AP Millenary | Solitaire Magazine

AP Millenary

After surviving two world wars, the 1930s stock market crash, and the 1970s ‘quartz crisis’, Audemars Piguet has retained its status as one of the world’s most iconic horological brands. By continuously innovating, honouring tradition, and dedicating itself to quality craftsmanship, its timepieces have become symbols of the finest level of watchmaking, with complicated movements, artisanal designs, and technical feats.

A factor to the brand’s long-term survival is its ability to cater to the demand of the discerning public — ladies included. Women’s watches were often made by men for men. Companies usually turned larger men’s watches into daintier, “prettier” models decorated with gemstones, enamel or other decorative forms to fit on smaller wrist, even if they had complications.

While this suited women of older generations, modern women demanded more as they grew in prominence in the workplace and society — bigger, bolder styles, along with a greater appreciation for the mechanical movements driving the watches.

Formed in 1875 by two friends Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet, their forte was making accurate watch movements and hand-made masterpieces, which were also channelled into their ladies’ timepieces. Some were elaborate expressions of art and jewellery, while others were complicated mechanical marvels in their own right, with specially developed, hand-finished movements.

A round watch-brooch made by the Manufacture in 1894, but marketed by Tiffany. The sinuous lines of the brooch is reminiscent of the Art Nouveau movement during the period, decorated with blue enamel, gold, and diamonds. The watch is a minute repeater.
A round watch-brooch made by the Manufacture in 1894, but marketed by Tiffany. The sinuous lines of the brooch is reminiscent of the Art Nouveau movement during the period, decorated with blue enamel, gold, and diamonds. The watch is a minute repeater.
The 1926 Art Deco-inspired watch with baguette-cut diamonds
The 1926 Art Deco-inspired watch with baguette-cut diamonds
The 1927 Tutti Frutti Haute Joaillerie watch. A unique piece made in partnership with Parisian jeweller Equivillon Lafon & Cie, featuring hand-carved, multi-coloured gemstones, and the smallest movement the Manufacture had ever produced.
The 1927 Tutti Frutti Haute Joaillerie watch. A unique piece made in partnership with Parisian jeweller Equivillon Lafon & Cie, featuring hand-carved, multi-coloured gemstones, and the smallest movement the Manufacture had ever produced.

Fast forward to 1960s and 1970s, Audemars Piguet began creating oval-shaped watches for women — a precursor to today’s iconic Millenary collection. These early models also incorporated gemstones, but were bolder and larger than typical women’s watches.

The 1970 Horizontal Elliptical watch featured an extra-thin calibre 2003 under a slate grey dial.
The 1970 Horizontal Elliptical watch featured an extra-thin calibre 2003 under a slate grey dial.
The 1971 Elliptical bracelet watch with Tiger’s Eye. It has oval-shaped panels of the stone within 18k yellow gold braided border. The detailed hand-finishing through the case and the extra-thin movement showcased the skill of the watchmaker and craftsmen.
The 1971 Elliptical bracelet watch with Tiger’s Eye. It has oval-shaped panels of the stone within 18k yellow gold braided border. The detailed hand-finishing through the case and the extra-thin movement showcased the skill of the watchmaker and craftsmen.
The 1988 openworked jewellery watch
The 1988 openworked jewellery watch
The Millenary collection, originally unveiled in 1995, is characterised by a signature oval case and off-centred dial. Often, it is a complicated one, made for the discerning female watch connoisseur who appreciates beauty and technique. The basis of each Millenary is seen in its soft curves and distinctive proportions, blending elegance, modernity, contemporary style, and mechanical finesse.
The 2007 Millenary Ladies with diamond bezel
The 2007 Millenary Ladies with diamond bezel
The 2008 Millenary Precieuse Lady Diamond Watch
The 2008 Millenary Precieuse Lady Diamond Watch
The 2015 Millenary features an all-new in-house-made movement Calibre 5201 with small seconds indication and 54 hours of power reserve.
The 2015 Millenary features an all-new in-house-made movement Calibre 5201 with small seconds indication and 54 hours of power reserve.

The 2015 Millenary collection is not only an homage to women, but a celebration of 20 years of this unique design. Comprising its signature off-centred dial and elliptical case, each timepiece has open-worked dial that allows for viewing of the mainplate and certain meticulously finished movement parts.