History of Timepieces A Conversation with Xavier Nolot

CEO of Audemars Piguet North America

We were lucky enough to have a conversation with CEO of Audemars Piguet North America recently about the company.  Nolot first joined the AP team in 2003 as a Sales Administration Manager.  In 2005, he joined the Audemars Piguet North America subsidiary as Vice President of Logistics and Information Systems.  In 2013, Nolot was appointed CEO of Audemars Piguet North America.  He has continued to build the company, blending leadership, inspiration and passion to help keep AP moving onwards and upwards.

Xavier Nolot, CEO Of Audemars Piguet North AmericaGovberg: In your opinion, what is the most important milestone that Audemars Piguet has accomplished to date?

Xavier Nolot: We have to consider the 140 years the Company has been operating continuously, and perhaps even the time before that when the families were already crafting exceptional timepieces…There are many of those along the journey, from the first Grande Complication in 1882, to Ladies pieces, to minute repeaters and Perpetual Calendars, to miniature and ultra thin movements, to the use of special and technical materials. If I have to pick one single moment in history, that would be the launch of the Royal Oak in 1972, a bold move during trying times (the quartz revolution), one that reflects well the spirit of the Company and supported its growth for the past 40 plus years.

G: What is something about Audemars Piguet that a newcomer to watches should know immediately?

XN: Audemars Piguet timepieces are special because they are made by a Company owned by the families since 1875.  Its people believe in their spirit of independence. This philosophy is reflected in everything we do, from design to quality and finishes and Service. Those timepieces will always remain exclusive and limited because of those principles.

G: What is something that even the most tenured watch enthusiast might not know about Audemars Piguet?

XN: In an era where it may be difficult to distinguish between Luxury, Exclusivity and Marketing, Audemars Piguet doesn’t produce more than about 500 skeleton pieces per year, all models included. Because all the work is done by hand and it requires superior decoration and watchmaking skills, this number will always remain small. One can imagine how few of the more complicated pieces the Company makes.

G: After so many firsts and an exciting history, including the recent release of the Royal Oak Concept Laptimer, fans of the brand are wondering..what’s next?

XN: The best is to come. Really. When you consider what we have in the pipe, in terms of new calibers as well as new designs, there are plenty of very exciting developments that will see the light in the coming years. Amongst those, we presented during SIHH 2015 the “RD1” concept piece equipped with an exceptional chiming mechanism. With the stunning sound achieved with this concept, we can expect to see chiming pieces with this concept in the next few years.

Thank you Xavier for taking the time to talk with us about Audemars Piguet.  Be sure to keep an eye out for all that AP is working on!

About Emily Smith
Newbie to watches but a quick learner. She loves the history of watches and loves learning how they work. She prefers Rolex and Omega watches but is learning the history behind other brands. Her watch of choice right now is her vintage Omega Ladymatic that is a mere 19mm. She has her eye on a few others including the Plum dial Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36mm and a Patek Twenty ~4 (4910/10 A011). While she enjoys the look of vintage watches, she is excited to learn about new models and build her collection.

Watches you may be interested in:

Leave a Reply