Audemars Piguet: a Buyers Guide

Audemars Piguet: a Buyers Guide

At Central Mega Pawn, we are not just experts on luxury watches – we are also fans. This means we are always excited to share our knowledge with our community about every brand of luxury watch that catches our eye. This time around, we are presenting a buyers guide to one of our favorite luxury watch brands, Audemars Piguet.

Since 1875, Audemars Piguet has been unapologetically defying traditional watchmaking conventions by creating innovative, game-changing timepieces. Nestled in the Swiss Vallee de Joux, which is world-famous as the home of complicated watchmaking, the iconic brand takes full advantage of the natural beauty and resources of its surroundings. The result is some of the world’s most sought-after luxury watches, many of which we are lucky enough to have in our shop from time to time.

History

Audemars Piguet was founded by watchmakers and childhood friends, Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet, in 1875. Their home valley, although rich in resources and beauty, suffers particularly dark winters. As a result, many farmers in the region devoted their time to watchmaking, transforming their barns into workmen’s studios, where they produced delicate and precise wheels, pinons, and lugs that would be incorporated to timepieces adorned by local semi-precious stones.

Audemars and Piguet were part of this tight-knit community of artisans. They were especially passionate about creating timeless luxury watches that would be handed down from generation to generation. Every Audemars Piguet timepiece has, at its foundation, deep respect to the foundations of watchmaking, which is evident in its construction.

However, Audemars Piguet is also known in equal measure for pushing the limits of detail and technical skill. The watchmakers had a passion for excellence at every stage of the design process, creating chronographs and astronomical complications since the founding of the brand.

The brand’s workshops grew slowly. Initially employing around 50 people, it wasn’t until the 1950s that they expanded their operations to employ approximately 100. Such a small workforce is part of how Audemars Piguet stays true to its roots, as they employ only dedicated craftspeople, as they have since the beginning.

To this day, Audemars Piguet remains in the valley of its founding and is independent and family-owned. The company dedicates itself to pass on its knowledge and experience to future generations of watchmakers.

Craftsmanship

The traditional and the avant-garde intermingle at Audemars Piguet, where expert craftsmanship is a part of the brand’s DNA. Every watch and timepiece reflects the era in which it was crafted, from elegant Art Deco designs of the 1920s to the envelope-pushing pieces of today.

The watchmakers at this design house understand that to break the rules, one must master them first. As a brand, Audemars Piguet has made every day of their experience count and use their knowledge to create complicated timepieces. As a result, every watch produced is a technical masterpiece.

The watchmakers at Audemars Piguet are considered artists first and foremost. Every design still begins with a sketch and goes through many iterations. However, the designers stay must be expert technicians as well and take into account limitations when it comes time to build. Additionally, the brand melds artistry and experience with technical advancements, such as being among the first to use 3D imaging in the design process.

Some iconic models

Royal Oak

The Royal Oak was considered the first stainless steel luxury sports watch when it debuted in 1972. Its influence on the design of sports watches can still be seen today.

Royal Oak Offshore

Considered a bolder and more daring brother of the Royal Oak, the Royal Oak Offshore is nicknamed “the Beast” due to its massive proportions. First introduced in 1993, there are now over 120 variations on this model, which has made its mark on industry standards and expectations.

Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin

At a record 6.20mm, this watch is the world’s thinnest self-winding perpetual calendar. Master watchmakers worked tirelessly to re-engineer conventional movement into a single 2.89mm, making it ultra-thin while simultaneously boosting reliability and efficiency.

Royal Oak Frosted Gold

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak ladies’ model, Audemars Piguet introduced a frosted gold design. The watch was produced in collaboration with a renowned jewelry designer and features ancient Florentine painting technique.

How to buy an Audemars Piguet luxury watch

If you are considering the wise move of adding an Audemars Piguet to your luxury watch collection, you should put Central Mega Pawn at the top of your list. Unlike other resources, such as a jeweler, we won’t put you through a rigorous application process, and our prices do not reflect finders fees or the like.

Our experts at Central Mega Pawn can help you find a genuine article at a fraction of the prices you would expect to pay at a dealer, online, or through an auction house. Below are a couple of things you can do to take full advantage of Central Mega Pawn’s expertise in luxury watches:

Your Research

Know your budget, as well as the types of models you are interested in. The more specific you can be, the more likely you will get precisely what you want. Once you have narrowed it down and have an idea of how much you will be able to spend, you can search for sales records to get an idea of what to expect.

Get and stay in touch with us!

Audemars Piguet timepieces are a rare find – when you are doing your research, come in and let us know you are looking for one. Then, give us a call every so often to see if we have one on hand. The effort you put into establishing a relationship with us will pay off handsomely when you add a genuine Audemars Piguet to your collection at a fantastic price.

If, at any point in the process, you need some guidance, don’t hesitate to contact us! We are here to help you in your search and will do everything we can to get you the Audemars Piguet timepiece of your dreams.

Vacheron Constantin: a Buyers Guide

Vacheron Constantin: a Buyers Guide

Here at Central Mega Pawn, we are sometimes asked for our professional opinion on what brand of luxury watch is the best investment or carries the best value. Our answer is, more often than not, Vacheron Constantin. Although not as popular in mainstream culture as other brands like Rolex or Tag Heuer, Vacheron Constantin is always an excellent investment in terms of design, craft, complications, and heritage. For those reasons and more, fans and collectors of luxury watches consider Vacheron Constantin to be among the world’s best. Below are just a few more reasons why timepieces by this design house are highly sought after as both investments and fashion statements.

They are some of the world’s most complicated watches

As a company, Vacheron Constantin prides itself on its long and record-breaking heritage in innovations in making complicated watches. As early as the mid-1700s, Vacheron began producing complicated timepieces, making them instant symbols of luxury and wealth, one of the first design houses to do so. Their complications have made them a prized addition to collectors all over the world for centuries.

Vacheron Constantin continues to push the envelope of complications and remind the world that it is the last word in this type of innovation. In 2005, Vacheron Constantin celebrated its 250th anniversary by producing the most complicated wristwatch the world had ever seen, the Tour d’Ile, which featured sixteen complications and required over 10,000 hours of research to develop. Only seven of these timepieces were made. More recently, in 2015, Vacheron Constantin produced the Ref. 57260, which was created for an undisclosed price for an anonymous collector. It features 57 complications and took over eight years to assemble.

A long tradition of beautiful design

Vacheron Constantin’s tradition of exquisite design extends beyond its timepieces and movements. The cases and dials of all of its fragments throughout its long history speak for themselves and are often considered innovations in their own right. In particular, the productions during the 1920s are prized for their striking and distinct Art-Deco styles.

However, around the mid-1940s, the creative focus of Vacheron Constantin began to include wristwatch case design. Today, the bold cases of this era are representative of one of the most exceptional opportunities to own a masterpiece of mid-20th century design—many styles produced during this period that continue to hold their appeal to collectors worldwide.

A Vacheron Constantin is considered an extraordinary value

An adage among experienced luxury watch collectors is that a vintage Vacheron Constantin can be purchased for less than half the price of its Patek Phillippe counterpart”. In many cases, this is actually true. Many comparable watches by Vacheron Constantin tend to go for two to three times less than Patek Phillippe, despite fewer examples in existence. One theory for the difference in price is that Patek Phillippe is a more recognizable brand despite not having the history or distinction of a Vacheron Constantin.

It is the oldest watch manufacturer in continuous production

Vacheron Constantin has an uninterrupted 262-year history of watchmaking, a claim that no other watchmaker can boast. Its patrons have ranged from kings to presidents and even include the Wright Brothers. Because Vacheron Constantin watches have been around for so long, they have been present at many critical moments in world history. For example, in addition to royals and dignitaries, Vacheron Constantin watches have adorned the wrists of the US Army Corps of Engineers in the early 1900s.

Fans and devotees of the watches form a community

Watches made by Vacheron Constantin can be collected at all price points. Whether a collector owns a timepiece from the 18th century that sells for an astronomical amount or one made in 2018 that was purchased for under $3,000, acquiring a watch made by Vacheron Constantin allows entry into a distinguished club with members across different social strata. Buying one’s way into the club is now easier than ever, with collectors sharing information and helping one another through networking clubs, internet forums, and boutiques all over the world. Vacheron Constantin facilitates this sense of community by hosting a website and collector forum dedicated to the brand. The result is a thriving community of members and collectors that are happy to answer questions and share stories about the brand. Additionally, the brand makes it easy to order and obtain certificates of authenticity and other information for watch owners who want to know more about their valuable timepiece or are considering buying or selling a Vacheron Constantin.

If you are considering the wise move of adding a Vacheron Constantin to your luxury watch collection, you should put Central Mega Pawn at the top of your list. We can help you find a genuine article at a fraction of the prices you would expect to pay at a dealer, online, or through an auction house. Below are a couple of things you can do to take full advantage of Central Mega Pawn’s expertise in luxury watches:

Do Your Research

Know your budget, as well as the types of models you are interested in. The more specific you can be, the more likely you will get precisely what you want. Once you have narrowed it down and have an idea of how much you will be able to spend, you can search for sales records to get an idea of what to expect.

Get and stay in touch with us!

Vacheron Constantin timepieces are a rare find – when you are doing your research, come in and let us know you are looking for one. Then, give us a call every so often to see if we have one on hand. The effort you put into establishing a relationship with us will pay off handsomely when you add a genuine Vacheron Constantin to your collection at a fantastic price.

If, at any point in the process, you need some guidance, don’t hesitate to contact us! We are here to help you in your search and will do everything we can to get you the Vacheron Constantin timepiece of your dreams.