July 20, 2024

A Singapore flag was flying outside AP’s HQ… What a hospitality!!!

Read Part 1 here (click)
The programme for our first day in Le Brassus was an intensive one. The first stop was to visit the museum, the high complication workshop as well as the Atelier de Restauration, all housed in the original AP building in Le Brassus. As some parts of the museums and facilities were not allowed to be photographed, and there were simply too many fascinating stuff to the extend of overwhelming, I could only share what I managed/bothered/allowed to see and shoot. This photo essay is thus rather candid with my personal experience about the tour… no heavy details of history and watch models which could be found in books and catalogues!
Let’s go to the museum! wink  
Day 2 – AP Museum, High Complication Workshop & Atelier de Restauration
It was a beautiful sunny day with perfect blue sky and nice summer greenery all around the valley. A slow walk up-slope towards the AP main building couldn’t be more pleasant in a low 20s-degC temperature. It felt like being wrapped around in the AP excitement!  

AP in Le Brassus in a perfect summer day

A big AP logo on the slope opposite the main building. AP is all around… 

The door @ Route de France 16, Le Brassus

Here I am, AP!

Entrance to the AP Museum. This iconic Royal Oak clock should be one of the most photographed items in Le Brassus biggrin

OK… I supposed there are some rules to follow…

There is a void here… We visited a section of the museum right after the briefing but due to the strict photo-taking policy, I’m unable to share some interesting stuff here. However, you don’t miss much here because what is coming up next would be more fascinating wink 
By the way, our tour guide Carolina explained how the watch-making industry was developed back in the 19th century in Le Brassus. It was all started in the winters in the mid 1800s when the farmers had nothing to do during the harsh weather, so they began to explore the art of watch-making as another form of livelihood. With traders from the nearby Geneva travelled to & fro across Vallee de Joux to bring in watch-making knowledges as well as transporting the watches from Le Brassus for sale in Geneva, the watch-making industry was blossomed and many brands were thus born or set up major R&D and manufacturing facilities in Le Brassus. There are also many smaller workshops producing watch parts, case & movement finishing, etc in the valley. Vallee de Joux and Le Brassus has since become a major watch-making powerhouse in Switzerland, with some of the most fascinating complications being produced.    
So, here we are! The High Complication Workshop! This is where all the high complication pieces were assembled and tested. Only a few qualified watchmakers can work here.  

Customised skeletonised components… Utmost attention and concentration was rendered by this very down-to-earth watchmaker to ensure best quality. It was really reassuring to be able to see these watchmakers work in real life.

There are a few tourbillon watches being displayed for us to admire. Some were historical pieces while the rest were the latest production models under QC testing. They were simply AMAZING! Check them out!
A classic Jules Audemars Tourbillon with a porcelain white dial in a yellow gold case and bracelet. Where is the crown?  
The world’s first automatic tourbillon wristwatch was introduced in 1986!

I believe this is still the slimmest tourbillon wristwatch till date… 

The Edward Piguet Tourbillon with a Quartz bridge

Another Edward Piguet Tourbillon. Gotta love those Breguet numerals!

The new 2015 Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph in sand-boasted titanium case and skeletonised movement… This one is gorgeous and lightweight!

AP doesn’t have in-house chronograph movement? Think again… they are not easily affordable though!

The new 2015 Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Chronograph in titanium and a brown accent dial. It’s an ultimate stylish piece!

The similar Concept Tourbillon Chronograph in rose gold case. The purpose coating are applied for protection of the case during testing.

Look at the prominent column wheel and the carbon bridges… the movement is an art.

One of my most favourite timepiece in the AP collection: the Jules Audemars Tourbillon Chronograph with Minute Repeater! The black guilloche dial with roman numerals set in a classical JA round case is so breathtaking to look at!

What a sight to behold… The column wheel, the gongs and hammers, the golden wheels and the beautifully decorated baseplate and bridges… heavenly! 

It was hard to describe my feelings as I was inspecting those amazing high complication timepieces. It was overwhelming. Before proceeding to the next section of the museum, I took a quick shot of the group of master watchmakers in the High Complication Workshop. They all have dedicated at least 2 decades of their life in AP to reach where they are. It was indeed a pleasure to be able to meet the men behind those most complex timepieces of AP.  

===End of Part 2=== This message has been edited by MichaelC on 2015-08-10 07:04:02 Thanks for the photos of the newer complicated models, they look terrific.I wish to make a clarification in Part 2 of my trip report.

AP has made the world’s first AUTOMATIC tourbillon wristwatch in 1986.
I believe it is still one of the slimmest automatic tourbillon wristwatches till date.

Also thanks to AP for reading and pointing out this error. Much appreciated!

Wayne This message has been edited by MichaelC on 2015-08-10 07:05:12 No message body
No message bodyEven more thrilled to see five stars and a moon in Le Brassus! Happy Sg50 orangedial!

Awesome pics, thanks for sharing.