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Brief history of Audemars Piguet "Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Royal Oak Offshore" 


The Key Dates In The History Of AUDEMARS PIGUET

1875 Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet found a manufactory in Le Brassus, Switzerland. Right from the start, their focus is on complex mechanisms of great beauty. Initially supplying exquisite movements to luxury watch companies including Tiffany & Co and Gubelin, Jules-Louis and Edward-Auguste soon make the move to creating their own complete timepieces. The pair naturally split their labour: Jules-Louis creates the movements, and Edward-Auguste finishes them, ensuring they are perfectly regulated.

1881 Audemars Piguet et Cie is officially founded. 1882 The Audemars Piguet tradition of including all members of the two families on the board is started. Audemars Piguet et Cie begins to produce watches with significant complications. 1889 Audemars Piguet opens its first Geneva manufactory. 1892 Audemars Piguet premiers the world’s first minute repeater. 1893 The brand begins to make wristwatches.

1907 A new, larger manufactory is created to house a growing workforce. 1918 Jules-Edward Audemars dies. Paul-Louis Audemars, his son, and Paul-Edward Piguet, son of Edward-Auguste, take over the running of the company. The two Pauls are responsible for the creation of the world’s first skeletonised pocket watch, and the thinnest pocket watch movement ever created.

1919 Edward-Auguste Piguet dies.

1920-1929 Audemars Piguet creates the first jumping hour display on a watch. The brand also launches a range of fine ladies’ watches, set with precious stones. 1929 The Wall Street Crash threatens the existence of the company. By the time Jacques-Louis Audemars takes over the business, it has only two employees.

1933 Jacques-Louis Audemars takes the reins.

1946 Audemars Piguet develops the smallest mechanical calibre in history.

1949 Audemars Piguet makes a debut appearance at the Basel Fair (now Baselworld).

1957 The brand launches the world’s first perpetual calendar wristwatch.

1967 Audemars Piguet premiers the world’s thinnest automatic movement. The movement features a gold central rotor.

1972 Audemars Piguet’s masterwork, the Royal Oak, is born. The groundbreaking steel watch is designed overnight by watchmaking legend Gerald Genta. Its shape will come to define the luxury sports watch.

1986 Audemars Piguet releases another world first: the first ever self-winding ultra-thin wristwatch to feature a second time zone. The Tourbillon carriage inside this watch is, at the time, the smallest made in history.

1992 The Royal Oak Offshore makes its debut. The Offshore, which will become the favourite watch of Arnold Schwarzenegger, is the world’s first sight of an outsize luxury watch. Its 42mm case gives it the nickname ‘The Beast’. Unusual materials for a luxury watch, including rubber and carbon, are incorporated into the design.

2000 The brand launches the ‘Tradition’ family of complicated watches, showcasing some of the most innovative complications in modern horology. The 100,000th Royal Oak is sold.2007 Audemars Piguet releases the world’s first carbon-forged watch case.

2012 The Royal Oak celebrates 40 years as a horological legend. 2015 A new Royal Oak concept watch, codenamed RD1, is unveiled at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. The new concept features a never-before-seen interpretation of one of watchmaking’s most sought-after complications: the chime. RD1’s minute repeater is designed using the same principles as a Stradivarius violin. The Audemars Piguet manufacture simultaneously creates acoustic solutions designed to bypass the damping effect of waterproofing. The result is a luxury watch whose chime may be the clearest ever heard.

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