Watch this: Audemars Piguet says its latest timepiece is worth a cool €2 million

50 years after the launch of its iconic Royal Oak timepiece, renowned watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet has unveiled a new model that raises eyebrows.

The Swiss manufacturer unveiled its new design of the “Ultra Complication” last week, but if you’re thinking about buying it, you might need to save. It costs a cool €2 million! In addition, only eight pieces are made per year, which increases the exclusivity.

The pricey watch was launched as part of the 148-year-old luxury brand’s new Code 11.59 collection.

Its official name is “Ultra Complication Universal RD#4”. Audemars Piguet says it’s made up of over 1,100 components integrated into a case that’s a slim 42mm in diameter and 15.5mm thick. Said to have 40 functions and 23 complications, it is sold as an impressive feat of watchmaking.

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The company was founded in 1875 by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet in the village of Le Brassus, Switzerland and today has an enormous annual turnover of around 2.022 billion euros.

Last year it was reported that it had generated more sales than its arguably better-known rival Patek Philippe, and around 1.598 billion euros in the period 2020-2021. This figure comes despite Audemars Piguet limiting itself to the production of a relatively small 50,000 pieces per year, from the previous level of 40,000. By comparison, Rolex is estimated to make around a million watches a year.

Audemars Piguet watches are almost always subject to a long waiting list, and this is certainly true of the Royal Oak model, which accounts for a large part of the company’s production. Worn by celebrities like Jay-Z and LeBron James, it has helped cement the brand of one of the most successful watch companies in the world.

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Current outgoing CEO François-Henry Bennahmen said in 2018 that the company had joined watchmaking’s “billion Swiss franc club,” an informal name for brands of the same ilk that had managed to generate 10-figure revenues. In 2023, Bennahias told the press that the number had doubled.

Despite its hefty price tag, the $2 million watch is actually relatively cheap in the high-end watch world.

In November 2019, Patek Philippe made history when its “Grandmaster Chime 6300A-01” sold for around 28.9 million euros. The wristwatch is said to be the most complicated ever made, and its sale at a Christie’s event in Geneva easily surpassed the previously held record auction price of the late actor Paul Newman’s Rolex “Daytona”. That made up around 16.5 million euros when it was sold in New York in 2017.


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