On & Around the Street

AUDEMARS PIGUET OPENS FIRST AP HOUSE IN LONDON ON SLOANE STREET

Cult Swiss haute watch brand Audemars Piguet will open its first AP House in London on Sloane Street, bringing some of the most extraordinary watches in the world to the Street.

The new boutique is a part of the brand’s new retail concept, which is an imagining of how brand founders Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet might interact with their clients in the 21st Century, and takes inspiration from the natural landscape of the Manufacture’s home in the Vallée de Joux, at the heart of the Swiss Jura.

Elegant, natural materials like pale stone and pale wood emphasise the brand’s aesthetics, while ample seating in modernist shapes and luxurious carpets create an inviting and textural environment where customers can discover the extraordinary timepieces from the oldest fine watchmaking manufacturer still in the hands of its founding families.

“We are very proud of our new boutique on Sloane Street. The location plays an important role for us,” said Audemars Piguet chief executive officer François-Henry Bennahmias in a statement.

Since 1875, the company has become known for its time-keeping masterpieces, created in limited series that embody a remarkable degree of horological perfection, including daring sporty models, classic and traditional timepieces, splendid ladies’ jewellery-watches, as well as one-of-a-kind creations.

The brand’s most renowned collection, Royal Oak, with its signature octagonal bezel and exposed screw, was a revolution in watch design when it was launched in 1972, and soon became a true modern icon.

The most recent addition to the AP family is the Code 11.59 family of watches, symbolically named for the last minute of the day before the dawn of a new one. In the biggest launch since Royal Oak caused a splash in 1972, the Code 11.59 collection was five years in the making and is available in 13 references across six models with three new calibres. Nodding to its iconic predecessor, the Code 11.59 features an octagonal middle case within a round case.

The manufacturing process has created a contemporary double-curved sapphire crystal, whose arched profile plays with depth, perspective and light for a unique optic experience. To achieve the best possible legibility, the internal surface is shaped like a dome and the external surface is vertically curved from 6 to 12 o’clock, while a very narrow bezel makes the face of the watch appear larger than its 41mm size.

Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet rose gold Perpetual Calendar

Watch aficionados will be entranced by the rose gold Perpetual Calendar (above), which features a beautiful aventurine dial that recalls a starlit night sky, created through the use of a Venetian glass-making technique that originated 17th Century, in which the introduction of black copper oxide and cobalt during the cooling phase of the glass colours it in blue and produces a constellation of mineral particles.

The opening of the Audemars Piguet boutique is the prelude to two further highly anticipated new arrivals to Sloane Street: Mackage, the Canadian outerwear brand worn on numerous occasions by Meghan Markle, and Saloni, the London-based brand by Saloni Lodha that specialises in elegant dresses in surprising colour palettes deployed in the label’s hallmark intricate floral patterns.

Audemars Piguet, 165 Sloane Street, SW1X 9QB

Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Chronograph