Some collectors occasionally opine that Audemars Piguet may be somewhat a victim of its own success, so far as their famous Royal Oak and (particularly) the ultra-popular Royal Oak Offshore watch lines are concerned. What they are of course talking about is the dominating presence of these collections within the brand, and how these are the only watches which much of the public thinks of when Audemars Piguet comes up. Some even go further, suggesting that the brand does nothing to change this, and even fans the flames by continually introducing tantalizing new limited edition Offshore watches, such as the Rubens Barrichello Offshore, the forged carbon Alinghi, or the Shaquille O’Neal – to the neglect of other collections.
While I will concede that the Royal Oak collection are certainly Audemars Piguet’s best sellers, I don’t think that this diminishes the excellence, innovation and superb execution of AP’s other watch collections. A prime example of this is the beautiful, yet attractively unusual Millenary watch collection, presented in a diverse range of models for both men and women. A striking variation upon the ever popular classical round dress watch, these timepieces show off a stunning oval form, whose shape evokes the Roman Coliseum. Aside from the excellence of the finishing, and the luxurious detail, another great thing about this line is that this is one of the few “larger” watches which people with average size wrists can wear well, due to the fact that the overall height is not too great, and the diameter is expressed from side to side. This means that if your wrist is modest, this watch will not overshoot it, yet still have great presence. The dials on these watches are also some of the most expressive and attractive on the market, blending classical elements with a slightly Dali-esque twist. If you’ve not seen any of the Millenaries in person, I think you are in for a treat.
Extraordinarily advanced complicated pieces like the Millenary MC12 Tourbillon watch and the Tradition d’Excellence No.5 watch, which debuted the extraordinary new AP escapement show that Audemars Piguet is about far more than just limited edition Royal Oak Offshores. Examining many of the lovely pieces in the classical Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet watch collections will also reveal many exceptional works of watchmaking art – such uncompromising creations demonstrate that the horological substance this great brand is beloved for by purists continues on with undiminished strength.