If you ever heard of the holy trinity of watches you would have definitely heard of Audemars Piguet, or if you are a fan of rap music you would have heard it referred to as an AP. The holy trinity of watches also known as the big three is where Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin have earned their place through their history and their inventions as watchmakers. It is debated whether it should be the big four and add in A. Lange & Söhne, or whether this is actually even justified. Either way the reputation for Audemars Piguet is very well respected in the watch industry and for very good reason.
The brand was started by Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet. Both of them initially worked independently for other watch manufacturers. Audemars was creating watch movements for manufacturers. On the other hand, Piguet was self-employed and was performing final regulation on watches. They did know each other from childhood, but they only reconnected in their early twenties in 1874 in Vallée de Joux in Switzerland. The company was later founded in 1875, in Le Brassus which is a village inside the Vallée de Joux in Switzerland. Audemars continued to work on the manufacturing and technical side of watchmaking, while Piguet was in charge of the business side. The company has continued the tradition of being family owned and it is now currently in its fourth generation where it is owned by Jasmine Audemars and Olivier Franck Edward Audemars.
Now what makes Audemars Piguet really stand out from the rest of the manufacturers and their competition, and be part of the big three is because of their accomplishments. I will write down most of the accomplishments I can find in the table below.
|1892||Audemars Piguet created the world first wristwatch minute repeater.|
|1899||Audemars Piguet unveiled the “Universelle” watch. A pocket watch with a split-second chronograph, jumping seconds, deadbeat seconds, grande strike, minute repeater, alarm and a perpetual calendar. For the time this was ridiculously complicated, and even in todays standard this is still extremely complicated.|
|1921||They created the world’s first jumping-hour wristwatch.|
|1921||Created the world’s smallest repeater pocket watch.|
|1934||Created the first skeletonized pocket watch.|
|1946||Created the thinnest wristwatch.|
|1955||The world’s first perpetual calendar wristwatch with a leap year display, day, perhipheral date, month and moon phase. The model reference is 5516.|
|1972||Designer Gérald Genta created arguably the most iconic watch for Audemars Piguet the Royal Oak.|
|1986||Another world’s first selfwinding tourbillon wristwatch. The watch was only 5.3mm thick, which for having a tourbillon movement is incredible.|
|2000||While celebrating their 125th anniversary since when the company was founded, the Jules Audemars Dynamograph wristwatch was added to their line of watches.|
|2015||The world’s first laptimer chronograph was revealed. Double central second hands, flyback and a 30 minutes counter. The model number is 26221.|
|2019||The world’s thinnest automatic perpetual calendar was presented by Audemars Piguet.|
As of 2021, the name Audemars Piguet is known by their nickname “AP” particularly in rap and hip-hop. These watches that are shown in music videos are usually seen covered fully in diamonds, although I am not a fan of this style, I do like that they are giving even more exposure to Audemars Piguet. This hopefully in turn will get a lot more people interested in watches. Like most people I am a huge fan of the Royal Oak with my personal favourite being this particular model Ref. #26591TI.OO.1252TI.01. I like the simple look with the blue dial, I am also a huge fan of the small seconds subdial. I will definitely always keep an eye out to what they will present in the future as I have no doubt they will continue to innovate and create amazing timepieces.