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Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Men's Swiss Watches Review
Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars collection is titled after one the founding members of the Swiss watchmaking company (the other one is Edward Piguet, a name that heads another classic collection).
It thus makes complete sense that Jules Audemars watches adhere to conventional design principles and basically embody the long Audemars Piguet tradition. And since AP tradition consists of continuous technological advancement, movement refinement, and development and improvement of complications, we face a paradox: latest technological achievements encased in old-school watches.
This is the full list of complications (currently in production) that can be found in this collection: date, power reserve indicator, chronograph (split-seconds), tourbillon, minute repeater, equation of time, and perpetual calendar.
Models and Design
Grand complication watches include several of these functions, while such elaborate artistic models as the skeleton make them visible to the naked eye via an openworked case. Jules Audemars also offers ultra-thin watches, similarly to Blancpain (which call theirs “ultra-slim”). All of these horological instruments radiate an aura of delicacy and inner depth, qualities accentuated by the classic design.
The design is kept to minimal elaboration, yet never minimalist. Dials are routinely adorned with guilloche, large Roman numerals are often accompanied by an additional small set of Arabic ones. Traditional sword or feather shaped hands substitute the futuristic “thermometer” hands of the Royal Oak. (The jumping hours timepiece combines the two into a somewhat comical hybrid – an appropriate design solution for a happy “jumping” watch.)
In this collection Audemars Piguet employ precious metals – white, pink and yellow gold – and diamonds, encrusting them into the bezels and/or dials of several models. Only a few variations are available with a bracelet instead of the customary leather strap.
Comparing Jules Audemars watches with Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore is simple: the sports AP collections are diametrically opposed to the classics in terms of visual aesthetic. However, a comparison with similar collections produced by other high-end Swiss watchmakers can be trickier, and more revealing.
Jules Audemars is close in character to Vacheron Constantin Patrimony and Blancpain Villeret – two classic collections that manifest similar purposes. What makes this collection decidedly different from Patrimony and Villeret is the lack of a minimalist dress model, one that disposes even of numerals and seconds-hand, leaving a blank face with only hours and minutes.
It becomes obvious that the brand avoids going to the farthest extreme of minimalism – it is not in the spirit of this particular watchmaker. Even in the basic hour and minutes models there is something bubbling beneath; instead of austere imperiousness, Audemars Piguet give us simply less formal high class.