Audemars Piguet is one of the few independent family-owned watch businesses and has been based in Le Brassus, in Switzerland’s Vallée de Joux region, at the heart of the fine watchmaking industry, ever since the company was first established in 1875.
The year was 1875. At that time, aged 24 and 22 respectively, Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet – who had been friends from their school days and shared a common interest in watchmaking – began to produce complicated watches at their parents’ homes In Le Brassus, Switzerland. After working together for six years, they founded “Audemars Piguet & Cie”.
Thanks to their technical prowess, they were quickly successful, and by 1888 they already had agents representing them all over the world. The following year, the manufacture became the third biggest employer in the region.
In 1893, AP started manufacturing wristwatches and in 1915 the company made its first Minute Repeater.
Between its founding and 1912, AP delivered 35 complications to Glashütte, the German watchmaking capital in the state of Saxony.
After the first world war, business resumed until the death of the founders in 1918 and 1919. Their sons inherited the family business and AudemarsPiguet thus became a specialist in grand complications. At that time, the company had over one hundred employees and carried on its mission, even throughout the Great Depression of 1929-1939.
In 1972, Audemars Piguet launched the iconic Royal Oak, the first top-of-the-range stainless- steel sports luxury watch.
Today, the manufacture has over one thousand employees. AP is now the oldest watchmaking manufacture that is still in the hands of its founding family.