Founded in 1875 in Le Brassus by watchmakers Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet, today the Manufacture Audemars Piguet employs almost 1,000 people in Switzerland and around the world. This new book illustrates the Audemars Piguet passion for fine watchmaking, cultivated for 136 years.
Audemars Piguet began in a workshop in a family home in a small town in the Jura. Finding its way through the political and economic upheavals of the 20th century, the brand has succeeded in perpetuating the values of its founders while combining high-tech procedures with the patient work of its artisans. The new Audemars Piguet book relates the story of the firm since its founding through richly illustrated chronological sequences. The first chapters, The Joux Valley, or the nature of watches and Watchmaking in the genes, relate the company’s history and look back to its earliest roots in the Joux Valley (Swiss Jura), a haven of complicated horology since the mid-18th century. The pages offer a sense of the corporate culture of the last remaining independent fine watchmaking manufacturer still in the hands of the allied founding families.
By referring to the complicated watches that have punctuated the company history, the chapter entitled The perfect time factory highlights the creativity of the watchmakers who have pushed the limits of mechanical movements and handed down a unique form of know-how from generation to generation.
The variety of the range provided by the Manufacture and the inventiveness of its designers over the decades are demonstrated in the chapter on The Audemars Piguet lines.
The chapter called A watch is forever takes us into the workshops and offices where tomorrow’s watches are in the making and where tradition meets modernity.
The last chapter devoted to The Audemars Piguet Foundation, or watches with a bent for nature, recounts 20 years of support for forest peoples wishing to hand on to their descendants the natural heritage of which they are the guardians.
Audemars Piguet, published by Editions Flammarion, Paris, 2011, 319 pages.