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Buying Guides for Beginners

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Some Audemars Piguet history and background.
 
The roots of Audemars Piguet date back to 1875, when the 23-year-old Jules-Louis Audemars met Edward-Auguste Piguet, then only 21, at Vallée de Joux, which is considered[who?] to be the cradle of prestige watch-making.
 
Their hometown was Le Brassus. When they graduated school they went to Vallée de Joux to start working in their favorite field of watch manufacturing.
 
Thus Audemars started producing component parts for movements and Piguet got the job of a repasseur, whose job it was to make the final regulation of the timepiece. They founded a firm later known as Audemars, Piguet et Cie.
 
Since 1882, members of the Audemars and Piguet families have always been on the board of directors and have thus directly or indirectly run the company.
 
The business started with Audemars managing the production and technical part and Piguet focusing on sales, and success was not immediate. The Audemars Piguet trademark was registered in 1882, however it would be seven years later that the company was officially founded. At this point Audemars Piguet et Cie became one of the largest employers for watch-making in the whole of Vaud, southwestern Switzerland.
 
The company opened its first branch in Geneva in 1889, and began creating its own components and assembling within its factory with direct supervision and strict quality control.
 
Between 1894 and 1899 the company produced about 1,200 timepieces, including some very complex watches. When Audemars and Piguet died, in 1918 and 1919 respectively, the company steadily grew and became more famous.
 
As the success of the company's business was rising its customers became Tiffany & Co, Cartier and Bulgari, who rebranded and sold Audemars Piguet watches under their own house names. Today these watches are only identifiable as Audemars Piguet products by their serial numbers.
 
Later Audemars Piguet launched several watches like the smallest minute repeater in the world and a jumping second hand (i.e. the second hand jumps from second to second in quanta rather than progressively) pocket watch. 
 
In 1925 Audemars Piguet introduced the world's thinnest pocket watch, at 1.32 millimeters. Only three years later the company created the first skeleton watch.
 
At the end of 1920s and the beginning of 1930s the success of Audemars Piguet started dimming. The crash of the stock market as well as the Depression slowed the development of many Swiss companies.
 
During World War II the manufacturer was able to come back on the market by producing one of its well-known models – an ultra-thin chronograph, the heart of which was Calibre 2003. The sales of Audemars Piguet started growing in the forties and fifties. Together with Jaeger-LeCoultre it designed the thinnest automatic movement. The latter included a 21 carat gold rotor placed in the center. Their "Royal Oak", was produced in 1972 and is considered to have created the market for the stainless steel luxury watch. It was designed by Gerald Genta.
 
Today the company, along with Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin, is sometimes claimed to be one of the top three Swiss watchmakers.
 
Every timepiece manufactured in-house is still made using the old-fashioned hand-made technique.
The Audemars Piguet watch group is composed of 1,100 employees, fourteen distribution subsidiaries and sixteen boutiques around the world. It comprises three production sites: Le Brassus (SA de la Manufacture d'Horlogerie Audemars Piguet & Cie), LeLocle (Audemars Piguet: Renaud et Papi SA) and Meyrin (Center SA).
 
The manufacture Audemars Piguet produces 26,000 timepieces per year.
 
Our favourite modell by far is the amazing Audemars Piguet Royaloak Offshore that is more or less a super rep and nothing less.
 
Offshore model was introduced in 1993 and AP is still a family brand runned by the granddaughter of Jules Audemars.
 
Here is also some interesting reading and lots of great pictures in an article about Audemars Piguet and quite a bit how the ROO changed the balance between the 3 BIG one´s
Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe & Vacheron Constantin.
 
The success of AP's outrageous new creation was so impressive that both competitors had no choice but to follow suit — PP with the Nautilus 3700, VC with the 222. The Royal Oak is just one — admittedly most striking — example of Audemars Piguet's embrace of the new and their unique adeptness of marrying it with traditional watchmaking.
 
 
I felt the AP section should have a simple introduction to AP for those that have a hard time to use the search button or drowning in info, so here it goes.
 
AP ROO beginners guide.
 
Welcome to the fantastic world of AP ROO´s.
 
This short summary is in no way a complete guide, just a few really good guidelines about your purchase and happy owning of a fantastic watch.
 
Q: What model should I choose as a first?
 
A: Well taste is different, but many would agree with the choice of a Black Theme.
 
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Q: Is there different makers that the dealers have?
 
A: No they are from the same factory, so all dealers have more or less the same stock.
 
But as usual there will always be possible manufacturing flaws so be sure to ask for QC pic´s before shipping if the dealer doesn´t send them to you.
 
Q: What level of quality should I choose? There are so many with a different price?
 
A: Sec@9 is nice but with a major flaw, there are no gen ROO´s with a sec@9.
 
The real deal only got sec@12.
 
However, make sure to ask our own AP nut deloriandmc for some alternatives and make sure to checkout Guru´s awesome AP mod projects.
 
Q: Great! Anything I should know about the sec@12 movement?
 
A: Old versions is pretty well know to have a jerky second hand due to the fact that the factory didn´t do a proper job with the extra gear needed to get the sec@12 look, 7750 movements doesn´t support sec@12 native due to it´s construction unless you mod it properly.
 
So sooner then later it will cause trouble for most owners.
 
New versions the dealers say is fixed, lots of people say it´s not fixed keep that in mind.
 
Q: What do I do to get it fixed?
 
A: Well, there are temporary fixes of various kinds, but for a lasting result Domi can either swap in and modify a ETA7750 or go for a slightly cheaper fix and add a jewel to the existing movement, but since it´s such a kickass watch it´s probably worth the extra money to swap movement.
 
Our other great modder that I totally forgot to mention (shame on me..) Francisco pointed out his really great post about the issue where he shows exactly WHY the sec@12 breaks down.
 
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Q: Any major flaws I should know about?
 
A: A little thicker caseback, but that can be shaved down a little if your careful.
 
Crown position is slightly on the high side and gen got it positioned a little lower, it´s a possible fix but really tricky and pretty costly so probably not worth it unless your a world class OCD.
 
Folding clasp is slight narrower then gen, but quite a few go for a APbands buckle.
 
Q: Should I order steel bracelet, rubber or the leather strap?
 
A: Steel bracelet if you ask me look and feels amazing, rubberstrap most people say is on par with the gen, leather strap is normally crap.
 
So if you order lets say a Safari ROO budget for a 250-350$ for a proper Apbands/HK tan strap.
 
APbands and HK tan are far superior then the rep leather and will make the watch look way more gen and luxurious.
 
For most other models, as I found out the hard and expensive way it will by a very big chance be cheaper to buy the watch with a rubberstrap and buy the steel bracelet as a side order.
 
Q: Why is that?
 
A: A few of the trusted dealers here on RWI told me that the factory stopped shipping the small steel conversion pieces that you WILL NEED including the cap+bar pin to attach them to the new strap when you order a rubber/ leather strap so you will end up hunting down conversion pieces + cap/pins for an additional 70$ on top of your useless strap you ordered.
 
Example: rep rubberstrap 78$+30$conversion pieces+39$ caps/bars= expensive.
Steel bracelet/links already included around 90$ = cheaper.
Some dealers "might" have the rubber strap with links included, but make sure to ask an extra time.
 
So get the watch model you want, get it with a strap and buy the SS bracelet as a spare since it already have the links needed attached to it = a lot cheaper then other way round.
 
Q: What about Survivor and RB II and other "special" models? Any good?
 
A: Well more specialized info you can find through search button and if you don´t find what your looking for there are plenty AP nutz here to answer your question.
 
Q: Is it true that the gen doesn´t have AR on the crystal?
 
A: Yes, everything points to that fact but they sure seem to have a "better" crystal then the rep so it appears clearer.
 
Q: So should I keep it AR free or what to have the "gen" look?
 
A: It all boils down to taste, the rep looks pretty damn good without AR.
 
But with double AR coating it looks incredible and the details of the dial really pops out.
 
And if you still ain´t sure do a "swede" go for the middle road, single sided AR on inside, it will have good effect but not "no glass" look.
 
Probably a very good solution for those that can´t choose and still wan´t it with a slight no AR look.
 
Fine dd AR work on AP ROO Black Theme. Before & After. Amazing.
 
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Yes the crystal IS there if you were wondering.
 
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Q: How is the rep lume on the ROO?
 
A: To be honest, it usually suck like all other rep lume and should be taken care of.
 
So a great tip is to order a spare dial+hands when you order your ROO so you wont have to be without the whole for while waiting to get it relumed.
 
One thing to keep in mind, it´s pretty hard to relume ROO dials since it more or less has to be done freehanded direct on the dial so not exactly a n00b work here as a DIY test.
 
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Fine dd lume work on dial.
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