- Paul Graham-Fielding
The Masters Of Time
Flashes upon a sleeve and glimpses though the camera, the AP logo plays many a cameo role within golf’s finest moments. When Danny Willett donned the green jacket in 2016 his Audemars Piguet time piece subtly played a starring role as the Master slipped his arm through the famous sleeves of golf’s prized jacket.
In Illinois 2012 the octanol bezel adorned Ian Poutlers wrist during his rallying 5 birdie finish which spurred the European contingent to enter the history books and complete the ‘Miracle at Medinah’.
It is in the heart of the vallée de Joux, a region that beats to the tune of complicated watch mechanisms where everything started for Audemars Piguet in 1875. Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet’s wrote the first pages in the rich history of the manufacture, a place where tradition and innovation have come together for over a century. Audemars Piguet's tale is formed by scores of men and women who from past to present have perpetuated the pioneering spirit of its founding fathers through creations that have made an indelible imprint on the art of watchmaking.
The marque which we see the AP 'on course' team wear is the Royal Oak, which entered in to the annals of horological history in 1972, when it overturned all prevailing codes and became a timepiece beyond compare. Its self-winding movement with a central rotor is the thinnest in the world, while the piece boasts an octagonal bezel held by eight hexagonal screws, a dial adorned with a "Tapisserie" guilloché or engine-turned pattern, and a bracelet perfectly integrated into the case.
The precision of golfs elite is mirrored in the artistry associated with the Suisse brand, within each golfer beats the heart of a watchmaker. Self-control, meticulous time management, love of perfection: whether on a green or in the universe of Haute Horlogerie, it is always a question of precision and elegance, the beauty of both gesture and performance.
Bearing witness to its unfailing attachment to golf, Audemars Piguet has chosen to focus on this passion by effectively building the world’s finest team of golfers. Ambassadors include former world number one Lee Westwood, the Ryder Cup’s most potent player Ian Poulter, Amateur Champion and winner of the Silver Medal Paul Dunne and 2016 Champion Golfer of the year Henrik Stenson. Not only does the marque carry the winners of golf’s most prestigious honours, it also realises and embraces golf’s new lineage having recently signed Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston and Peter Uihein, stating its intentions as one of golf’s most forward thinking brands.
Audemars Piguet understand the sport too, they haven’t just jumped on the band wagon with the latest trending personalities, they are constructing their ambassadorial team in the same way in which you create a time piece or build a winning golf swing; with patience and insight. They look upon them as investment for the brand. In a recent interview current CEO François-Henry Bennahmias explains the benefits of aligning a luxury brand with golf.
“You can’t measure it completely, but our association with golf has driven our brand into new markets and demographics. We’ve been in golf for 11 years with a big roster of players. We have 12 to 15 players in any given year and we ensure that each of them reflect our brand identity. Take Andy Sullivan our 2016 signing, we chose him for his talent and his personality. If a guy is a top-level golfer, but a joke as a person, then we won’t do it. Andy is very easy going. We don’t want snobs, people who won’t spend time with our clients – we want people who are friendly and get our family vibe”.
We never sign for one year. Golf doesn’t work in terms of one year. Henrik Stenson won the FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai in in 2013, and then 2014 and 2015, nothing, then in 2016 he won a major, in golf it’s never about one year, we have to give them our gift…time. AP understand what golfers have to go through, when creating a new iconic design they will not be rushed, the intricacies of a new movement or the aesthetics of a dial require patience, allowing the craftsmanship to triumph.
Since the creation of the very first Aumdemars and Piguet collaboration the outfit have spent 140 years mastering the conception, construction and production of complications. As such, their entire philosophy lives harmoniously with the dogma of our own golf swing- they wish to hone their rare, precious and consistently unique creations.