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May 8, 2013 8:18:00 AM BST

Audemars Piguet debuts at Art Basel in Hong Kong

Stepping into Role of Associate Partner, Renowned Watch Brand Celebrates its Heritage in Vallée de Joux Switzerland

  • Art Basel
    Photography by Dan Holdsworth
  • Art Basel
    Photography by Dan Holdsworth

Since its foundation in 1875, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet has emphasized connections between art craft, and technical excellence. To give further expression to its pursuit of creativity and innovation, the brand has recently announced a long-term partnership with Art Basel, as a global Associate Partner with a presence at the Art Basel shows in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. Starting at Art Basel in Hong Kong, May 23 - 26, 2013, Audemars Piguet will welcome guests in a dedicated space within the show’s exclusive Lounge.

In the new space, Audemars Piguet will introduce visitors to its place of origin, Le Brassus, in the remote Swiss Vallée de Joux, and present a selection of its exceptional historic and contemporary timepieces. The display includes highlights from the brand’s 2012 global touring exhibition, “From Avant-garde to Icon,” which celebrated the 40th anniversary of Audemars Piguet’s ground-breaking Royal Oak model, which revolutionized fine watchmaking. At Art Basel, visitors will have the opportunity to view a retrospective exhibit about this iconic timepiece, alongside other classic pieces from the brand’s 138-year history. A watchmaker’s bench and guided tours by watch specialists will complement the Audemars Piguet Lounge.  

This installation will be set against a backdrop of spectacular images taken by British photographer Dan Holdsworth, whom Audemars Piguet invited in 2011 to capture the extraordinary natural scenery of the Vallée de Joux, one of Europe’s most remote and pristine forest regions, and its cosmic relationship to time. Holdsworth depicted the valley at its stillest hours, bringing to life its ancient forests and glacial topography under the celestial presence of mist and moonlight to convey the ineffable temporal significance vested in the landscape. The link between nature and culture, manifested in the complex physical movements inside each Audemars Piguet timepiece, continues to inspire watchmakers today as they pursue their never-ending quest to give tangible form to the rules and rhythms of the natural world.

Commenting on the new partnership, Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias said, “We are delighted to start this partnership with Art Basel, the world’s premier art show for modern and contemporary works. The story of Audemars Piguet is in particular one in which art and craft are closely intertwined. We look forward to forging closer ties with the world of contemporary art and to developing a fruitful long-term collaboration with Art Basel.”

Following Art Basel in Hong Kong, Audemars Piguet will join Art Basel’s upcoming shows in Switzerland, June 13 - 16, and in Miami Beach, December 5 - 8, 2013.