Audemars Piguet is a producer of luxury mechanical watches headquartered in Le Brassus, Switzerland. The privately owned watchmaker is best known for its Royal Oak luxury sports watch in steel and for it being celebrated across pop culture and the hip-hop scene including music artists Jay-Z, Kanye West, and others.
Audemars Piguet, also known as AP, is a manufacturer of Swiss watches, movements, cases, bracelets and dials. To make its watches, it mixes traditional elements like brushed and polished cases and guilloche dials with a wide range of materials including steel, gold, ceramic, forged carbon, and rubber. The brand’s watches have been in extremely high demand, often selling for many times over their recommended retail price and there is a waiting list for many Audemars Piguet watches.
The popularity of Audemars Piguet originates from its Royal Oak, the first luxury sports watch in steel. Its octagonal bezel, visible bezel screws, integrated steel bracelet and unprecedented high pricing strategy helped the Royal Oak create a new segment of steel luxury watches. Introduced in 1972 and designed by Gerald Genta, the Royal Oak collection has been powered by mechanical and quartz movements. In 1992, it was extended with the Royal Oak Offshore line, a collection of bigger and more rugged watches worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in blockbuster movies.
The company was founded by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet in 1875, officially registered in 1881 in Le Brassus, a village inside the Vallee de Joux in Switzerland. Both men were watchmakers, experts in the production and regulation of movements which they would supply to other brands such as Tiffany & Co. Today, one of the brand’s slogans is "To Break the Rules, You Must First Master Them.” The brand’s logo is AP, short for Audemars Piguet.
For watch enthusiasts, the most popular Audemars Piguet products tend to fall within the Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore lines, with the Code 11.59 collection yet to reach similar popularity.