It is no secret that independent watch brand Audemars Piguet is at the top of the haute horology lineage. This brand focuses clearly on innovative design, technological developments and superb finishing. The artisans the brand employs in its workshops in the Jura Mountains reflect the brand’s dedication to excellence.
Such is the case with Joelle, master watchmaker who started her career with the brand 18 years ago as an apprentice. Today, she is one of just a handful of master artisans capable of building Grande Complications.
According to Audemars Piguet, Joelle has always been good with her hands – so much so that at one point in time she considered becoming a surgeon – but somewhere along the lines the mechanical connection got the better of her and she turned to watchmaking instead. Not such a different concept, when one considers that she spends between four and six months at a time brining hundreds of mechanical components together to form life as a working feat of horology.
“No matter how much you study as an apprentice, there are things that, as a watchmaker, you must experience and discover on your own. When you see the piece in its entirety, it’s the culmination of every small detail,” says Joelle of the masterpieces she builds.
As a master watchmaker, Joelle has a meticulous focus on every step of the process, from beveling parts to setting jewels, and from assembling the movement to casing it up. A true perfectionist, she says her favorite Audemars Piguet watch is the Jules Audemars Grand Complication. I, for one, cannot imagine spending six months of my life building a beauty that I must then give a way. Bravo to the people behind the scenes at these top watch brands.