Audemars piguet royal oak flying tourbillon

Audemars Piguet could overtake Patek Philippe this year as sales hit CHF 1.6 billion

If this is to be Audemars Piguet chief executive François-Henry Bennahmias’ final full year in charge, he will leave the business in rude health.

If this is to be Audemars Piguet chief executive François-Henry Bennahmias’ final full year in charge, he will leave the business in rude health.

Sales for the calendar year 2021 hit CHF 1.6 billion, a dramatic rise from CHF 1.2 billion in pre-pandemic 2019 and CHF 1.1 billion last year.

Speaking via a video link to press gathered all over the world, Mr Bennahmias alluded to his decade in charge of AP.

“We have 2,500 people working in the company now, double the number 10 years ago,” he said.

Audemars Piguet rumoured to be recruiting a new CEO

He revealed that Audemars Piguet sold 45,000 watches in 2021, around the same number as 2019, and expects a material increase to 50,000 units this year. Growth in production after 2022 will be more gradual, he added.

Audemars Piguet will have wind in its sails this year thanks to 2021 being the 50th anniversary of the Royal Oak.

A slew of new models were unveiled at the press conference, but the embargo does not lift until this evening (Wednesday).

Audemars Piguet versus Patek Philippe

Sales of CHF 1.6 billion in 2021 for Audemars Piguet potentially put the business in a neck and neck race with Patek Philippe.

According to the respected annual Swiss watch industry report by Morgan Stanley, Patek Philippe sales in 2019 were CHF 1.45 billion but fell to CHF 1.16 billion in covid-ravaged 2020.

AP was much less affected by the pandemic, with sales virtually flat across 2019 and 2020.

We await the publication of Morgan Stanley’s report, typically it arrives in March, to see whether Audemars Piguet has leapfrogged over Patek Philippe to become Switzerland’s fifth biggest watchmaker.

It might also overtake the mighty Longines, which generated sales of CHF 1.65 billion in 2019 but dipped to CHF 1.15 billion last year, according to Morgan Stanley.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Congratulations to Audemars Piguet for selling 45,000 units in 2021 and possibly moving ahead of Patek Philippe. I understand there are bragging rites for moving into the Top 5 of a very competitive industry, but what does it really mean? In the United States some families only buy Ford instead of Chevrolet (and vice versa), but I would expect that many customers who can afford to buy an Audemars Piguet or a Patek Philippe own/collect both. The craftmanship is top notch in both too. I would love to ask both CEO’s to allow first time buyers of either brand who can now afford to buy watches from these exquisite brands to allow first time buyers like myself the ability to buy from them direct (AP) or an AD (PP). I do hope to own one of each brand and enjoy them on the wrist in my lifetime.

    Danny Simenauer

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *