Audemars Piguet has announced that its spiralling glass museum will be open to the public on June 25. Visitors will be able to take on a narrative journey through the world-renowned horologist’s 139-year history.
Established as an extension to the Swiss watchmaker’s headquarters in Le Brassus near Le Chenit, the new watch museum located at the Vallée de Joux currently houses a collection that spans over two centuries and consists of more than 300 timepieces.
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet’s recognisable spiralling glass pavilion design conceived by Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to complement the company’s oldest building where Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet set their workshop in 1875. The two sloping spirals that coil around themselves like a watch spring is meant to symbolize the blend of tradition and forward-thinking at the heart of Audemars Piguet’s craftsmanship while honouring its deep-rooted origins.
“We wanted visitors to experience our heritage, savoir-faire, cultural origins and openness to the world in a building that would reflect both our rootedness and forward-thinking spirit,” said Audemars Piguet’s Chairwoman of the Board of Directors Jasmine Audemars. “But, before all, we wanted to pay tribute to the watchmakers and craftspeople who have made what Audemars Piguet is today, generation after generation.”
Experience The Savoir-faire
Thanks to German museum designer Atelier Brückner reimagining the exhibition’s composition as a musical score, visitors will get to experience a diverse showcase of the manufacture’s complicated masterpieces. A long list of astronomical, chiming and chronograph complications that are at the heart of Audemars Piguet watchmaking are arrayed around the ultra-complicated Universelle pocket watch from 1899. Closing the exhibition is a display of Royal Oak, Royal Oak Offshore and Royal Oak Concept timepieces.
Complementing the complicated timepieces exhibitions are two specialized ateliers located at the heart of the spiral. The first is dedicated to the Grandes Complications, where each watch—which are composed of more than 648 components—spends from six to eight months in the hands of a single watchmaker before leaving the workshop. The second atelier hosts the Métiers d’Art which showcases the works of highly skilled jewellers, gem-setters and engravers.
Visitors to Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet are also able to have a go at some of the ancestral techniques perpetuated by Audemars Piguet’s finishing experts, such as satin brushing and circular graining. Furthering the company’s cultural and artistic engagement, the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet will also be a fitting exhibition venue for some of the traveling artworks created by the manufacture’s commissioned artists.
In Celebration Of The Musée Atelier
For the opening of its Musée Atelier, Audemars Piguet will exhibit commissioned artworks by long-lasting friends of the brand. These artworks are show creative interpretations of Audemars Piguet’s origins in the Vallée de Joux by Dan Holdsworth, Quayola and Alexandre Joly. Holdsworth’s photograph “Vallée de Joux n° 10” from his photographic series “The Vallée de Joux” along with Quayola’s “Remains #A_027” from “Remains: Vallée de Joux” are complemented by a multimedia installation by Alexandre Joly.
Last but not least, the Swiss watchmaker will also be presenting a new take on one of its exceedingly rare vintage chronograph wristwatches from 1943, dubbed the [Re]master01. It brings back all of the design attributes of the original chronograph, featuring a round stainless steel case and teardrop lugs enhanced by an 18K pink gold bezel, crown and pushers. The gold-toned dial is complemented with a blue tachymetric scale, pink gold hour, minutes and seconds hands along with blue chronograph hands. The watch comes with a light brown hand-stitched calfskin strap as well as an additional brown alligator strap.
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This article first appeared in Prestige Indonesia.