You Can’t Ask That: Developing the real estate of an Audemars Piguet watch You Can’t Ask That: Developing the real estate of an Audemars Piguet watch

You Can’t Ask That: Developing the real estate of an Audemars Piguet watch

Zach Blass

This is the fifth video in a series of more conversational, and less directly watch-focused, videos that aim to provide richer telling of the Audemars Piguet story. Why is it called, You Can’t Ask That? These are questions and topics that don’t commonly get addressed in the interviews with either Lucas Raggi, the Research and Development Director, or Michael Friedman, Head of Complications. Here Andrew, Michael, and Lucas discuss the real estate of an Audemars Piguet watch and how the brand makes the most of it in their timepieces.

Each watch design, or collection for that matter, is a fresh canvas. The infrastructure is akin to a floor plan, where the building serves as the framework or space in which a developer can then design the interior. A watch is no different. Well a bit different, because a watch is a far smaller object – so it is like squeezing eight floors with of components into a single level. Many factors come into play when creating a timepiece, and the externals and internals have to work in harmony to present an alluring novelty.

One example of the inevitable balancing act that occurs in watch design is the movement thickness in relation to the case thickness. If you have a thinner base movement you ultimately have more space to explore greater complication through added modules to the entry point of a caliber – which will, in turn, result in the thickening of a caliber. The more parts, typically the more space needed.

How much space is allowed, and how the space is used, can dictate how interesting a given watch is. A Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin leaves a lot less space to work with than typically a two-handed time and date-only watch due to the restrictions of its framework. The larger Royal Oak Concept watches are larger because, quite frankly, the extra space is necessary to explore the novel concepts introduced within them.

As Michael Friedman describes in this latest video segment, the Code 11:59 presents a middle ground – comfortably situated between thin and thick to present a balance of complication and elegance. To grasp the complexities of creating these spaces, and maximizing their usage, you should definitely watch the below to get a better idea of how Audemars Piguet tackles this aspect of design.