At least Audemars Piguet has been upfront with its retail partners. It has consistently said it wants to redefine retail through initiatives like its AP Houses and intends to get as close to selling directly to customers as possible.
What may come as a surprise to its remaining authorised dealers is that Audemars Piguet is becoming a multibrand jeweller as well.
Its first — and possibly last — jewellery brand partnership is with Italy’s Carolina Bucci, which will sell its K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) collection of gold bracelets and necklaces through AP Houses in London, Hong Kong and Barcelona as well as in the AP boutiques of Nagoya and Dallas.
Audemars Piguet and Carolina Bucci first worked together in 2016 when the jewellery designer designed a frosted gold Royal Oak for the 40th anniversary of the watch.
The collaboration continued in 2018 with the launch of a Royal Oak Frosted Gold Carolina Bucci Limited Edition with a mirror dial.
The roles are reversed for the latest venture, with Carolina Bucci creating a jewellery collection inspired by Audemars Piguet watches, particularly a mechanical watch’s mainspring, which is represented in gold coils that make up the bracelets and necklaces.
“I loved the Keep It Super Simple approach from the beginning, it matches both AP’s mind-set and the apparent simplicity of our craft. Although Audemars Piguet has always made complicated watches, which is a good thing in watchmaking, the way we work is very straightforward, which is one of the many reasons why the collaboration with Carolina has been so successful: we have a similar way of doing things. And when she showed us her new K.I.S.S collection and told us that her inspiration came from the work of our watchmakers, it made complete sense: we loved the gold threads that recall parts of our watch movements and we understand how they shape Carolina’s bracelets. The pure simplicity of her design definitely speaks to us,” says François-Henry Bennahmias, chief executive officer of Audemars Piguet.
The K.I.S.S jewellery collection goes on sale at AP boutiques and AP Houses this month.