Featured Brand: Richard Mille
Assembling the Royal Oak Grande Complication | Audemars Piguet click here to watch
Featured Brand: Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet are masters of watch complications. For 150 years, the company has produced unique movements that combine the rich heritage of Swiss watchmaking with the pursuit of innovation.
From intricate tourbillons to perpetual calendars to minute repeaters to chronographs, Audemars Piguet watch complications showcase the ultimate precision and craftsmanship. This guide will give you a complete overview of Audemars Piguet’s watch complications. It will feature 4 unique functions, find out which models offer what, and detail how Audemars Piguet designs and crafts such intricate watch complications. Discover the extraordinary world of Audemars Piguet’s timepieces and the craftsmanship that sets them apart.
Luxury watchmakers are known for designing pieces that offer more than just timekeeping. Additional functions, known as complications, display more than just hours, minutes and seconds for the wearer.
The Royal Oak Grande Complication is a great example of how Audemars Piguet masters watch complications. Its featured calendar accounts for leap years and moon phases and needs only a slight adjustment to update the century on the 1st of March 2100. An intricate complication like this requires a great deal of craftsmanship and skill to design and develop.
Assembling the Royal Oak Grande Complication | Audemars Piguet click here to watch
Creating such intricate complications with unique movements and designs is what makes Audemars Piguet watches so expensive.
Complications require highly skilled artisans with specialised knowledge to be able to assemble all the mechanical movements involved. Hundreds of components have to be arranged, fitted, and synchronized in a very small space with no room for error. In the workshops of the Vallée de Joux, the mechanical movements will be assembled, and then dismantled up to three times before the piece is declared complete.
This makes watches with complications, like Audemars Piguet highly coveted and one of the reasons why an Audemars Piguet timepiece is built to last for generations.
From the more simple moon phase complications to more advanced perpetual calendars and chiming watches, Audemars Piguet has mastered the art of creating intricate timepieces. The company produces some of the most sought-after complications in the world.
Here are the 4 most popular Audemars Piguet complications among collectors:
Chronographs are a watch complication used to track elapsed time, like a stopwatch. So a chronograph combines a stopwatch and a standard time-keeping watch in one.
With exceptional design, craftsmanship, and performance, Audemars Piguet chronograph watches are highly regarded among wearers and collectors alike. One notable chronograph movement the company uses is the Caliber 2385. This Audemars Piguet self-winding chronograph movement offers high precision and reliability and accurate timing across many of the company’s watch collections.
Since 1940, Audemars Piguet has been designing and producing unique chronograph watches. However, only 307 items were produced before 1980. 10 of these vintage chronograph wristwatches are on display in their Musée Atelier for visitors to admire. Today, the brand’s most popular chronographs include the Audemars Piguet Flyback Chronograph and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph is an iconic watch with a sporty design and a stopwatch complication. It features a precious metal case, including white and rose gold, with exposed screws and the signature Piguet octagonal bezel.
The Royal Oak Chronograph features the self-winding chronograph movement, Caliber 2385, which provides exceptional accuracy and reliability. The chronograph complication itself is presented with a central seconds hand, 30-minute and 12-hour sub-dials, and a date display.
The Audemars Piguet Huitième Chronograph is based on models of the early 20th century. It features a classic design with a round stainless steel case and intricate watch face.
On the Huitième Chronograph face are several chronograph subdials for measuring elapsed time. They are again powered by the Caliber 2385 self-winding chronograph movement, to provide precise timekeeping and reliable performance.
The Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Chronograph is a tribute to the brand’s founder and pays homage to his original designs of the early 20th century. Its design features a round, precious metal case and sophisticated dial with Roman numeral hour markers and sub-dials.
The Jules Audemars Chronograph is also powered by the Audemars Piguet Caliber 2385 self-winding movement and offers a 30-minute counter and a small seconds sub-dial for precise timekeeping.
The Audemars Piguet Millenary Chronograph is one of the brand’s more avant-garde collections. It is characterized by an oval-shaped case and exposed movement under an off-centre dial.
The chronograph sub-dials are positioned at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. These sub-dials track elapsed minutes, hours, and even seconds for an accurate and precise stopwatch complication.
The Audemars Piguet Offshore Chronograph is a more sporty version of the Royal Oak model. With a larger case than the Royal Oak, the Offshore Chronograph features patterned watch faces with chronograph sub-dials.
The Offshore Chronograph model is equipped with AP’s signature self-winding movement, which ensures accuracy and precision for measuring elapsed time. The bezels on the case allow the wearer to start, stop, and pause the chronograph functions with ease.
A watch calendar complications display the date, month, and year. There are two different types of calendar complications: a perpetual calendar that automatically moves through the calendar and tracks the year, and an annual calendar that requires the wearer to manually set the year every February.
This type of complication uses a series of intricate gears and levers, in the watch movement to not only track time but calendar information too. This movement is highly sophisticated to take into account different month lengths and leap years.
Audemars Piguet pioneered the development of the more complex perpetual calendar wristwatches in the 20th century. The very first Audemars Piguet perpetual calendar watch with leap year indication was produced in 1955. The collection included a series of nine pieces, including an Audemars Piguet annual calendar model too. Since then, the company has designed iconic calendar timepieces, like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Triple Calendar and Audemars Piguet Triple Calendar.
As well as the chronograph, the Royal Oak collection also includes the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar models. They feature the same signature Piguet octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet that is shared across the collection.
The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar range includes a variety of self-winding watches that display the day, date, month, and/or moon phase complications. Some watches in the collection display only a numerical date while others, like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Triple Calendar, have multiple subdials with calendar information on each one.
The Audemars Piguet Quantieme Perpetual Calendar is an iconic watch designed and developed in the quartz crisis of the 1970s. It is the thinnest, self-winding perpetual calendar watch in the world.
As the name suggests, the Audemars Piguet Quantieme Perpetual Calendar features four sub dials on the watch face. Each displays calendar information including the date, month, year, leap year indication, and moon phase.
The Audemars Piguet Edward Piguet Perpetual Calendar model is part of the collection named after one of the brand’s founders. It features a recognisable rectangular case and leather strap, which is synonymous with the Edward Piguet collection
The Edward Piguet Perpetual Calendar features a transparent caseback, which exposes the self-winding movement. The calendar complication itself features four sub dials with date, month, year, and moonphase that automatically tracks year changes.
Named after another of the company’s founders, the Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Perpetual Calendar is more refined than the Royal Oak calendar collection.
The Jules Audemars Perpetual Calendar also features a transparent caseback and four sub dials with calendar information. The calendar information is powered by a self-winding mechanism but can be manually adjusted with two recessed buttons on the side of the case.
AP Talks about Chiming | Audemars Piguet click here to watch
Watch complications can be both visual and audible features of a watch. Chiming, also known as a minute repeater or a striking complication, is a watch complication designed to mark time by audibly chiming on the hour. Some chiming complications also mark every quarter hour too.
The chiming is produced by an intricate striking mechanism. Minute hammers strike gongs when the striking mechanism is activated to produce a sound. Typically, Audemars Piguet chiming watches indicate hours with low notes, minutes with high notes, and quarter hours by a combination of both.
In 1892, Audemars Piguet jointly crafted the very first minute repeater wristwatch in history. Since then, Piguet’s chiming watches include the Supersonnerie collection, which is also waterproof, and the Grande Sonnerie range. However, only a few watches are produced a year as only a limited number of people have the expertise to create them. Each piece is unique as they work with a Swiss artist and enamelist, Anita Porchet, to design the custom dials.
Grandes complications are a combination of watch complications featured on one timepiece. Typically these include chronograph, calendar, and chiming complications, which require a high level of craftsmanship and precision.
Grande complication watches require the utmost skill and precision to design and produce. The movement must power at least a minute repeater, a split-second chronograph, and a perpetual calendar in the same size case as any other watch.
These timepieces are central to Audemars Piguet collections. In 1899, they unveiled The Universelle, one of the world’s most complicated watches ever produced. This pocket watch included a movement containing 1,168 parts performing 21 functions. Today, The Universelle range features 40 functions and 23 complications all powered by a single self-winding mechanism.
Complications & Finishing - Audemars Piguet Voices click here to watch
Audemars Piguet are renowned for the quality and design features of their watches. From chronographs and calendars, to chimes and grandes complications the company are masters of intricate and precise watch complications.
As their Head of Complications, Michael Friedman, stated:
Highly finished and highly complicated watches have always been about more than simply telling the time. Today, as we move deeper and deeper into the digital age, the mechanical watch has become one of the few objects of permanence in an era of increasing obsolescence. They are literally created to last ‘forever’.
If you are interested in owning a timeless Audemars Piguet watch, Global Boutique offers a selection of luxury watches with a range of complications and features. Or, if there is a particular model or complication your heart is set on but isn’t already in our shop, our experts can source it for you. Contact our watch sourcing team to find that perfect, extra-special watch today.
Featured Brand: Richard Mille
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