Matthew Ashton

Written by

Matthew Ashton

2 minute read

Updated 20th May 2024

Audemars Piguet is an independent and family-owned manufacturer of luxury watches. It is a brand synonymous with exquisite craftsmanship and elegance.

Pronounced “Oh-du-mahr Pee-geh”, Audemars Piguet was founded in 1875, in the Vallee de Joux in Switzerland, by two childhood friends, Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet.

The pair decided to split the responsibilities and decided that Audemars would be responsible for the production side of the watches and the technical elements, while Piguet would look after the management and sales aspect.

Audemars Piguet: A family affair

For four generations, these two families have spearheaded the brand and made it one of the leading watchmakers in the world. Paul Louis Audemars and Paul Edward Piguet succeeded their fathers, followed by Jacques Louis Audemars and Paulette Piguet. Jasmine Audemars and Olivier Frank Edward Audemars currently watch over the brand… yes, we do love a pun here at Stanhope! In summer 2023, Audemars Piguet was estimated to have a net worth of roughly £1.3 billion, so we think it’s safe to say they know what they are doing.

The invention of the minute repeater

In 1892, Audemars Piguet created the first minute repeater wristwatch. A minute repeater watch that chimes the time by activating a push or a slide-piece and can strike out the minutes, quarters and hours on request. The chimes are produced by internal hammers which produce different tones to indicate the time.

The birth of the Royal Oak collection

Audemars Piguet’s flagship watches are the Royal Oak collection. Each piece is iconic with a pioneering design and top-quality craftsmanship. They are the embodiment of luxury.

When the company launched the Royal Oak in 1972, the number of people employed by Audemars Piguet jumped from less than 30 craftspeople to over 100. Now it has over 2,000 employees worldwide.  

Audemars Piguet today

One look through Audemars Piguet’s catalogue and you will see a huge variety of partnerships with hugely famous faces and brands.

The company recently paired up with seven-time Grammy winning American singer, John Mayer to create a limited-edition Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in 18-carat white gold, equipped with the Manufacture’s self-winding Calibre 5134.

Audemars Piguet also dropped an epic collaboration with Marvel. As part of the collection AP x Marvel, they have released two timepieces so far. The first was The Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon in 2021, which was auctioned for charity at the launch event for $5.2 million – the highest selling Audemars Piguet watch sold at auction at that time.

That was until 2023, when the second piece from the collection was released, this time featuring the web slinging superhero Spider-Man. A special white gold edition of the timepiece was sold at a private collector’s event in Dubai for a whopping $6.2 million. Lionel Messi, Ed Sheeran and John Mayer have all been spotted rocking the piece.

We can’t wait to see which character will be next in the series… How about a Doctor Strange piece, perhaps? After all, for a period he was the keeper of the “Time Stone”.


Image Credit: IStock, Siwasan

Written by Matthew Ashton

I started working in the insurance industry in 2004. Four years later, I left to focus on theological studies, working as a youth worker and then as a ministry director in Seattle, USA. When returning to the UK, I had an opportunity to work for the late Andrew Marchington. I joined his firm as a sales advisor when it had around ten staff members. Within three years, I was Head of Ops with a staff team of over 30 people. After a chance encounter in 2019 with Rachel Living and Will Cooper, I co-started Stanhope to build a high-value home, luxury watch, and jewellery broker synonymous with trust. I love being with Donna, my wife, and four kids when not working, cramming in the odd row, or run when I can. I am fortunate to love what I do and consider it a blessing to grow the Stanhope brand.

Matthew Ashton

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