Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet: a look into 200 years of watchmaking
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Set to open on June 25, 2020, the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet invites visitors to plunge into the Swiss manufacturer’s cultural universe. Located in Le Brassus, which is a home of Audemars Piguet, this museum presents two centuries of watchmaking history. It resides in a space that combines contemporary architecture and pioneering scenography. Looking at the past, present and future, it embodies the Manufacture’s spirit; it carefully studies its devotion to the perpetuation of Haute Horlogerie in the Vallée de Joux.
In 2014, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) won the architectural competition Audemars Piguet hosted to expand its historical premises. The firm designed a contemporary spiral-shaped glass pavilion to complement the company’s oldest building. It is here that Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet set their workshop. It was technically a start-up of the time, in 1875. This architecture blends tradition and forward thinking of Audemars Piguet’s craftsmanship, while honouring its origins in the Vallée de Joux.
Experience of heritage and savoir-faire
Traditional workshops, that still perfect some of the most complicated timepieces, have been included in the museum’s spatial experience. The Grandes Complications and Métiers d’Art Ateliers, situated at the heart of the spiral, infuse life into the numerous feats of mechanical mastery and design exhibited throughout the museum.
Some 300 watches, including masterpieces of miniaturisation, technical complexity and avant-garde design, are exhibited in the spiral. The visitors will discover rare timepieces, such as the Universelle – the most complicated watch crafted by Audemars Piguet in 1899; as well as a wide selection of emblematic models including many Royal Oak, Royal Oak Offshore and Royal Oak Concept.
“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. But, before all, we wanted to pay tribute to the watchmakers and craftspeople who have made what Audemars Piguet is today, generation after generation,” says Jasmine Audemars, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors.
Finally, the Musée Atelier reveals some of the manufacturer’s watchmakers and artisans at work in their transparent workshops. By integrating traditional ateliers at the centre of the museum, Audemars Piguet pays tribute to its craftspeople.