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Audemars Piguet - Jasmine Audemars

Audemars Piguet Jasmine Audemars

Chair of the Board of Directors**

To say that watchmaking is the preserve of men is something of an understatement. There are indeed few women who have carved out a place for themselves in the industry. There are however some exceptions, and Jasmine Audemars is one of them. She has had two lifelong passions: journalism – leading her to become editor-in-chief of the prestigious Journal de Genève for 12 years – and watchmaking. In 1992, she took over from her father as Chair of the Board of Directors of Audemars Piguet, the only watchmaking brand still in the hands of its founding families. She was both a curiosity and a truly outstanding exception. Jasmine Audemars likes to describe herself as a ‘keeper of the temple’, seeing herself as upholding family values, with a responsibility to pass on their ethos of boldness and tradition within the company. The handover came right in the middle of the mechanical watch revival, at a time when Audemars Piguet had everything going for it.

Jasmine Audemars

Jasmine Audemars © Audemars Piguet

Under her leadership, Audemars Piguet made unprecedented progress. Like all of the Vallée de Joux-based watchmakers, the firm had its share of troubles and setbacks – but above all, reaped a harvest of success. The partnership with Alinghi, which won the America’s Cup in 2003 and again in 2007, was one such achievement. It was a wild bet, with a contract scribbled on a piece of paper. But in the end, “amazingly, it paid off,” recalls Jasmine Audemars. The maison lost no time in teaming up with the world of the arts, from the Montreux Jazz Festival to the Art Basel show. Then too, there was its pioneering environmental commitment through the Audemars Piguet Foundation, also chaired by Jasmine Audemars since 1996, which is engaged in forest conservation. On the industrial side, the firm has acquired a production facility commensurate with Jasmine Audemars’ appraisal of its ambitions. In addition to vertical integration of the Manufacture, an ambitious construction programme is underway to establish a full-blown watchmaking campus in Le Brassus, the village where Audemars Piguet started out almost 150 years ago. What better way could there be to prepare for the future?

*Written by Christophe Roulet 

*On the occasion of GMT Magazine and WorldTempus' 20th anniversary, we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with a 10% discount if you use the following code: WT2021.

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Audemars Piguet is one of the few independent family-owned watch businesses and has been based in Le Brassus, in Switzerland's Vallée de Joux region, at the heart of the fine watchmaking industry, ever since the company was first established in 1875.

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