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Audemars Piguet

Established: 1875 Price Range RRP: £8,800 - £1,697,150

Audemars Piguet was founded in 1875 in the now famous watchmaking enclave known as Vallee de Joux, or literally Valley of Jewels, in Switzerland. A beautiful, resource rich region in the Swiss Jura, the night sky and the timeless beauty of the surrounding scenery has always provided inspiration for watchmakers, and the design philosophy it inspired is upheld today.

The little town of Le Brassus is now home to the head office of this historic brand, indeed one of the oldest Swiss watch brands. It was the farmers of the olden days who would turn their hand to precision engineering of horological parts such as springs, pinions and rotors during the winter months that allowed the building of such ancient savoir-faire in this valley.

Its founders were Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet and the company is proud to be not just a fiercely independent business but also still owned by the fourth generation of the founding family, Jasmine Audemars and Olivier Audemars, the latter being vice president of the Board.

True artisanal knowledge is still alive in the ateliers, which has provided the local expertise to craft outstanding timepieces generation after generation, producing mainly chronographs and astronomical complications. Among Audemars Piguet’s most stunning pieces are the timeless Royal Oak collection, which bears the signature octagonal bezel, the more contemporary Millenary collection, and the exceptionally advanced Code 11.59, the manufacturing of which required new tools and techniques to be developed.