes 60 seconds for the tourbillon to complete a full rotation, while compensating for the effects of earth’s gravity.
AP produced 35 minute repeater wristwatches between 1892 and 1992, and they now produce less than 40 minute repeaters every year. Their latest Grande Sonnerie movement, Calibre 2956, features 498 parts. This movement was introduced in the Code 11.59 collection.
Only 307 Audemars Piguet vintage chronograph wristwatches were made between the 1930s and the 1950s. In 2015, AP released the Laptimer, featuring a single chronograph with flyback function driving two central sweep-seconds hands that can be controlled via three push-pieces.
What Makes Audemars Piguet Watches So Appealing?
At the very heart of the Audemars Piguet brand is the ambition and need to not only innovate but also create new techniques and mechanisms to improve watch ergonomics, while ensuring the timekeeping accuracy was not impacted. Throughout the brands more than 140-year history, it has maintained this momentum and pace, introducing new creations and innovations that have helped to transform the watchmaking industry and shape it into what it is today.
Why Buy Pre-Owned Audemars Piguet Watches?
At WatchBox, it is our goal to provide the highest quality pre-owned Audemars Piguet watches, including newer models, as well as vintage selections that are no longer in production. From the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, to the Royal Oak Offshore, to AP dress models, we have a wide selection of AP Watches. We take pride in providing our customers with the unique, historical and luxurious timepieces available today. Each of the pre-owned selections we offer is in like-new condition, exuding the quality, luxury and discerning taste wearer’s of this brand expect.
Frequently Asked Questions About AP
How much are Audemars Piguet watches?
With hundreds of pre-owned AP watches to choose from, pricing for these exquisite watches varies depending on the model, family, case material, year, reference number, and supply. If you’re looking for a pre-owned watch in a specific range, our client advisors will assist you in finding an Audemars Piguet watch.
Is Audemars Piguet better than Rolex?
Audemars Piguet is a family owned luxury watch brand that’s part of the holy watch trinity comprised of AP, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron. AP developed the world’s first minute-repeating movement for wristwatches in 1892 and created the first skeleton watch in 1934. Audemars Piguet specializes in different designs and watch styles than Rolex. Rolex is known for their luxury sport watches, while AP is known for their exquisite and artful timepieces. Both of these luxury watch brands create exceptional watches, choosing between the two simply depends on what one is looking for.
Why is Audemars Piguet so expensive?
Audemars Piguet watches are made of luxury materials like precious metals and gems. This brand specializes in complicated watch movements like perpetual calendars, minute repeaters, tourbillons, and chronographs. Tradition and avant-garde are intertwined at AP, creating some of the finest pieces in watchmaking.
What is the cheapest Audemars Piguet?
Pricing of pre-owned Audemars Piguet watches is constantly changing with the ebbs and flows of supply and demand. The price for a specific model greatly depends on the case material, year, model, and reference number. If the timepiece does not come with a box or papers, it could be priced in a lower range.
Are Audemars Piguet good watches?
AP creates some of the most refined and innovative timepieces in the industry. As masters of horology, each piece is truly a work of art. With proper wear and care, watches from Audemars Piguet are heirloom quality pieces that are to be passed down through generations.
Why should I buy an Audemars Piguet watch from WatchBox?
WatchBox is not a marketplace, we own every watch that we sell. This allows us to implement a true global quality standard. Each of our pre-owned Audemars Piguet watches are evaluated, authenticated, and brought to manufacturer operating standards without compromising value or provenance. Our in-house team of Swiss-trained watchmakers, technicians, and refinishers are among the highest regarded in the industry.