When it comes to brands with long and storied history, we do generally head on over to Switzerland, as it’s been the cradle of some very high-end horology. Not too many brands are still in the hands of their founding families as is Audemars Piguet.
Founded in 1875, AP resides in Vallée de Joux, a valley tucked away in the Jura mountain range. What is it about this region that we find so many watch companies? For that, you’ve got to go back to when it was first settled, in the 13th century.
The inhabitants started out farming the land, and would change over to iron and glass work to make it through the harsh winters in the region. Huguenot immigration in the 17th century is when watchmaking arrived in the area. By the time we arrive at the 19th century, Vallée de Joux was known as the center of complicated watch movement creation.
It was into this climate that Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet combined forces in 1875, with Audemars Piguet & Cie officially founded in 1881. The partners specialized some within their work, with Audemars focusing on innovation in the movements, while Piguet expanded the business with sales subsidiaries in Europe and the States.
From their first Grande Complication pocket watch in 1881, Audemars Piguet has been producing some amazing luxury time pieces. For more of their history and milestones, check out this article on MasterHorologer.com, and of course AP’s own history pages.