2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the iconic Royal Oak, which invented the very concept of a luxury sports watch and elevated stainless steel to the status of a precious metal. But for Audemars Piguet, this year will also be marked by the launch of a new global ad campaign and brand identity.
The campaign, created by the Lowe Superculture in London, will feature the work of renowned still life photographer Richard Foster and the acclaimed landscape photographer, Dan Holdsworth.
It will showcase a powerful new brand thought:
"To break the rules, you must first master them".
"This is more than just an advertising headline, it expresses the essence of the Audemars Piguet brand philosophy" commented C.E.O Philippe Merk. "We are proud of our heritage of fine watchmaking, and the craft skills which have been handed down from generation to generation since 1875. Over the years we have demonstrated our mastery of the art of haute horology and yet Audemars Piguet has also always been a beacon of innovation and creativity that dares to break new grounds. While the watches that we make are expressions of our respect for the traditions of hand crafted timepieces and while we celebrate the fact that we are the one of the few major Swiss brands still in the hands of the descendants of the original founding families, we are also a modern, progressive company famous for our innovations in technology, the daring use of new materials and bold designs."
The new campaign is divided into two main themes. The first captures the artistry and mastery that goes into every single Audemars Piguet timepiece, showcasing the highlights of the 2012 collection.
The watches were shot by Richard Foster and each execution shows extreme close up elements of the watch components together with an explanation of how the individual piece demonstrates the brand truth of 'To break the rules, you must first master them'.
The second part of the campaign leverages the brand's provenance and history. In a break from traditional watch marketing, the advertising will feature stunning work by the English Photographic artist, Dan Holdsworth, who spent several weeks in the Vallée de Joux capturing the dramatic beauty and soul of this very special place.
In line with this, the Audemars Piguet logo has been subtlety refreshed and the long - running line "Le maître de l’horlogerie depuis 1875" has been replaced with the name of the village in the Vallée de Joux which has always been the home of Audemars Piguet - Le Brassus.
What is so compelling about Audemars Piguet is the combination of, on the one hand, history, tradition, authenticity and on the other, extraordinary modernity and progressive design. While other brands may like to be seen as heirlooms, Audemars Piguet is a progressive brand for the here and now, a brand to be worn by connoisseurs who respect the past but are making their own futures." said Audemars Piguet Chief Marketing Officer Tim Sayler. “We are very excited to be working with outstanding photographic talent for this campaign. Richard Foster’s images really capture the exceptional craft and beauty of our watches in striking detail. Dan Holdsworth’s shot shows the 'terroir' of Le Brassus and reveals the connection between the relationship of man and nature and man and time-keeping. The true story of how watchmaking began amongst the farmers of the valley and how the incredible complex movements made today are the ultimate expression of man's quest to unravel the mysteries of nature is what makes the story of Audemars Piguet so extraordinary.”
The new campaign will launch in January 2012 with new models like the Millenary 4101 or the new Royal Oak model with 41mm diameter and will continue throughout the year with the 2012 novelties and other timeless pieces of the Audemars Piguet collection.
Audemars Piguet is the oldest fine watchmaking manufacturer still in the hands of its founding families (Audemars and Piguet). Since 1875, the company has written some of the finest chapters in the history of Haute Horlogerie, including a number of world firsts. In the Vallée de Joux, at the heart of the Swiss Jura, numerous masterpieces are created in limited series embodying a remarkable degree of horological perfection, including daring sporty models, classic and traditional timepieces, splendid ladies’ jewellery-watches, as well as one-of-a-kind creations.
Richard Foster’s highly successful career as a lifestyle product photographer has spanned over 20 years. His determination and passion to create exceptional and arresting images has led to recent work with international clients in the luxury world. His work has also been featured in some of the most famous lifestyle magazines like GQ, Tatler, Esquire, Aston Martin Magazine and Vogue as well as leading newspapers like the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph and specialised publications such as National Geographic.
Dan Holdsworth is a celebrated English photographer based in London. His unique style of photography involves hours long exposures combining breath-taking desolated landscapes and beautiful light, giving his photos unique tones and intriguing moods.
Holdsworth has shown work internationally in many exhibitions including 'Peintres de la vie Moderne, Modern-Life Painters' at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. ‘Photography 2005’ at the Victoria Miro Gallery in London, ‘Consuming Nature and Man’ at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and ‘Horizon’ at Art Agents Gallery in Hamburg.