Royal Oak 40th Anniversary Coincides with New Audemars Piguet Campaign

Written by: Catherine Wolinski

While many luxury watch brands tend to make appearances on the famous and fortunate, Audemars Piguet has proven its ability to garner a unique clientele and reputation. Throughout multiple settings and social groups, the brand has proved its worth time and time again, and has especially done so this year.

With a track record in world-renowned athletes as supporters, Audemers Piguet certainly does not lack strong representation. Among the brands current ambassadors are names such as Novak Diokovic, the Serbian tennis star, Sachin Tendulkar, an Indian cricket player, Michael Schumacher, a German racecar driver, Lionel Messi, the Argentinean soccer player, and most notable to American audiences, the basketball idol LeBron James.


LeBron James
LeBron James, one of the eight Audemars Piguet celebrity athlete ambassadors.

Most recently, the company has captured the attention of exclusive watch manufacturers as well as public audiences at SIHH 2012, where Audemars Piguet celebrated the 40th anniversary of its timeless timepiece, the Royal Oak. Known for its innovation in, and, in fact, invention of the luxury sports watch, the Royal Oak is not only celebrated its birthday, but served and is serving as a catalyst for the rebirth of the Audemars Piguet brand. The anniversary launched in collaboration with a new ad campaign—“To break the rules, you must first master them.”

The slogan, one can assume, refers to the expertise in design and precision the brand has maintained since its creation in 1875. However, the phrase refers to more than the brand’s functionality and loyalty to founders—it refers, too, to its ability to keep contemporary in the ever-changing, fiercely competitive modern market.

“While the watches that we make are expressions of our respect for the traditions of hand crafted timepieces and while we celebrate the fact that we are the one of the few major Swiss brands still in the hands of the descendants of the original founding families, we are also a modern, progressive company famous for our innovations in technology, the daring use of new materials and bold designs,” says Audemars Piguet CEO Philippe Merk.

The campaign aids to highlight two major themes that represent the brand: artistry and mastery. The bet pieces of the 2012 collection will be showcased using extreme close up photos, shot by photographer Richard Foster, along with brief but enlightening descriptions, allowing viewers to better understand each piece, and the way that it both mirrors and challenges typical luxury watchmaking.

There is also a focus on the watch manufacturer’s history, using a photo collection from English photographic artist Dan Holdsworth, whose work on the project features a dramatic capturing of the heart of the Vallee de Joux, where Audemars Piguet had its beginnings. The rebranding will also include a sprucing up of the brand logo.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
The Royal Oak Offshore, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

“We are very excited to be working with outstanding photographic talent for this campaign,” says Chief Marketing Officer, Tim Sayler. “While other brands may like to be seen as heirlooms, Audemars Piguet is a progressive brand for the here and now, a brand to be worn by connoisseurs who respect the past but are making their own futures.”

January 2012 begins the launch of the brand’s campaign along with its new models, which will continue to be introduced through the coming year.

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