Audemars Piguet

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The watch company Audemars Piguet established in 1875 by two young men Edward- Auguste Piaget and Jules-Louis Audemar in the watchmaking village of Vallée de Joux is probably one of the main and most recognizable brands in the world. The two friends called their company "Audemars, Piguet et Cie".

Audemar and Piaget agreed that they would become the manufacturing and the financial directors respectively. The first one invented eighteen advanced works which he had designed himself, the second one made a contribution of ten thousand Swiss francs. This division of responsibilities between the families of Piaget and Audemar has remained the same for already 150 years. The entrepreneurs registered their trademark in 1882 and the company exists under the same name nowadays - "Audemars Piguet".

Grand Complication was created at almost the same time and was equipped by an unprecedented set of functions. For example, such features as the repeater that counts minutes, perpetual calendar of the phases of the moon, chronograph with two hands were built in the watch. Seven years later the first shop in Geneva was opened. At the same time right after the watch exhibition in Paris, where these high-class watches had been demonstrated, the popularity of Audemars Piguet became simply tremendous.

The company developed rapidly in the upcoming years. In 1907 there were about seventy workers at the newly built factory. In 1911 the company produced the first male model of the watch enchased with diamonds. The next period of time was challenging not only for Audemars Piguet, but for the whole world because of the beginning of the World War I. At first the company was going through a decline, but in 1925 things got better again and it started to thrive.

It happened due to another revolutionary speciality – a pocket watch in the thinnest 1.32 mm case. But the company did not stop at that; right at that time they started producing female watches of high value which they had never made before. It was also then that the company began the production of in-built chronographs Audemars Piguet. Unfortunately, in late 1930s- early 1940s the sales of the company decreased again because of the beginning of the World War II. But highly-qualified professionals did everything possible to get the production on the right track in the same scope; in the near future they managed to reach a new level. At the end of 1940s the watch of this brand was exhibited at the Basel Fair where it caused a great sensation. 1962 was the year when Georges Golay became the manager of the company. Five years later after his assignment the factory produced the thinnest self-winding work (2.5 mm). The same year Gérald Genta created the legendary model called Royal Oak. It was the first watch for professional sportsmen. Royal Oak is still considered to be a top-of-the-range watch preferred by real connoisseurs. Early models of Royal Oak can be still found in places where antique watches are sold. Finally, it is worth being mentioned that the watch that was spotted on Arnold Schwarztnegger’s hand in “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” is the one made by Audemars Piguet.

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