In 1875 two young men brought together their individual disciplines gained in the watchmakers craft. These guys were Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet. Although both were in their early twenties they became the founders of one of the greatest Swiss watch houses - Audemars Piguet, prestigious manufacture of initially pocket watches then men's and ladies wristwatches. Each man brought different strengths to the partnership Audemars, the creation and technical aspect and Piaget focused on sales.
Of course success did not come immediately, the company Audemars Piguet was not trademark registered until 1882. However the reputation of the manufacture as being innovative has been strengthened by the unveiling of the world's first minute repeater in a wristwatch in 1892.
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Clients in the following years included the luxury goods manufacturers Cartier and Tiffany who purchased 'unsigned' models to inscribe and package as their own creations such has been the quality and workmanship to be found on the Audemars Piguet workshops in Le Brassus.
The war years were lean ones in term of all luxury goods sales, Swiss watches included and before peaceful times had returned sadly both partner had died, Audemars in 1918 and Piguet in 1919.
Fortunately family involvement continued at the highest level of the business because each partner had a son ready to continue the creative advancement and future growth of Audemars Piguet.
Paul-Louis Audemars and Paul-Edward Piguet were now in place to drive the business forward and previous to the Wall Street crash of 1929 they unveiled some exquisite ladies wristwatches with the art deco theme so popular at that time, including the fabulous 'Grande Dame'.
Many of the great Swiss watch houses suffered during the despression symptoms which continued into the 1930's. At Audemars Piguet a change in direction was required to reach new markets. Development of more simple complications allowed the brand to become more affordable to some and thus stimulated sales during a critical time for the watch business.
Once more war brought recovery to a halt throughout Europe and some years would complete before the Audemars Piguet brand would re-surface from these hard times.
Determination and the dedication to innovation that had originally made the Audemars Piguet brand famous continued in the 1950's and 1960's and the company secured its placement once again.
Perhaps the the majority of revolutionary and innovative timepiece to come from the Audemars Piguet workshops was launched in 1972 - the instantly recognizable Royal Oak model. This was the first high-end sports watch to be crafted from stainless steel. The unique octagonal bezel with eight hexagonal screws has definitely become the premiere definition of a prestigious sports watch.
More than three decades old at the time of writing, the Royal Oak is still synonymous with the Audemars Piguet brand. Continued sponsorship within Yachting and Motorsport events ensure that this piece remains a commercial success.
The collaboration of the two young men at the roots of this Swiss watch brand surely could not have imagined that their family names would still be recognized as one of the world's most important within the Swiss watch industry.
This family owned business continues to create and handcraft some of the finest timepieces available today. These two men must be realize as accurate forefathers of the Swiss watchmaking tradition.