As in life, when it comes to investments, there is never a sure thing. And just like any other investment, the market for luxury watches is always going to fluctuate and grow depending on factors such as current trends and public interest.
But despite this, there will always be a certain few timepieces that are as close to being a sure-fire investment as it comes. These are typically watches that collectors and experts predict will appreciate in value in the future.
Audemars Piguet is one of the most esteemed and successful watch brands in the world. The AP label has a huge fan base and a significant market. Many examples from this beloved watchmaker are considered a good investment for the hardy collector.
This blog will answer a number of questions you may have, including: is Audemars Piguet a good investment, what is the origins of the mega brand, and which timepieces are best to consider investing in?
Audemars Piguet Background History
Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet were childhood friends who, after reconnecting, discovered they were both aspiring watchmakers. After this discovery, they decided in 1875 in Le Brassus in the Vallee de Joux region of Switzerland to combine resources to create a joint brand — Audemars Piguet.
Initially, Audemars exclusively focused on the production and technical aspects of their watches, while Piguet oversaw the sales and management. In 1882, Audemars Piguet, as it is known today, created and released their first ever timepieces under the new brand. In the following ten years they would make an estimated 1600 watches — virtually all with at least one, if not several complications.
The core values and innovations that saw the Audemars Piguet brand establish itself as a force in the industry; refined chiming, chronograph and astronomical watches that are assembled and finished by hand in their home of Le Brassus are still represented in the brand today.
Audemars Piguet remains in the hands of the founding families, and the vision of the two founders remains strong long after their deaths.
“Audemars Piguet is more than a company. It remains independent and family owned, responsible for the transmission of knowledge and know-how to the future generations. Here in Le Brassus, where it all started in 1875.” – Olivier Audemars, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors
For more information on the history of one of the industry’s most esteemed and innovative watchmakers, a valued member of the ‘big three’ of luxury watches, check out our blog going into further detail on the subject.
Is Audemars Piguet Worth the Price?
As one of the most luxurious brands of watches in the world, Audemars Piguet watches can be expensive, particularly if you are just starting your watch collection. So, is Audemars Piguet worth the price? And if so, what makes the Swiss watchmaker worthwhile?
Often compared to other famed Swiss watch brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe, what exactly places Audemars Piguet in such esteemed company and what makes it worth the price tag?
So what makes Audemars Piguet worth the price?
As one of the most luxurious names in the world of watches, there is an expectation for quality and innovation when it comes to a brand like Audemars Piguet. AP goes above and beyond this expectation.
Compared to other similarly placed brands, Audemars will take as much time as they can in the development phase in order to perfect their output. A reputation for prestige and quality does not come overnight, and AP has invested countless hours and finances into getting their product exactly where they want it to be. The price tag will only go hand-in-hand with considerations such as this.
Luxury Materials for a Luxury Product
Another point worth taking into account when considering the price of an Audemars Piguet is the materials that go into each piece of every watch produced.
The attention to detail and quality in Audemars Piguet watches goes deep — much deeper than many other similarly sized brands. From quality materials on the case to the movements, down to the screws, Audemars Piguet spares no expense when pursuing artistic and engineering perfection.
Scarcity of Production
In business, consumers are always attracted to exclusivity. The more limited a product is, the more attractive it can become — and in turn, the more valuable it becomes. Audemars Piguet watches fit this ideology. Only a small amount of AP watches are released each year due to the attention to detail and master craftsmanship that goes into every single watch released. As a result, these scarce releases are significantly more sought after than if they were to be released in bulk.
What is the Best Audemars Piguet Watch for Investment?
When it comes to the best Audemars Piguet watch for investment, their most iconic and most prevalent model, the Royal Oak immediately springs to mind. From the faithful throwback ref. 15202ST, to the ‘Jumbo’ Extra Thin, the popularity of this model ensures that with a little luck, your watch can remain an excellent investment for years to come.
One of the most iconic models Audemars Piguet have ever produced, the Royal Oak has maintained a steady fanbase ever since its initial conception in 1972 for the annual Swiss watch show. In recent years, interest in the Royal Oak has continued to grow, and thanks to the 50th anniversary of the model in 2022, interest may be at an all time high.
To commemorate the anniversary, Audemars Piguet announced the release of a number of new editions. The company also recently announced the discontinuation of the steel version of their Royal Oak watches to make way for this new raft of 2022 releases.
All this has done is ensure that not only is each new release snapped up almost immediately, but interest in the now-discontinued steel predecessors has never been higher.
A selection of the best Audemars Piguet watches for investment right now includes:
Royal Oak REF. 15202ST
A modern Royal Oak can be an expensive proposition. However, due to the enduring love and popularity of the traditions of the brand’s past, this reference is likely the most beloved of all. The REF. 15202ST harkens back to the original ‘70s model.
These days, this reference is virtually impossible to buy new. As a result, it is currently retailing at around double the original price on the second hand market
While this may seem high right now, should Audemars ever discontinue it, this price could increase exponentially, even reaching six figures in time if the demand is there.
A vintage model from a time some would consider a golden era for Audemars Piguet. The reference 5402 was designed by the esteemed watch designer Gerald Genta. As a result, many of these early models have soared in both popularity and price in recent years. It is estimated that there were only ever around 2000 of this reference produced.
“Jumbo” Extra Thin Reference 15202.
An exceptional new release from Audemars Piguet, the 15202 couldn’t be purchased fast enough upon its initial release back in 2019. The appeal of this stunning reference has endured, making it a collectors dream.
Prices for this model have soared. Today, they far exceed the original price tag of around the £25,000 mark, And due to the handsome appeal it has, you wouldn’t bet against it continuing to rise in years to come.
Royal Oak Selfwinding 15400ST
Despite recent design changes, the 15400ST reference was created with one eye on the retrospective. The design of this model is clearly inspired by the past — the large logo present on many new AP’s is replaced with a classic, smaller logo, and the return of the double-baton index was a pleasant surprise upon the initial release.
How Blowers Jewellers can Help you Buy a Watch You’ll Love
Ultimately, the process of buying luxury watches is about much more than just investment potential. It’s far more romantic than that; it is a feeling. Falling in love with the right model that you can wear every single day is a unique sensation to the world of watch lovers that just can’t be experienced elsewhere.
When it comes to picking up your dream watch, be it a Rolex, an Audemars, a Panerai, or an Omega, you should try to have a more holistic approach. Don’t just look at the price tag or the resale value, look inwards to make the ultimate decision on which watch is best for you.
If you are considering purchasing an Audemars Piguet watch as the centrepiece of your collection, as an investment, or to adorn your wrist at events, Blowers Jewellers are here to help.
Our years of experience in the world of luxury watches and jewellery ensure that there’s nothing we haven’t seen making us perfectly placed to provide a perfect service to help find you your dream watch. For more information about how Blowers Jewellers can assist you in finding the dream Audemars Piguet, or to guide you through our stunning collection of second hand luxury timepieces, contact us today.