Audemars Piguet Watches (Everything You Need To Know)

Audemars Piguet is one of the biggest names in luxury watches, and to a point, it made its name by the sheer high price tag that these watches go for. It’s not unusual to see a rare AP watch sell for over $100,000 apiece. If you are new to the world of watches, you might be curious about why Audemars Piguet remains so expensive. Don’t worry, it’s worth the price.

There are a multitude of reasons why Audemars Piguet watches retain such high value, including exceptional workmanship, rare materials, and the fact that each watch is only released in limited quantities. Moreover, research and development costs drive the price up even higher. 

If you want to get an Audemars Piguet and actually have the money to do so, it’s normal to ask what you’re getting for that cash. Let’s talk about it.

Why Are Audemars Piguet Watches So Expensive?

You don’t develop a brand like Audemars Piguet without offering a lot of bang for your buck. Here’s why people pay big bucks for Audemars Piguet.

1. Production Cost

Audemars Piguet does not involve a typical production process. Along with the actual development and engineering of each watch, it’s important to remember that they also have to pay a premium price for the tools needed to make each timepiece.

For example, satin-brushing each piece has to be something done by hand. Even the calibration of the tools can take years to perfect. Since every little detail often requires artisan hands and state-of-the-art tools, it’s easy to see why production boosts the cost.

2. High-End Movement And Materials

An AP watch is not a normal watch. Micro-engineers have to spend years to get the calibration of each watch correct before it can be created. If you are looking for the most accurate time telling power in the world, then Audemars Piguet tends to be a smart choice. Each watch’s movement is also designed to last a lifetime. That’s not an easy feat!

The movements in those watches alone can cost upwards of $10,000. That partly explains the high price tag, but it’s not the entire story. It’s important to remember that it can take artisans months to manufacture a Grand Complication or a tourbuillion.

It’s also worth noting that this company doesn’t cut corners on materials. Rare sapphires, incredibly clear diamonds, unusual alloys, and cutting-edge ceramics are what make this a heritage timepiece company. Even if the watch (somehow) breaks, the materials make sure that you still have some value in that watch.

3. Limited Design

Here’s the thing about upscale watches like the ones from Audemars Piguet: they are only made in very small quantities. Some Audemars Piguet watches are only released in batches of 20 or less. In the world of luxury watches, rarity is a major price driver. The rarer the watch, the more expensive it is.

4. Lack of Skilled Watchmakers

In order to deliver a world-class watch, you have to have people who know how to make a watch well. Unfortunately, watchmaking is not as common a career path as it once was. In fact, it’s extremely rare to find any watchmaker in a city, let alone someone who has the skills and experience required to work for Audemars Piguet.

Audemars Piguet also has to specially train their watchmakers, and offers them a highly prized salary that’s above the national average. As a result of their hard work sourcing staff, you have to pay a premium price.

5. Research and Development Cost

R&D is going to be a major price point of any top-rated watch. Audemars Piguet is not an exception to this rule. In fact, it’s actually one of the top houses for advanced watch movement research as well as upgrades on current watch durability design.

That research is what makes AP so popular, and boy, it is not cheap. Audemars Piguet spends millions every year to create the best watches. The research and development can take years to create a newer watch movement or develop a ceramic that can work in deeper parts of the ocean. That durability isn’t easy to come by and that cost gets passed onto the buyer.

Are Audemars Piguet Watches Worth The Money?

Ask any collector of watches, and they’ll tell you that an Audemars Piguet is a fine investment. Along with looking great and lasting a lifetime, AP watches have a tendency of holding their value. In most cases, their watches will also gain more value as years pass.

With that said, it’s not the brand that everyone goes to for value increases. Rolex still tends to increase in value more than a typical AP watch does. Oddly enough, many Audemars Piguet watches exceed the starting price of a Rolex. So, it is up to you to decide what you want.

Is An AP More Expensive Than A Patek?

Patek Phillippe is not a watch brand to sneeze at, and neither is Audemars Piguet. In terms of pricing, these two brands are fairly even. Both Audemars and Patek watches have their starter models begin at $10,000 to $12,000. From there, the price of the watches available will vary greatly depending on their specific model.

Both Patek Phillippe and Audemars Piguet have watch models that top the six-figure mark, so trust us when we say that these watches will put a serious dent in your wallet.

Why Is The AP Royal Oak So Expensive?

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is considered to be one of the brand’s flagship models, and it’s also the most sought-after model made by the company. AP was famous for creating this watch as the first luxury steel sports watch back in the early 1970s. Since then, this casual-yet-classy choice became incredibly popular with the elites of the world.

A lot of the little details are what make the Royal Oak seem so perfect in its design. However, the true value is the fact that it’s in high demand and has very few releases every year. If you want to score a Royal Oak for yourself, you will have to go on a several-year waitlist.

Will The Royal Oak Increase In Value?

The Royal Oak lines of Audemars Piguet generally do increase in value fairly well. That’s why they are one of the most sought-after lines from Audemars. How much each particular Royal Oak will appreciate depends on the year it is made, if it is one of the rarer types of Royal Oaks, and more.

In recent years, Royal Oak watches have started to gain value at a higher rate than the years before. This is partly due to the increase in interest in watches, and also due to the decrease in availability of watches on the market.

How Much Does An AP Royal Oak Cost?

This depends on the specific model. The “jumbo” watches can easily go for as much as $70,000 or more, depending on the year and model. However, the entry level of this line can be as “affordable” as $20,000 from a trusted reseller.

Which Audemars Piguet Watches Retain Their Value?

If we are going to generalize, virtually all Audemars Piguet watches have the potential to retain their value or increase in value. However, some models are known for being safer investments than others. The top choices include:

  • Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin 15202ST. This is a beautiful blue steel watch that has all the makings of a larger, more glamorous version of the original 1972 Royal Oak watch. It’s classically popular in its own right, and is one of the most coveted models.
  • Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202 Rare Finish Selections. If you don’t want the steel, don’t worry. There are even more Extra Thin models with unique finish, including several gold releases as well as a white gold release and a slick yellow gold release. Most of these were limited to issuances of 250 pieces, making them a seriously rare find.
  • All Royal Oak QP Ceramic Models. These watches all have a perpetual calendar and a ceramic base, making them a step above a typical Royal Oak. All three are currently available via boutiques exclusively. These can easily cost over $120,000..

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