2014 marks the launch of Audemars Piguet’s second Haute Joaillerie timepiece; an impressive declaration of the Manufacture’s expertise, sensitivity and ability to interpret historical references in a contemporary light.
Committed to its high jewellery production tradition, Audemars Piguet has spanned a bridge from the present to the year 1883 when the Manufacturer first started to make women’s watches. Just eight years after its foundation, Audemars and his partner Piguet turned their talented hands to the creation of ladies’ watches.
Renowned for the production of complicated men’s calibres, women’s watches called upon a completely different range of skills. Space in these creations was much more limited posing a challenge for the insertion of movements. Once these technical hurdles had been surpassed, a team of jewellers, gemsetters and engravers were called upon to decorate the watch.
In essence, not much has changed since 1883. The creation of this Haute Joaillerie piece is as complex today as it was then, requiring a designated and highly skilled team of designers, gemsetters, engravers and watchmakers. Nature is the protagonist of this magnificent piece and the reason for this can only be appreciated by understanding the scenery of the beautiful Vallée de Joux.
Since its foundation in 1875, Audemars Piguet has always been rooted in the village of Le Brassus. Surrounded by pine forests and bucolic views, everybody at the Manufacture is aware of the subtle impact that the countryside exerts on their creations.
This year, the cosmos is the inspiration behind this extraordinary work of art scintillating with 449 diamonds. Unusual and dramatic, the appeal of this watch lies in its combination of asymmetric and symmetric lines, an ingenious fusion of Art Nouveau’s free flowing lines countered by Art Deco’s geometric architecture.
Crafted entirely in white gold, the round dial forms a velvety celestial background for a series of shooting stars that continue their trajectory beyond the confines of the dial. To instill a sense of movement, the case is surrounded by dangling baguette-cut diamond charms that swing in time with the wearer.
The eye-catching bracelet is composed of two diamond studded ribbons that resemble the classic geometric Greek Key pattern renowned throughout history as a symbol of infinity and unity.
Crisscrossing their way in symmetrical fashion from the case to the clasp, the ribbons part ways when they reach the dial and break the symmetry that ruled the bracelet. Like tree roots, or the silhouette of the Big Dipper constellation, each strand of the bracelet moves independently over the surface of the sapphire crystal, determined to hold the precious dial in place.
The unconventional character of this watch is also reflected in its dimensions. At 28.5 mm across, it is exceptionally large for a high jewellery piece, designed to appeal to independent women of our time. Fitted with a manual winding in-house movement to ensure precision readings of the passing hours and minutes, women can admire Audemars Piguet’s proprietary hand-wound calibre 3091 through the sapphire crystal case-back decorated with a dainty ring of diamonds.
Model: Haute Joaillerie Watch, 28.5 mm
Hand-wound manufacture Calibre 3091
Total diameter: 21.40 mm (9½ lines)
Total Thickness: 2.80 mm
Number of jewels: 21
Number of parts: 148
Minimal guaranteed power reserve : >48 h
Frequency of balance wheel: 3Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)
18-carat white gold case set with brilliant-cut diamonds; glare proofed sapphire crystal and caseback, water-resistant to 20 m
White gold dial set with diamonds with “explosion” effect, 2N gold facetted diamond-polished blued hands
18-carat white gold bracelet set with brillant and baguette-cut diamonds
410 brilliant-cut diamonds; approx. 6.18 carats
39 baguette-cut diamonds; approx. 4.14 carats (case and bracelet)
90 diamonds; approx. 0.263 carats (dial)