Audemars Piguet was founded in 1875 in Le Brassus, Switzerland, by jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet. In 1889 they exhibited a few of their more complicated watches at the Universal Exposition in Paris. Audemars Piguet is known for creating some of the “firsts” in watch movement history. In 1892 they created the first known minute repeater watch. In 1915, they created the smallest five—minute repeater movement. The first jump-hour watch was created in 1921. In 1946 came the world’s smallest movement for a wristwatch at only 1.64mm thick.
With the stock market crash in 1929 and then the Depression, most consumers were no longer able to purchase expensive watches. This forced Audemars Piguet (like many other Swiss watch companies) to lay off most of their workers. The company rebounded after 1932 with sales of their thin dress models and chronograph lines.
Audemars Piguet began experiencing stronger growth in the 1950s and ‘60s The company partnered with Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1967 to create the world’s thinnest automatic movement (2.55 mm)
Audemars signature watch, the Royal Oak, debuted at the 1972 European watch-making fair in Basel. It was priced at 3,300 Swiss francs and was an instant hit. Audemars Piguet is still producing fine timepieces, all by hand.