Watch Stories: The 1961 Audemars Piguet
Owning an Audemars Piguet is something every watch collector aspires to do. Having an Audemars Piguet means that one has officially entered into collecting one of the brands known in the exclusive group called the 'holy trinity', which includes Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. These brands are known for their exceptional horological engineering and finishing. This watch collector had the fortunate pleasure to own this watch, a clean ultra thin dress watch. What is even greater, is the gentleman who owned this watch did not even know he had it in his possession.
Produced in the early 1960's, during some of the best years in horological history, this Audemars Piguet belonged to a man who lived in Chicago. The man was born and raised in Chicago, but little is known about how he came across the watch, and the life he lived with it. The really exciting part of the story is when his son found it in a box in his attic only five years ago.
The owner had passed away and his son had boxed up his house and put his things in his attic. He had not gone through any of his things before boxing them up because life had hit him, and he was running from pillar to post to keep up. As he climbed the corporate ladder, and his children grew older, his time became more available. With so much time having passed, he thought he would do some work with the things he had stuffed in his attic.
With a flashlight in his hand, he climbed up to the dusty attic, and began opening some of the old boxes he had filled with his fathers things. He pulled out books and photo albums, and saw many items that his father took with him throughout his adventurous life. And then, he got to the bottom of the box, where he found crushed glass and a 33.5mm watch lying face down.
Shining his flashlight on the dial, he saw the dial had been damaged due to the crushed glass, but could make out the words "Audemars Piguet Geneve" on the dial. Amazed at the watch, he decided to end his search of the attic to do more research on the watch. Naturally, he found out all the amazing accolades of Audemars Piguet. Not knowing much about the watch, he found a local watchmaker who agreed to re-do the dial and replaced the crystal. The watchmaker also cleaned the movement which is in impeccable condition today. He did not know much about vintage watches, and upon reflection, has said he wishes he found a better watchmaker for the dial.
He wore it proudly for five years, where he found himself learning more about his fathers watch company. He has become obsessed with Audemars Piguet, and has started his own collection in honour of his father since. He only wishes that he knew more about what his father did with his watch. Sometimes, the best stories of watches are those that cannot be told and are left to our imagination.
There has always been competition to produce the thinnest movement for a watch among many of the worlds top watch companies, including Piaget, Vacheron Constantin as well as Audemars Piguet. This watch from the early 1960's is a fine example of the ultra-thin movement. It slides perfectly under a shirt cuff, and one hardly recognizes that it is on ones wrist. The dial, as mentioned, has been refinished, but is still very clean. It has some imperfections that can be seen in the pictures, and the hands do not line up perfectly at some hours of the day, but in some ways, it adds to the charm of the watch.
This watch was found in a box in an attic, and is now listed on our site and looking for more adventures!