Buy Audemars Piguet watches new, used with certificate and vintage
The international star from Switzerland: Audemars Piguet's story
Many watch brands can easily be placed in a drawer - either they are classic and timeless, or they are trendy and revolutionary.
Audemars Piguet, on the other hand, does not simply fit into one of these schemes, but embodies the ultimate synthesis of both sides. Currently it is the hottest brand among pop stars and other celebrities, but at the same time the oldest Swiss watch manufacturer, which has remained from the beginning until today in the ownership of the founding families.
The history of the company began in 1875 in the Swiss Vallée de Joux, a valley in the Swiss Jura mountains. Already in the 18th century, the valley had become a vital watchmaker's location, where the manufacture of timepieces quickly became a cultural heritage. Local farmers harvested iron veins from the mountains and made watch parts as a sideline at home to survive the icy winters.
In 1875 two friends, Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet, decided to become masters of this guilt. After completing their apprenticeship as Repasseurs, they teamed up to create complex movements for watches at home, which they then delivered to major watch manufacturers such as Tiffany & Co.
After a few years, the two decided to expand their production to entire watches. They had the necessary skills and tools to do so, having been introduced to the art of watchmaking by their families at an early age. But Audemars and Piguet always strove to surpass the original art. Early on, they shifted their focus to elaborate, extremely complex movements, as only a few could produce. After only 6 years in business, they already ventured on masterpieces such as a minute repetition or the perpetual calendar. The success they had with their craft can still be seen today in the awards and distinctions that we can still look back on today. Probably the most impressive was the Grand Prix of the 1889 World's Fair, which Audemars Piguet won for a "Grande Complication", a pocket watch with four different functions. In the same year, the company opened a manufactory in the watchmaking city of Geneva, which soon became one of the largest employers in the region.
Even then, Audemars Piguet began to specialize in the production of wristwatches - an absolute pioneering move, as they did not made their real breakthrough until 25 years later. The exact reasons for the decision are no longer known, but it can be surmised that it was out of ambition - out of the desire to accommodate more complex functions in smaller and smaller movements.
The first world war was accompanied by great upheaval for Audemars Piguet. The two founders died in quick succession, their sons Paul-Louis Audemars and Paul-Edward Piguet took over the company. In addition to the manufactory, they also inherited the ambition of their fathers. They continued to create groundbreaking innovations such as the thinnest pocket watch in the world or the first skeleton watch.
Ten years later, in 1930, the company was struck by an event that had far worse effects than the quartz crisis that later followed: the Great Depression. As early as 1933, the formerly large company employed only two watchmakers and produced only a handful of watches. Even during the subsequent historic turbulence, the company recovered only slowly, until in the 50s, the sale of watches finally grew again.
In the early 70s, the company was again at the brink, as the cost-effective quartz watches from Japan conquered the market. Many companies tried to discount the new competition, but Audemars Piguet opted for a much riskier maneuver: Swimming against the tide. Shortly before the watch fair in Basel in 1972, the then managing director Georges Golay heard of the demand from Italy for a luxury watch entirely made of stainless steel. At that time a revolutionary idea, luxury watches were still made of precious metals and only sports models like a Rolex Submariner were made of stainless steel. Legendary designer Gérald Genta developed the design in just one night according to history: The Royal Oak was born!
At first the model was viewed with healthy skepticism: a luxury watch made of pure stainless steel, the design of which was inspired by a divers helmet and cost ten times more than a Rolex Submariner? Many critics could not imagine that anyone would want to buy such a watch at all.
Not long, however, the doom calls fell silent. The distinctive watch with the bullseye-shaped front and the steel bracelet found buyers all over the world. The striking and characteristic dial with the tapestry or Clos de Paris pattern is so closely linked to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak that it is instantly recognized all over the world. As a result of increasing demand, over the course of time hundreds of thousands were produced instead of the planned one thousand models. Even today, the Royal Oak is still considered one of the greatest icons of watchmaking, which can certainly be put on a par with the Rolex Submariner or the Breitling Navitimer.
Over the years, many versions of the Royal Oak have been released, but one contributed more than any other to the current iconic status among celebrities than any other: the Royal Oak Offshore of 1992.
When 22-year-old Emmanuel Gueit was entrusted with the task of creating a special model to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Royal Oak, one of the most striking reinterpretations of watch history emerged. With a spectacular 42mm diameter (A wide bezel at that time), the timepiece was so powerful that it was nicknamed "the beast" and vilified by many critics - including Gérald Genta, the creator of the original Royal Oak. Athletes and rap musicians, on the other hand, loved the masculine model, it quickly became a bestseller like its predecessor.
Despite its popularity in popculture, Audemars Piguet is not a jewelry brand, but is considered one of the three major Haute Horlogerie houses alongside Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. The company is still characterized by its highly complex movements. The production is still based on a lot of loving craftsmanship.
Audemars Piguet as an investment?
A model of the brand Audemars Piguet you buy consciously. Either you like the unique design language, you want to make a statement, you can identify with the company or have your own personal reasons for this purchase.
For whatever reason, Audemars Piguet watches, especially the Royal Oak, are considered a safe investment. Few, however, can afford a brand new watch, many deviate therefore on the used market. But not only used and new, but also the vintage models are highly popular, which is why collectors seldom voluntarily separate from their treasures. The demand here is higher than the number of sellers, so searching for the right model can sometimes take up a lot of time. It's never hard to find a buyer!
Style and Tradition: Why Buy an Audemars Piguet?
If a well-known Swiss watch brand deserves the name "luxury watch", then it is probably Audemars Piguet - priced higher than Rolex or Omega , the models of Audemars Piguet are not exactly cheap. One could say that the models are reserved for a small range of the wealthy. Nevertheless, the watches of the manufacturer are considered successful bestsellers. How did this boom come about and why is it still today?
One reason is the high manufacturing standards Audemars Piguet uses. The production includes a great deal of masterly craftsmanship, which has become a rarity even in the Swiss watch industry. Even today, the famous tapestry dials are only produced by the most experienced employees on machines that are up to 100 years old.
This effort in production can be seen. The cases, movements and dials of the brand are a real eye-catcher, excellently processed and finely finished. Pure luxury in the truest sense of the word - an aesthetic exploration of what is possible in human craft and engineering.
Another reason is the bold and iconic style that makes Audemars Piguet so intriguing. The company has taken numerous risks and has left conventions behind to create something new. Since the Royal Oak has been imitated countless times now, it is hardly conceivable today what a break in style it was when it first appeared.
Audemars Piguet's most popular 5 models
- The Royal Oak is more than just a sports watch - it is an icon that redefined the whole watch market! Not a few thought Audemars Piguet was insane when, during the quartz crisis, the company released a steel watch that cost more than a gold watch by Patek Philippe. But the model struck like a bomb and created a whole category of premium sports watches that did not exist before.
- Under the name Royal Oak Offshore, Audemars Piguet released a reinterpretation of the Royal Oak that was as daring as the original: massive, oversized and martial. Many watch connoisseurs shook their heads, but celebrities loved "the beast," as it was soon called. Meanwhile, the "offshore" is considered the Playboy watch par excellence.
- Like the first Royal Oak from the 70s, the Royal Oak Quartz model in plain stainless steel is also available. In contrast to the automatic movement, it does not have to be moved regularly to always show the correct time.
- The Audemars Piguet Classic Ultra Thin is regarded as a true classic among vintage watches: it is very subtle and extremely simple and fascinates entire generations. Thanks to its incredibly flat case, it simply disappears under any shirt sleeve when needed.
- Jules Audemars was the horological genius of the founding duo, who designed and assembled the highly complex works of the young company. In his honor is named the most classic series by Audemars Piguet. It includes subtle watches that have been manufactured and finished to the highest quality standards.
What is the price of an Audemars Piguet watch?
Royal Oak 15400ST.OO.1220ST.01
Used around 13.360€ (2016)
Main features: 41mm, dash indices, striking design
Royal Oak Offshore 26470ST.OO.A027CA.01
Used around 16.995€ (2016)
Main features: 42mm, conspicuously large case
Royal Oak Quartz 6023.477
Used around 5.800€ (1990)
Material: steel, yellow gold
Main features: Dash indices, discreet, 34mm
Audemars Piguet Classic Ultra Thin
Used around 2.150€ (Vintage)
Material: yellow gold, leather
Main features: unobtrusive, very thin
Jules Audemars 26380OR.OO.D088CR.01
Used around 24.440€ (2017)
Material: yellow gold, leather
Main features: 41mm, very classic, the highest quality
Buy or finance your Audemars Piguet watch
The selection of used Audemars Piguet models on our site is constantly changing, offering comparably lower prices at the same time. Often the watches are only online for a few days, and it has already found a new owner! It's worth it to be quick.
In order to offer each customer the option of buying, it is possible to conveniently finance your Audemars Piguet. You can create a completely individual installment plan, with up to 60 months of service and a down payment of your choice.
It goes without saying that every single watch, regardless of whether it is a used Audemars Piguet or a vintage model, has been thoroughly checked by our master watchmakers for authenticity and put in the best condition both technically and visually.
Who wears Audemars Piguet watches?
Who deals with luxury watches, knows: Audemars Piguet is popular with people of rank and name.
The number of famous owners of a Royal Oak or Royal Oak offshore is so big that you could talk about them for hours. The most known examples include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Muhammad Ali, Patrick Dempsey and Kim Kardashian.
Audemars Piguet is not only very popular among celebrities, but also works with them in a big way. Michael Schumacher, Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Garry Kasparov and Jay Z are official brand ambassadors with whom the company has developed elaborate special editions of the Royal Oak.