PuristSPro visits Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi

Jul 07, 2014,14:58 PM

I am very pleased to share a special visit made to Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi, known more simply as APRP.  AP organized the visit to the high end watchmaking facility after completing our tour of Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland.  If you missed that report, you can find it by clicking the link below:


Dominique Renaud and Giulio Papi originally founded their workshop together in 1986.  In 1992, when expanding their Manufacture, Audemars Piguet came on board as a partner, and APRP was formed.

APRP is located in LeLocle, Switzerland

And the head man, Giulio Papi

I have been fortunate to meet Giulio on several occasions.  As with the previous meetings, Giulio makes mention of the fact that all new designs and studies are created by hand, and he has the sketches to prove it

Development and construction documents are then created using CAD software.  Here we see the drawing for the movement inside the Royal Oak Extra Thin Tourbillon

To hear Giulio speak about the many steps and studies that go into analyzing a design is incredible

In some instances, large scale models are created to assure the integration of parts and viability of a design

When you see a tray of watches at APRP, you know it consists of special pieces smile

How about a few Royal Oak Concept GMTs...

Such a beautiful movement

It is very easy to see how passionate Giulio Papi is about his work.  He is a very hands on individual.  When Giulio walks through the various workshops at the facility, it is if he is on the very same level as all of his watchmakers (who incidentally, are primarily young in age).  He engages the workers and is like a peer, not a boss.

Back to the Royal Oak Extra Thin Tourbillon we saw in design stage, here we see a watchmaker about to fit the back plate to the movement

Precision work

All of the workers have specific duties and the necessary resources to complete their work

I watched this woman meticulously examine the brush strokes and bevel on a piece she was polishing

Here she makes a pass over a flat area

And next a beveled area, all by hand under her watchful eye

To complete this part...

And then repeat the process again

There are countless state of the art machines at APRP

And raw materials to work from

A sampling of parts all made within the facility


And of course, you see special watches on the workers too.  Keen eyes will immediately recognize Giulio Papi's Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in steel and platinum, a watch he wears daily

Forged carbon / ceramic 44mm Royal Oak Offshore

Even a Jumbo on the wrist of a dear Friend

And can you ever beat a white dial Royal Oak Chronograph?

One last return to the Royal Oak Extra Thin Tourbillon, here cased and basically complete

I would like to thank Audemars Piguet, Giulio Papi, and all of the talented workers at APRP for making our visit possible.  We are very fortunate to receive such a detailed look inside one of the finest watchmaking manufactures in the world.

This message has been edited by MichaelC on 2014-07-07 16:52:33

More posts: Royal OakRoyal Oak ChronographRoyal Oak ConceptRoyal Oak OffshoreRoyal Oak Perpetual Calendar

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A truly amazing place to visit.

 By: JerryW : July 7th, 2014-20:40
I had the fortunate opportunity to tour about 7 years ago. I really like seeing so many watchmakers have so much pride in their work. I call it "Artists at work" although it is much more than that. Hope to tour again. Best, JerryW

"Artists at work"

 By: MichaelC : July 11th, 2014-06:15
Well said Jerry!

Great experience I guess..

 By: emijar3 : July 7th, 2014-21:49
I would definitely would love to visit APs facility... Giulio Papi's Royal Oak sure is amazing!! Which watch would you say was the most amazing? Thanks for sharing this experience Michael!!

Goodness, so hard to say...

 By: MichaelC : July 11th, 2014-06:17
I am really liking the Royal Oak Extra Thin tourbillon. I caught it on the wrist of Francois Bennahmias and it looked amazing. Seeing those Concepts up close is really something too; that is an amazing watch and design.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful pictorial journey!

 By: orangedial : July 8th, 2014-06:44
It's my dream to visit the AP museum and facilities one day! :) Best, Wayne

I met Oliviero and Bindy at the Art Basel event

 By: MichaelC : July 11th, 2014-06:19
I thought they mentioned you might have come? I look forward to meeting you Wayne, and suspect you will find your way to the homeland no doubt :-)

My favourite tour of all watch manufactory tours

 By: Horology75 : July 8th, 2014-14:30
AP does it best! Just like the watches they produce…quality icons!

My experiences have been all positive

 By: MichaelC : July 11th, 2014-06:22
At APRP, we were able to see projects they work on for other brands like Cartier, RM, etc. Giulio and his staff were quite accommodating to all of our questions, and the watchmakers really have you feel welcomed, even as you continually peer over their sh... 


 By: M4 : July 8th, 2014-18:03
Appreciate the report, MichaelC. M4

What a treat....

 By: KIH : July 8th, 2014-23:55
.. Having met Mr. Papi in Tokyo, I have wanted to visit his atelier for a long time. Very nice complete report and very much appreciated. Felt like I were there! Ken

Thanks Ken. Giulio is incredibly grounded.

 By: MichaelC : July 11th, 2014-06:24
When you speak with him, it is as though you grew up as childhood friends. I really enjoy his commentary.

Thanks a lot Michael for the report!

 By: foversta : July 9th, 2014-14:24
It is always a pleasure to meet Giulio Papi, he is always very available for collectors and watches fans and it is fascinating to listen to him. Fx

You nailed it Fx.

 By: MichaelC : July 11th, 2014-06:25
And I replied just about the same to Ken above. He is very receptive and never rushed. He takes his time with everyone.

It is always magic to see these huge bars of metals transformed into

 By: amanico : July 9th, 2014-22:52
Small and delicate movement parts... And the work of the people behind our watches, too. Superb article, my friend. What is this Watch with a tonneau shpaed case? AP??? Best, Nicolas.

So true.

 By: MichaelC : July 11th, 2014-06:27
And no doubt this sort of magic is performed at many manufactures. To see it up close is always special and never repetitive. The tonneau piece was a Richard Mille, although I do not recall the specific reference.

AP R&P visit

 By: ED209 : July 11th, 2014-20:02
Thanks Michael for the great photos of your visit. Reminds me of my trip to Renaud ad Papi during a PuristS trip back in late 2008. Great memories meeting the talented staff there. Regards, ED-209

Great report Michael

 By: Colin W : July 12th, 2014-12:45
Those guys are real craftsmen, turning those raw materials not such amazing watches - amazing!


 By: Duf : July 16th, 2014-04:13
Thank you for this great visit summary! I love this concept GMT!!!

Notice the chair...

 By: patrick_y : July 16th, 2014-10:06
Notice the chair they use even has a Royal Oak dial guilloche design. Thanks for the report!