Audemars Piguet 25718PT 'Jules Audemars Skeleton Tourbillon'

Museum Piece
Long before the Royal Oak came out, Audemars Piguet had made a name for itself by producing some of the world’s most exquisite and complicated dress watches.

Long before the Royal Oak came out, Audemars Piguet had made a name for itself by producing some of the world’s most exquisite and complicated dress watches. The Jules Audemars line, named after one of the company’s two founding fathers, pays homage to that tradition.

The ref. 25718 was a forward-looking watch when it was introduced in 1991. During a time when very few companies were making any tourbillon wrist watches, Audemars Piguet came up with the world’s first self-winding tourbillon with a date and a power reserve complication. Just as important, the dimensions of the watch, with its oversized 39 mm case, were ahead of its time as well.

This 25718 from the late 1990s is the rare platinum variant. The large case features a bold convex bezel and classically-minded tear drop lugs. By moving the crown from its traditional placement on the left hand side of the case to the case back, the clean lines of the watch are left uninterrupted.

While most executions of the reference 25718 feature classic ivory dials, this 25718PT comes with a see-through sapphire dial with three sub-registers. The large sub-register at the 12 o’clock position features lovely painted Roman numerals and blackened leaf hands to display the time, while the smaller registers at 3 and 9 incorporate the power reserved and date functions.

The obvious purpose of the see-through dial is to allow the wearer to observe the exquisite movement in all its glory. Of course, the central point within this mechanical spectacle is the one minute tourbillon carriage that is mounted at the six o’clock position.

The 25718 was produced in very small numbers and this piece is number 14 from that production run. The watch is in excellent condition and comes on a black alligator leather Audemars Piguet strap with a platinum AP-signed ardillon buckle.

Audemars Piguet is among the holy trinity Swiss maisons d’horlogerie alongside Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. Audemars Piguet has a storied history of producing high-complication watches. It all started in 1875, when Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet founded the company in the heart of the Vallée de Joux, Le Brassus, Switzerland. This pure, rough and wild landscape, with deep, dark forests, ice-cold waters and the omnipresence of rocks and hills, provided inspiration and raw materials for the Swiss watch manufacture to develop the finest watches. Since its inception, Audemars Piguet has specialized in rare, valuable and highly-complicated watches like perpetual calendars, chronographs and chiming watches. Nowadays, the emphasis of Audemars Piguet lies on the iconic Royal Oak line.