Audemars Piguet – Adversity and Complications Make a Brand – Interview with Tim Sayler, CMO

Audemars Piguet is up there, even in the already elevated world of ‘haute horlogerie’ and the Swiss Alps.  Le Brassus in the high valley of Joux is the birthplace and still the place of hand-crafting AP watches as Tim Sayler, Chief Marketing Officer of the brand is proud and precise in pointing out to us. And pride, precision and a strong sense of place are some of the key ingredients we talk, as we discuss what has made this brand and how it stays up there in the firmament of desired objects – despite the meteoric rise of first industrial quartz watches and now smart watches. Or because of it.

We will also talk about:

  • how a hostile environment, boredom and a complicated way can guide success
  • what keeps AP up there in the cold and remote valley of Joux
  • who pays a fortune for a watch when time can be told precisely by your phone
  • why complications, constraints and pulling back can be a great way to grow

Above Tim Sayler framed by the watch on his wrist which is of the same iconic ‘Royal Oak’ line featured in his advertisements.  The copy reads ‘To Break The Rules You must First Master Them’  and the photography is by Dan Holdsworth (valley of Joux). These watches are ‘skeletonized’ -ie hand-carved – out of one block of metal, as Tim explains.  ‘Obsessively complex’, indeed.  –  Enjoy the podcast!

CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON to hear the interview. Further reading below.

AP headquarters and museum in Le Brassus and the valley of Joux

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For more insights what drives the success of Ueber-Brands, read our book “Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the Ueberbrands” as well as further case-studies on this blog.

Here is a link to the AP websitethe backstory on the photography of Le Brassus used by AP by Dan Holdsworth and an article on the spectacular architecture of the AP watch museum (see pictures above).

Want to compare and contrast the AP story with that of lifestyle watch maker Shinola? Then listen to our interview with Shinola CMO Bridget Russo here.

About JP Kuehlwein

JP Kuehlwein is a global business leader and brand builder with a 25+ year track record of translating consumer and brand insights into transformational propositions that win in market. Principal at ‘Ueber-Brands’ a New York consulting firm, he now helps others to elevate brands and make them peerless and priceless. JP also teaches brand strategy at NYU Stern and Columbia Business School and leads the Marketing Institute at The Conference Board, all in New York. Jp previously was Executive Vice President at Frédéric Fekkai & Co, a prestige salon operator and hair care brand and lead brand- and corporate strategy development and execution at multinational Procter & Gamble as Brand Director and Director of Strategy. JP and Wolf Schaefer have co-authored the best-selling books “Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the Ueber-Brands” which lays out what drives the success of modern premium brands and "Brand Elevation - Lessons in Ueber-Branding" a guide to developing and executing a brand elevation strategy. Find the books here:
This entry was posted in 1 - Mission Incomparable - The first rule is to make your own, 2 - Longing vs Belonging - The challenge is both, 4 - Behold! - The product as manifestation, 6 - Un-Sell - The superiority of seduction, 7 - Moving with Gravitas - The king never hurries, PODCAST and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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