When Audemars Piguet celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the Royal Oak in 2002, it did so by presenting its first concept watch, which was one of the first “superwatches” of the modern era. For a traditional brand like Audemars Piguet to come out with a wild watch like this was far more than just novel. It was downright audacious!
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I have been involved in the watch world for 26 years; my first visit to Baselworld was in 1991. The massive fair halls have undergone two major reconstructive changes during this long period, in addition to several smaller updates. The last major reconstruction was finished in 2013. In no way, though, was I prepared for how the complex looks and feels when Art Basel is on compared to how I know it during the hustle and bustle of Baselworld.
“It’s a tent,” Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias jokingly explained during Art Basel at the opening of Robin Meier’s installation “Synchronicity,” pointing to the large, soft structure barely discernible behind him in the dark room. It did indeed look like a tent. A tent encompassing the most unusual type of art installation I had ever seen. Welcome to the world of synchronous firefly flashes and grasshopper chirps in the name of art.
“Whether collecting art or watches, when I fall in love with something, then I need to understand, I need to research deeply,” Mo Coppeletta explains. “You may have taste, but if that isn’t backed up with knowledge then it is superficial.” Coppoletta was wearing an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Skeleton. “It’s my summer watch,” he commented. What else does he own and how did he get into collecting watches?
A few weeks ago, I had the very enjoyable experience of attending a day hosted by Audemars Piguet and the Watch Enthusiasts of New York (WENY) filled with watches, watchmaking, and lively conversation. In the evening, we were treated to something that for me was quite unusual but that in the world of luxury goods marketing is commonplace: an interaction with one of the brand’s ambassadors, in this case Sir Nick Faldo. Read on to learn what is it that leads watch brands to engage celebrities.
Audemars Piguet in collaboration with WENY (Watch Enthusiasts of New York) hosted an event in San Francisco that had it all: a watchmaking master class, in-depth talks with the brand’s historian while perusing a few vintage beauties, checking out some of the current collection, a whiskey tasting, and time spent with one of the brand’s ambassadors: the iconic golfer Nick Faldo.
Geneva was abuzz with activity just days before the first round of 2015 auctions took place in May. Once in a great while, interesting timepieces pop up at auction that would probably receive a lot more attention if the auction world wasn’t currently quite so fixated on Patek Philippe and Rolex. One such beauty is this historic minute repeater wristwatch by Audemars Piguet.
For the past five years, I’ve had the delightful experience of traveling to Switzerland with several friends to experience SIHH week, before finishing up with a Friday night dinner at which we review our impressions of the week by answering what watch we thought was best of show at SIHH; what was the worst watch; what current-production watch that we saw at any event during the week would we buy if money were no object; and what current-production watch did we see that we would buy with our own money?
As the SIHH celebrated its 25th anniversary, other milestones were also taking place. IWC celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Portugieser, Vacheron Constantin celebrates its 260th anniversary, and A. Lange & Söhne respects the 200th anniversary of founder Ferdinand Adolph Lange with models including the amazing Zeitwerk Minute Repeater.
It’s no secret that luxury watch manufacturers are courting women more and more. Here we show you five beautiful mechanical watches for women powered by high-end mechanical movements from Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels, IWC and Parmigiani.