Audemars Piguet is one of the most well-regarded and highly-established Swiss watch manufacturers in the world. But this company had its humble roots in a small village in Switzerland when two childhood friends reunited and decided to build a watch factory. More than a hundred years since its founding, Audemars Piguet is now a prominent watch company known for making uniquely designed watches that are tough and useful.
In its long and varied history, Audemars Piguet has made many contributions to the watch industry, such as the world’s first skeleton watch in 1934 and the first carbon case and movement watch in 2007. It has also introduced several watch models that collectors loved and desired. This article will enumerate and explain some of the most famous watch models created by this reputable Swiss watch brand.
- Code 11.59
Code 11.59 is the latest collection of watches that Audemars Piguet has released. This alone already shows that the brand is still very much alive and cooking something new for the market. Code 11.59 was announced in the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in 2019, and it is one of the Audemars Piguet watch models with several complications. On its official website, Audemars Piguet also said that Code 11.59 is the “contemporary evolution of a classic watch” and many watch collectors would certainly agree. This watch model is less of a fashion watch and more of a tool watch that anyone can use for various purposes.
Since its first release in 2019, Audemars Piguet has released many variations of the Code 11.59 watch with several functions, ranging from tourbillon and self-winding watches to chronographs and a combination of all three watches. However, the features that unite all Code 11.59 watches include a double-curved sapphire watch crystal along with a three-piece watch case design showing an octagonal section in the middle. Other additional features of Code 11.59 include a chapter ring with numerals for time-only watches, a tachymeter for chronographs, and a week indicator for the watches with perpetual calendars.
The Millenary watch model is another popular Audemars Piguet watch line that was launched in 1995. It is widely known for looking like a skeleton watch thanks in part to some of the movements that could be easily seen on the watch. But some Millenary watches have a normal watch dial in various colors and they are more of a dress watch especially for women. All Millenary watches are also known for their oval-shaped watch cases as well as domed sapphire crystals. They also feature Damaskeening or Geneva stripes in the watch’s movement dial especially in several versions of the watch and many Millenary watches have an off-centered dial with a balance wheel included in it.
Aside from the elliptical watch bezel and the domed crystal that all Millenary watches share, most watches from this model line have Roman numerals except for a few models where there are only lines that serve as markers of time or no markers at all. Most Millenary watches also have a secondary sub-dial located on the VII and VIII markers on the watch’s dial. Finally, most Millenary watches are hand-wound and have a medium-sized watch case for 39.5 millimeters. This size is perfect especially for women who don’t want their watches to look too big or too small. Despite showing some of the mechanical movements of the watch, the Millenary has no additional complications such as perpetual calendar, chronograph, or time zone. And therefore, the Millenary is the main dress watch line of the Audemars Piguet targeted for those who want to show their unique style
- Royal Oak
Last but not the least, it is impossible to talk about Audemars Piguet without talking about the Royal Oak. Besides, the Royal Oak is the most popular Audemars Piguet watch line ever released and it was considered to be the world’s first luxury sports watch. What makes it even more popular and valuable is that Gerald Genta, a renowned watch designer, was the one who designed the Royal Oak. Genta was famous for designing some of the most well-designed watches in the history of watchmaking, which includes the Nautilus by Patek Philippe, IWC’s Ingenieur, and of course, the Royal Oak. This watch was released during the quartz crisis in the 1970s, where Swiss mechanical watches faced intense competition from quartz watches made by Japanese companies such as Seiko and Citizen.
Since it was released in 1972, Audemars Piguet created several variations of the Royal Oak watch, including the Royal Oak Offshore in 1993. The Royal Oak is not just about style, as many watches from this model line have various complications and useful features such as chronographs, self-winding watches, tourbillon watches, and even quartz watches. But when it comes to design, all Royal Oak watches are united by a unique watch case design integrated on the bracelet as well as exposed screws on the watch’s bezel.
When Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet founded their watch company in 1875, perhaps they would’ve never thought that their enterprise would reach a top position in the industry. But more than a hundred years since these two childhood friends founded their company that still bears their name to this day, Audemars Piguet has reached new heights of popularity and respect and they continue to wow the industry with their innovations and new releases, which mixes the best of traditional Swiss craftsmanship with contemporary design ideas.