Audemars Piguet CEO on Economic Slowdown

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak T3 Watch
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak T3 Watch

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches continues to attract watch connoisseurs around the globe. Audemars Piguet CEO Ad Interim, Francois Henry Bennahmias weighed in on the economic slowdown and its effect on the watchmaker’s distribution of its watches on CNBC Squawk Box October 8, 2012.

Despite all economic appearances Bennahmias asserted that the luxury brand had not been affected by the economic slowdown as its business continues to be well proportioned throughout the globe. While its Asian and Euro market demands had slowed slightly it was not enough to affect Audemars Piguet bottom line.

Bennahmias did state that higher gold prices had created a bit of a challenge for the privately held company, and that Audemars Piguet was working to find qualitative solutions that would keep distribution and offering prices of their watches within customers reach. He addressed strategic distribution plans that involved the possibility and/or inclusion of more brand retail stores, specific regions for watch sales, as well as the potential for sales at retail outlet stores over the next five to ten years. Bennahmias also mentioned regaining control of its distribution channels within Asia over the next five to ten years as well.

Audemars Piguet manufactures 32,000 watches yearly worldwide with a retail price tag of $10,000 to $14,000, and an average retail price tag of about $30,000 to $35,000. These significant numbers helps the company effectively target where their customers are and what products it can effectively sell to buyers within these global markets. China in particular has become more luxury brand savvy and Audemars Piguet is definitely honing in to catering to this market savvy customer as have other luxury watch manufacturers. China has become the new Wild, Wild West for many luxury brand watchmakers hoping to establish and maintain strong on-going market relationships.

Audemars Piguet interesting history and survival during World War II established it staying power. After several near brushes with bankruptcy AP bounced back when forced to make stainless steel watches when the Italian government prohibited the watchmaker from importing gold watches into Italy. While many Swiss watch makers were going under an AP designer found inspiration in a diver’s helmet. The AP designer sketched a new stainless steel watch inspired by the heavy nuts he had seen on a diver’s helmet. That watch became Audemars Piguet’s signature watch and ultimately its watch design savior.

This staying spirit is what the Audemars family puts as its ability to maintain “facing headwinds”. Its spirit is from what small acorns spring – might oaks! Royal Oak timepieces to be exact.

Audemars Piguet Brand Ambassadors are Victorious in Ryder Cup

Audemars Piguet brand ambassadors Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell experienced a taste of triumph at the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament on September 30th.
Audemars Piguet Ambassadors Claim Victory at the Ryder Cup
Brand ambassador Rory McIlroy drove Team Europe to a winning victory at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah Illinois on Sunday. Call it tenacity driven by passion and mastery of the sport, it certainly allowed Team Europe to retain the Ryder Cup for Europe for yet another consecutive year.

By Friday it appeared as though the American team had the home court advantage to potentially regain the Ryder Cup with a 10-4 lead. With 14 points available, the American team was shy of only four points to win. This four point lead gave the American team an overwhelming streak of confidence; however, on Sunday Team Europe staged an amazing comeback defeating American Team by 14½ points to 13½.

McIlroy’s birdie on the 13th hole on Saturday evening was inspiration enough for team member Ian Poulter who finished the day with a run of five birdies. McIlroy attrtibuted the team’s win to practice and the knowledge he attained playing in the Masters. Mc Ilroy realized that if he disciplined the craft of his golf game and controlled his emotions by staying mentally focused that the golf would literally take care of itself.

Audemars Piguet drew parallels to the worlds of golf and watch making pointing that both share intrinsic values as relates to passion, precision and rigorousness. Audemars Piguet’s proud partnership with Team Europe exemplifies the spirit of team work fueled by passion about their sport a common value shared in perpetuating professionalism and success. Team Europe’s mastery of their sport is the very embodiment of Audemars Piguet’s central philosophy, “To break the rules, you must first master them.”

Team Europe mastery of golf is allowing the team to enjoy celebration of their victories win at the Ryder Cup 2012. Congratulations go out to Team Europe as they celebrate the splendor of their magnificent Ryder Cup win.

Audemars Piguet remains one of the last fine watch manufacturers still owned by founding family members Audemars and Piguet. This watch company has a rich history of Haute Horlogerie which also includes many noted world firsts. Audemars Piguet notoriety is marked by its limited edition timepieces and the meticulous degree of precision exercised to manufacture many of its sporty, classic and traditional watches, its exquisite ladies watches and jewelry, and many of its unique one-of-a-kind masterpieces. It is easy to understand why such passion and mastery for excellence propelled Audemars Piguet to partner with Team Europe at the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament.

Wrapping up Salón Internacional de la Alta Relojería in Mexico City

Every fall, Mexico City welcomes the world’s most influential watch brands and names during the SIAR (Salon Internacional Alta Relojeria). Brands, retailers, collectors, creators, and few others come together during this event to showcase very best of the luxury world and haute horlogerie art. The SIAR allows for the launch of new products and showcases technological breakthroughs. The conferences by world-renowned personalities is also a great learning opportunity for those visitors who want to delve in to the world of watchmaking.
2012 Salon Internacional de alta Relojeria Logo
Audemars Piguet is one of the brands that will participate in the 2012 SIAR and has participated since its beginnings in 2007. This year, Audemars Piguet will be celebrating 40 years of its Royal Oak model and also showcasing a number of Grande complications. The Royal Oak celebrates its 40th anniversary with a contemporary-styled watch. Created by designer Gerald Genta in 1972, this piece is now sold in Grande Complications version and features powerful design and aesthetic. Other brands showcased during this event from October 2nd to 4th of 2012 include Cartier, Piaget, Bvlgari, and Hublot Geneve.

The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) also traveled to Mexico with a historically themed exhibition called “The Mastery of Time” for the sixth edition at the SIAR fine watch fair in Mexico City. Founded in 2005 in Geneva, the FHH “lead dissemination of information and training on the innovation and technical expertise that are the foremost values within the tradition of fine Swiss watchmaking.” With 27 partner companies, the foundation is recognised globally with its mission to educate and train against counterfeiting.

The exhibition will feature about hundred historically significant timepieces. The exhibition has been designed to take its participants in the journey of six chapters. They will explore the defining moments on man’s quest for mastery of time. They will touch on the different states of development that made lasting impact. This informative exhibition that travels through different ages is also expected to cross continents and be presented at SalonQP in London and Belles Montres in Paris.

As stated in its mission, the FHH exhibition aims to promote and spread the culture of watchmaking in all its form and the history of time measurement. The six parts that will be presented in the exhibition will catalogue man’s quest to capture time, from the first gnomons to the micromechanical contemporary. In addition, catalogs and books are used to support this exhibition.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Men’s Watch 26288OF.OO.D002CR.01

In 1875, two young men by the name of Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet founded the company now known as Audemars Piguet (AP). Since its conception, the company has produced numerous luxury watches and has a number of ambassadors throughout the world. These ambassadors include famous athletes and actors known my many, including professional basketball NBA player LeBron James, tennis player Novak Djokovic, Formula One race car driver Sebastien Buemi, Argentinean footballer (soccer star) Leo Messi, Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, and pro golfer Rory McIlroy. One of the popular model of this brand is the Royal Oak.

The Royal Oak is a revolutionary collection of Audemars Piguet and one of the most recognizable. Its strongbox case and octagonal bezel with eight hexagonal screws with beautiful workmanship and high quality distinguishes it from many other watches and models. The Royal Oak also has visible water resistance gasketts and dial adorned with engine-turned “Grande Tapisserie” motif. The Royal Oak Offshore is a model that closely resembles Royal Oak but has a sporty look, which makes the design features distinctive. The features and proportions are large and utilize high-tech materials.

One of the characteristics of the Royal Oak Offshore watches is the dial, which has a magnifying date cyclops below the sapphire crystal. The red hour totalizer and minute-totalizer hands are an additional beautiful features. The new models have a case with diameter of 44 millimeters and made stainless steel, forged carbon or pink gold. The watches come with a ceramic bezel and pushers, which have satin-brushed and polished finish. The base caliber inside the case has hour, minutes, seconds, and date functionality, as well as any chronograph functions. This movement can be observed through the sapphire case back.

Technical Specifications: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Men’s Watch 26288OF.OO.D002CR.01

Octagonal shaped
18k Rose Gold
Diameter – 44 millimeters
Thickness – 16.6 millimeters
Caseback – Screw-down (8 screws) 18k rose gold with RoyalOak Offshore Engraving
Watch chronograph: black ceramic chronograph pushers at 2 and 4. Center chronograph seconds, 30 minutes counter at 3.
Crystal material – sapphire crystal
Black ceramic crown
Forged Carbon
Color – Black with gold-rimmed subdials
Mechanical Hand Wound
AP caliber 2912
328 parts
30 Jewels
Hours, Minutes, Seconds, chronograph, and Tourbillon functions
Leather – black crocodile
Clasp – 18k Rose gold deployment
Size – 8.5 inches
Width – 18 millimeters – 30 millimeters

Jules Audemars Moon-Phase Calendar Watch by Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet’s collection of luxury timepieces is as distinct in appearance as they are in quality. One can easily recognize an Audemars Piguet watch from their classic telltale moon phase calendar as it makes an appearance in many of their famed timepieces. The Jules Audemars collection has long been known for their distinctly different yet noticeably inspired by Audemars Piguet’s earliest creations of having distinct shapes and complications.

The Jules Audemars collection is largely characterized by their distinct cushion case design, striking complications and ultra-thin case design. This stunning gentleman’s watch features a beautifully polished 18 karat round rose gold case measuring 39 millimeters in diameter by 8.8 millimeters in breadth. Previous versions of the Jules Audemars Moon-Phase Calendar timepieces allowed for variations in tone of the case however this 2011 edition only offers the watch in rose gold. Although consumers might feel limited in the variations with the rose gold case, the brown alligator strap attached to the case offsets the color of the case impeccably making the rose gold a perfect match.

The ultra slim bezel makes for the perfect placement to view the dial which highlights the piece’s physical attractiveness as well as function. Seeing as the timepiece is super slim it does not overwhelm the man’s wrist rather it garners just enough attention without appearing too delicate nor overly ostentatious.

Additionally, watch aficionados will appreciate the small, in-house AP Calibre 2324/2825 which is hand decorated and houses a manual movement which consists of 45 jewels and 215 components vibrating at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour. This AP Calibre 2324/2825 movement’s bridges were embellished with Cotes de Geneve. Displaying the time, date and moon phases as well as an annual calendar, the Jules Audemars Moon-Phase Calendar Watch provides a power reserve of 40 hours.

The classic design of the timepiece makes it an ideal timepiece for any gentleman to wear comfortably every day, but is just as fitting to wear on special occasions as well. This extremely elegant and definitive timepiece is a smart choice for any gentleman as it offers so many options in function. Even for those who do not care much to track the phases of the moon, the dial of the watch is simple yet so attractive in an understated way and the high quality craftsmanship of any Audemars Piguet watch should make for a perfect accompaniment to any person who appreciates the finer things in life.