Reputed for a rich history spent helming the world of haute horlogerie, Audemars Piguet has recently launched its world-touring exhibition, held for the first time at Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi, Japan. A reminder that horology and art have long been intrinsically linked, ‘Beyond Watchmaking’ is a showcase of Audemars Piguet’s legacy from various angles, going from the craftsmanship they’ve always stood by, to even the manufacturer’s geographic and historical backgrounds.
Expect a treasure trove of AP masterpieces, complemented by audiovisual installations specifically curated to indulge the five senses. From which highlights to keep an eye out for, to why you should definitely make a personal visit, here’s what we know about Audemars Piguet’s latest exhibition.
What to Expect: Audemars Piguet’s Beyond Watchmaking, in a Nutshell
Telling the story of Audemars Piguet — more importantly, the dedicated craftspeople behind the brand — Beyond Watchmaking is in many ways an ode to the savoir-faire, boundary-breaking character that has underlied AP’s philosophy throughout the generations. Spanning over 144 years of history, over 150 watches are featured, ranging from heritage to contemporary collections.
Designed by Mathieu Lehanneur, the exhibition space visually looks like a large copper ring, specially structured around rock replicas moulded on site in the Vallée de Joux. This is a tribute to Audemars Piguet’s geographic origins — a referential nod to the the Vallée and road to Le Brassus, which has been the watchmaker’s home since it was established in 1875. Around these replicas, 12 doors open to reveal the many milestones in design and innovation that together have propelled the brand to its current repute. Much like a watch dial — nice one, AP! — the entire circular space is brought to life as visitors delve deep into the manufacturer’s history.
The Highlights, Beyond the Watches
While what’s most fascinating are definitely the many exquisite timepieces on show, Beyond Watchmaking takes its name to heart, and offers an experience that truly goes beyond a horological masterpiece. Punctuating the space are artworks by Ryoji Ikeda, Alexandre Joly and Dan Holdsworth, complementing the exhibition by offering a visualisation of the brand’s origins and the complexity of time. In one of the rooms, the natural environment of the Vallée de Joux is presented, while another room introduces the story of the brand’s founding families — Audemars and Piguet.
Those fascinated by the complicated watchmaking of Audemars Piguet can explore Rooms III and IV, which showcase the complex mechanisms behind the watches, including the Perpetual Calendar that displays leap years. A different room offers a lab space, where visitors can get the chance to learn about the brand’s latest developments, from specialists based in Le Brassus, while the final two rooms house a spectacular audio-visual installation that delves deep into the watchmaker’s precise aesthetics.
Beyond Watchmaking will be on show until November 4, 2019, at Tokyo Midtown. Admissions are free, but tickets need to be reserved beforehand at beyondwatchmaking.jp.