Audemars Piguet - Adversity and Complications Make a Brand – Interview with Tim Sayler, CMO

October 8, 2016

Audemars Piguet is up there, even in the already elevated world of 'haute horlogerie' and the Swiss Alps.  Le Brassus in the high valley of Joux is the birthplace and still the place of hand-crafting AP watches as Tim Sayler, Chief Marketing Officer of the brand is proud and precise in pointing out to us. And pride, precision and a strong sense of place are some of the key ingredients we talk, as we discuss what has made this brand and how it stays up there in the firmament of desired objects - despite the meteoric rise of first industrial quartz watches and now smart watches. Or because of it.

We will also talk about:

  • how a hostile environment, boredom and a complicated way can guide success
  • what keeps AP up there in the cold and remote valley of Joux
  • who pays a fortune for a watch when time can be told with precision by their phone
  • why complications, constraints and pulling back can be a great way to grow

Above Tim Sayler framed by the watch on his wrist which is the same iconic 'Royal Oak' model featured in his advertisements.  The copy reads 'To Break The Rules You must First Master Them.'  These watches are 'skeletonized' -ie hand-carved - out of a block of metal, as Tim will explain.  'Obsessively complex', indeed.  -  Enjoy

le-brassus-ap-office-and-museum-collage.AP headquarters and museum in Le Brassus and the valley of Joux

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For more insights what drives the success of Ueber-Brands, read our book “Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the Ueberbrands” as well as further case-studies on this blog.

Here is a link to the AP websitethe backstory on the photography of Le Brassus used by AP by Dan Holdsworth and an article on the spectacular architecture of the AP watch museum (see pictures above).

Want to compare and contrast the AP story with that of lifestyle watch maker Shinola? Then listen to our interview with Shinola CMO Bridget Russo here.


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