In 1875, two watchmakers, Jules Louis Audemars, aged 22, and Edward Auguste Piguet, aged 24, founded Audemars Piguet in Le Brassus, a small village in the Swiss Jura. This agreement entailed a workshop in the family home, a registered brand name, and a decade?long partnership contract.
In 2011, the Manufacture Audemars Piguet employs almost 1,000 people in Switzerland and around the world. The company conveys a unique culture nurtured by tradition, audacity and excellence. It also stems from an original alchemist’s blend passed on through the generations and combining respect for nature with know?how and a taste for perfection.
This book illustrates a passion – a passion for fine watchmaking cultivated by Audemars Piguet for 136 years.Finding its way unscathed through the political and economic upheavals of the 20th century, the brand has succeeded in perpetuating the values of its founders while currently managing to marry high?tech procedures with the infinite patience of its artisans.
These pages not only reveal the soul of AP watches, but also pay tribute to all those who, today as in yesteryear, contribute to making Audemars Piguet the “Master Watchmaker since 1875”.
Jasmine Audemars, President of the Board of Directors of Audemars Piguet Holding SA
The new Audemars Piguet book evokes the story of the firm since its founding in 1875 and told in successive chronological sequences through a richly illustrated narrative. The first chapters, “The Joux Valley, or the nature of watches” and “Watchmaking in the genes”, relate the company’s history and look back to its earliest roots in the Joux Valley (Swiss Jura), a haven of complicated horology since the mid?18th century. They give a sense of the corporate culture of the last remaining independent fine watchmaking manufacturer still in the hands of the allied founding families.
By referring to the complicated watches that have punctuated the 136 years of company history, the chapter entitled “The perfect time factory” highlights the creative audacity of the watchmakers who have constantly pushed the limits of mechanical movements and handed down a unique form of know?how from generation to generation.
The variety of the range provided by the Manufacture and the inventiveness of its designers over the decades are eloquently demonstrated in the chapter on “The Audemars Piguet lines”.
The chapter called “A watch is forever” takes us into the workshops and offices where tomorrow’s watches are in the making, embodying a fascinating merging of tradition and modernity.
The last chapter devoted to “The Audemars Piguet Foundation, or watches with a bent for nature”, recounts 20 years of support for forest peoples wishing to hand on to their descendants the natural heritage of which they are the established guardians.
Audemars Piguet, published by Editions Flammarion, Paris, 2011, 320 pages