Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet were both in their early twenties when they founded Audemars Piguet in 1875. In 1972 AP launched a line of mechanical watches with hexagonal screws that fastened a porthole-like bezel. Thus was born the Royal Oak, in honor of the British Royal Navy's line of ships bearing the same name. The Royal Oak is among many of the most specialized and complex watches produced by this famous manufactory.
Like many other brands of luxury watches, Audemars Piguet has a number of ambassadors, including tennis player Novak Djokovic; Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar; Formula One racecar drivers Sebastien Buemi, Rubens Barrichello, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jarno Trulli; Argentinean footballer Leo Messi; professional basketball player LeBron James; pro golfer Rory McIlroy and Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh.
Audemars Piguet's signature line continues to be the Royal Oak and its sportier offshoot, the Royal Oak Offshore. Each year, AP releases special and limited edition timepieces from these two collections to its adoring collectors, many of whom have more than a few Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks and Royal Oak Offshores in their existing collection.
Limited editions are especially desirable within the Audemars Piguet brand and in recent years have included: Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix Chronograph in forged carbon & titanium, gold and platinum; Royal Oak Offshore Rubens Barrichello Chronograph in Titanium, Gold and Platinum, Royal Oak Offshore Shaquille O'Neal Chronograph in steel with and without diamonds; Offshore editions celebrating anniversaries of several countries including Mexico (Pride of Mexcio) and Russia (Pride of Russia); and watches with colorful dials and names such as the Volcano, Bumblebee, End of Days, T3, Alinghi, and Survivor; and editions specifically linked to the launch of a new AP boutique, such as the Ginza, Rue St-Honore, Rodeo Drive, Worth Avenue, Orchard Road, and Rhone Fusterie.