Audemars Piguet’s Fresh Direction: Embracing Innovation and Collaboration

When François-Henry Bennahmias, the seasoned CEO of Audemars Piguet (AP), disclosed his departure from the Swiss watchmaker in 2022, enthusiasts and collectors alike pondered the future trajectory of the brand. Bennahmias, a pivotal figure who helmed AP since 2013, steered the company through a remarkable journey of growth and allure, transforming it from a revered but niche luxury watchmaker into a globally recognized name, synonymous with prestige and sought after by connoisseurs, celebrities, and aficionados alike. With sales soaring to CHF 2.4 billion (approximately $2.7 billion) in 2023, there were concerns about sustaining this momentum post-Bennahmias era.

However, reassurance came swiftly in Milan earlier this year, where Ilaria Resta, a former executive in the fragrance industry, assumed the role of CEO on January 1st. Alongside singer-songwriter and watch enthusiast John Mayer, Resta welcomed guests to the new AP Social Club in Milan, Italy, signaling a fresh chapter for the brand.

Reflecting on the essence of AP’s clientele, Resta emphasized the profound connection forged through a shared passion for horology. She underscored AP’s commitment to pushing boundaries and transcending limitations, encapsulated in their mantra, “Seek Beyond,” a philosophy that permeates every facet of their operations.

In addition to the unveiling of the AP Social Club, Resta unveiled the revamped AP House Milan, housed in the historic Garage Traversi on Via Bagutta. Designed in collaboration with Lissoni & Partners, the five-story space offers a captivating journey into the world of watchmaking, featuring exhibition floors, lounges adorned with vintage furniture, dedicated service areas, and a scenic rooftop boasting panoramic views of Milan.

The event also showcased AP’s latest innovations, including Sand Gold, a striking precious metal alloy crafted from gold and palladium, introduced by Lucas Raggi, AP’s research and development director. Among the highlights was the Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked timepiece, featuring the mesmerizing Sand Gold casing.

A conversation between Yoni Ben-Yehuda, head of watches at Material Good, and John Mayer provided insights into Mayer’s collaboration with AP on the Royal Oak perpetual calendar limited edition. Mayer’s creative input and unique vision breathed new life into the design, culminating in a timepiece that epitomizes elegance and innovation.

Furthermore, Mayer announced an enhanced partnership with AP, assuming the role of a “creative conduit” between the brand and collectors. This formalized relationship underscores AP’s commitment to fostering collaboration and engaging with its audience on a deeper level.

In embracing innovation, collaboration, and a shared passion for horology, Audemars Piguet embarks on a new era, poised to captivate enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.