Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet

Some 125 years ago, in the beautiful Vallee de Joux of Switzerland, Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet, drawn to one another by a common passion for the complex intricacies of watchmaking, started their own workshop. They hand-made watches in the best Swiss tradition producing the first automatic Tourbillon. But most worthy of note is their Grande Complication, a chronograph with perpetual calendar, minute, quarterly and hourly chimes and moon phase. With 416 delicate parts, each Grande Complication takes eight to 12 months to complete.

The Audemars Piguet Perpetual Calendar automatic wristwatch is mechanically programmed to account for leap years until the year 2100. Like Blancpain, Audemars Piguet also incorporates the Tourbillon movement in the heart of its extra-thin watches. In the creation of the ethereal skeleton watches, Audemars Piguet tests the complexities of precision watchmaking to the hilt.

As watchmakers, the firm is also touched by the sheer poetry of jewel ornamentation. Audemars Piguet watches are stunning examples of the fine balance between technology and gemology. Diamonds, sapphires and rubies are worked into their Baroque models of garnet crystal and bezel set with diamonds on 18k gold. The Riviera "Dome" watch is set with 391 diamonds and 77 rubies, while the dial is set with 72 diamonds.

Even men's watches are not relegated to the masculine mode of severe design, albeit in gold. The Reverie Bamboo for men is a gem of watch with handcrafted case integrated into a bracelet of woven gold stems, burnished with diamond paste and set with 457 diamonds with the dial of 296 diamonds.

In 1970, Audemar Piguet was commissioned to create a luxury sports watch of no equal. Its brief was to turn steel into precious metal. The result after months of painstaking research was the Royal Oak, a Perpetual Calendar in platinum, ultra-thin skeleton movement and mechanically programmed to indicate the day, date, month, chronometric time and moon phases. It astonished the world with its breaktaking originality, function and beauty. It also comes in a luxury yellow gold model set with 662 diamonds.

1 comment:

s.j.simon said...

:) You know, like the silicon valley, Switzerland has a watch valley with many watchmakers there. check this out

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