Audemars Piguet lost almost two months of this year’s production when its manufacturing sites were fully shut down from March 18 until May 11.
A response to WatchPro inquiries this morning says that production capacity is now up to around 80% as social distancing rules continue in Switzerland, but AP hopes to be back up to 100% by the end of August.
Audemars Piguet made around 44,000 watches in 2019, according to investment bank Morgan Stanley’s estimates.
Four months of production at 80% capacity would potentially reduce the number of watches manufactured by around 3,000 units. Two months of complete shut down would rob the world of another 7,000 meaning that roughly one quarter of 2020’s production will have been lost.
Some of the lost capacity could be caught up because AP is concentrating on producing watches from its current collections rather than lose more time retooling for new models for 2020.
So far, AP has only launched a limited edition [Re]master01 in April (below) and a new Royal Oak 34mm (pictured top).
There will be another launch in July and more pieces in the third quarter, AP revealed today, but the focus of the business has already switched to next year for major releases.
“This will definitely affect our production numbers for 2020 but we have accepted this and started to focus on 2021 and 2022,” Audemars Piguet says.
The brand’s three London boutiques — within Harrods, its AP House on Bond Street and the Areej-run store on Sloane Street — re-opened to customers with pre-booked appointments on June 15.
Teams are working in shifts to ensure social distancing and deliveries of new watches are starting to get through.