It’s official: The largest collection of vintage Audemars Piguet watches is on its way back to the VallÃ©e de Joux. In one fell swoop, the family-owned Swiss manufacture welcomes back a number of historic pieces to its already significant and superlative Museum collection in what is the largest recovery operation of its own heritage.
Following 25 years of shrewd and relentless pursuit of AP’s rarest watches, Marcus Margulies has decided it’s time to part ways with his entire Audemars Piguet collection. That’s right, all 89 pieces are leaving London at once. And these aren’t just any pieces. Four years ago, HODINKEE saw part of the gigantic collection, which includes examples of the world’s first serialized tourbillon wristwatch, highly significant jump hours â a speciality of AP â and platinum minute repeaters. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. It also features one third of a set of nine manual-winding perpetual calendars with leap year indication, made during the 1950s; several Valjoux 13″‘ VZA-powered chronographs from the 1940s, and the Universelle pocket watch, one of the world’s most important and valuable ultra complications, finished in GlashÃ¼tte but powered by an Audemars Piguet movement. We encourage you to take a look back at some of the highlights here.
Jasmine Audemars, chairwoman of AP’s board of directors, said: “This acquisition is the most important in the history of the Audemars Piguet Heritage collection thanks to the incredible quality of the pieces representing a high concentration of major historical achievements for the brand.â
Margulies had been looking for a buyer for many years, under the condition that the entire collection be bought at once, leaving him with only one obvious candidate. Talks with Audemars Piguet intensified a few months ago, and rumors of the sale were confirmed earlier this morning by both parties.
âI have had 25 years’ pleasure assembling the collection, and it is right that it goes to Audemars Piguet,” said Margulies. “It is the best home for it.â
If, in the past, Margulies had expressed genuine surprise at being “allowed to assemble such a major collection” by both the Audemars Piguet and other collectors, it’s because the factory has produced some of the most innovative and rare wristwatches and pocket watches of the 20th century. Only in recent years has their true value started to receive the recognition they deserve.
To fully understand the value of vintage Audemars Piguet, make sure to check out our in-depth look at some of the Museum’s most important pieces, as explained by Sebastian Vivas, director of the Audemars Piguet Museum in Le Brassus, and Audemars Piguet historian Michael L. Friedman.
The Marcus Margulies collection was sold for an undisclosed price.
For more information on Audemars Piguet, please visit their website here.