MBA Luxury Brand Management

MBA Luxury Brand Management
Class of 2016-2017

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Our visit to Audemars Piguet

Keli Chew, International Luxury Brand Management 2015-2016, Singapore

To understand more about the world of watchmaking, the class visited Audemars Piguet at Le Brassus, Switzerland. It was definitely a memorable trip as it is the first time visiting a manufacture for most of the class and it was snowing in the middle of April in the valley!

We were welcomed by CEO, Francois-Henry Bennahmias and given VIP treatment starting with a visit of the museum located at the former Audemars family home. My group was guided by Veronique who used to work at the Audemars Piguet Academy. She is extremely knowledgeable and explained in details about the history of watchmaking, how a movement functions and the different complications. We were awed by the vintage watch collection as well as the beautiful grand complication pieces made by the manufacture. The highlight of our morning was visiting the watchmaker working on restorations whereby we saw him fabricating parts to restore antique pieces.

After lunch, we proceeded to visit the manufacture to understand the complexity and processes involved in fine watchmaking. We were required to put on protective gowns and shoe covers to prevent dust before given a tour around the manufacture. We marveled at the patience and skills of the watchmakers having seen with our own eyes how small and delicate the parts are.

The day ended with a conference with Mr Bennahmias whom answered all our questions without any hesitation.  After which, was time for us to bid farewell to the manufacture and head back to Paris.  Though the trip was short, I am certain that we all left Le Brassus with better understanding of timepieces and a new found appreciation for high watchmaking.