THE CHARM OF AUDEMARS PIGUET
BY WALT ODETS
There was a time, not long ago, when the mention of Audemars Piguet lightened the hearts and lifted the spirits of those in
love with fine watches. In recent years, particularly in the US, the name has come to do much less.
In fact, Audemars Piguet is still a company whose watches are among the finest in the
world. With a long tradition in watchmaking, this family-owned company is still extraordinarily talented in the traditional Swiss crafts.
Fortunately for the collector of fine watches, 2125-based watches are widely available, and at bargain-basement
prices. Compared to the watches of the three or four other companies producing comparable quality, Audemars Piguets are ridiculously discounted. It is no exaggeration to say that for
the price of many utterly mediocre steel chronographs, a masterpiece may be had. The 18 karat, 2125-based watch illustrated here was purchased for US$2,000.
True to long tradition, components of the keyless mechanism (for winding and handsetting) are as beautifully finished as the top plate.
The entire top plate (with barrel bridge removed) is illustrated left. The complex automatic winding system is seen in the cluster of
wheels at (1). The renown JLC switching rocker is seen at (1A). The mainspring barrel is shown at (2). The keyless works are shown at (3) along with the hacking lever (
3A), which arrests the balance when the crown is pulled into the hand-setting position.
The bottom plate is as immaculately finished as the top plate. The sophisticated calendar mechanism with quick set date function is under the cover at (1).
The dial, too, is beautifully detailed.
Finished and cased, the 2125 is a remarkable piece of work that radiates the charm of Audemars Piguet. The polish and sheen is
Long a favorite in the stylistically-sophisticated Italian market, Audemars has produced many beautiful watches over the years.
The 36 millimeter model shown here is inexplicably named the “Sportif” (it does
have a screw-down crown) and dates from the 1980’s. Given the quality of execution, inside and out, Audemars like these offer an opportunity to own true excellence at prices that, today, buy little of real substance.
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