Audemars Piguet Watches Review – Features and Style
If you pay any attention to high end timepieces, you’ll be familiar with Audemars Piguet watches. Made by one of the older watchmaking companies in Switzerland, Audemars Piguet watches have been available since 1875, and the name has become synonymous with innovation and luxury. They offer relatively small production, at some 25,000 pieces annually, and their timepieces are still built by hand.
They specialize in exotic styling, elaborate mechanical complications and make ample use of gold and diamonds in their designs. While they are among the more expensive brands on the market, The brand offers a high quality product that few companies can match. If you want a truly luxurious watch and you’re not overly concerned about price, you definitely will want to take a closer look at this interesting brand.
Read on for the full Audemars Piguet watches review.
The build quality is outstanding. They feature screw-down crowns, and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal on their watches. They offer an extraordinary selection of case materials, including yellow gold, pink gold, white gold, titanium, platinum, high-tech ceramic, carbon fiber, and for those who want something more traditional, stainless steel. Water resistance is good, with many models rated at 100 meters or more. These are high-quality timepieces that should run well for decades to come with proper maintenance.
The company offers several different movements in their product line. Most models feature Swiss-made automatic movements, though a few have manually-wound mechanical movements and a few even offer highly reliable quartz electronic movements. All are made in-house at their factory in Switzerland.
If you like innovation and mechanical complications, you’ll like Audemars Piguet watches. They built the first skeleton watch, the smallest minute repeater and in 1925, they introduced what was then the world’s thinnest pocket watch. That innovation continues today as the company strives to keep their position as the leader in luxury timepieces, building models with elaborate mechanical complications and even a tourbillon.
Styling falls into two camps – traditional styling and more modern, avant garde designs. Most models are relatively traditional in style, which isn’t surprising from a company that is more than a century old. You’re not going to find plastic or bright colors in the product line, but they do offer some striking models with gold and diamonds.
Chronograph models are common and they offer a number of models with complications, including day/date, perpetual calendar, moon phases, minute repeater, grande complications, dual time and more. Many of the models in the product line are limited editions, so you aren’t likely to find many of your friends wearing them and you’re certainly not going to encounter anyone wearing the same model that you have. If you like exclusivity, this might be a good choice for you.
As these are luxury items and are handcrafted, you’re going to have to engage in occasional care and maintenance. Every three years, you should have your watch inspected to ensure that they’re working well and don’t have any worn parts. Occasional servicing may be necessary, and this will involve returning the watch to the company where it will be disassembled, cleaned and tested to ensure that it’s working properly.
Quartz models will need to have the batteries replaced every two years or so. You should store your watch in a cool, dry place and away from extremes of temperature or strong magnetic fields, which can damage the movement. With proper care, your grandchildren should still be able to wear your watch with pride.
The warranty for Audemars Piguet watches is the industry standard – two years from the date of purchase against defects in materials and craftsmanship. The company offers an extended warranty of three years if you register with them; check with the company for details. These watches are thoroughly tested at the factory prior to shipping, so defects are quite rare.
As these are luxury timepieces that are painstakingly crafted by hand, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see that this brand is quite expensive. Models start at about $15,000 and run into the six figures. Many of these models are quite limited in production, which keeps demand high.
Collectors love this brand, and it’s not unusual to see older models selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. While we aren’t suggesting that you buy them as an investment, you may find that the watch you buy today may be worth even more in the years to come.
As with many luxury products of all kinds, the manufacturer strictly controls both pricing and distribution. There are several reasons for this but it’s primarily to keep demand ahead of supply, which keeps prices high and avoids giving the impression that the brand is either ordinary or common.
As such, you can officially buy them only from authorized dealers, which are generally company-owned boutiques and a few high-end jewelry stores, generally located in major cities. These retailers are usually in a position to service their products in addition to selling them.
Unofficially, you can find these watches for sale at a few Internet retailers, and these represent your best opportunity to find a bargain. While they’re still expensive even when discounted, every little bit helps. As most of the company’s products are limited editions and since the product line is quite large, don’t expect any retailer to have everything the company makes in stock.
What’s not to like about Audemars Piguet? They make beautiful timepieces using old-world methods. They use high quality materials, including gold and platinum. They make models with stunning looks and elaborate complications and they’re all rare enough that if you buy one today, you’ll likely never seen another one like it. They’re guaranteed to impress a crowd and they’re built well enough to run for a lifetime. Yes, they’re expensive, but you’re worth it. If you want something truly unique, you should definitely consider Audemars Piguet watches.