MICHAEL FRIEDMAN

Historian Michael Friedman, Head of Complications at Audemars Piguet, in Istanbul for the first time

Head of Complications at Audemars Piguet and Historian Michael Friedman visited Istanbul for the first time to meet with watch enthusiasts and talk about complications as well Audemars Piguet’s significance in the history of Haute Horlogerie.

A prominent figure in the world of watchmaking with his scientific approach to the investigation of timepieces and their past, Michael Friedman makes significant contributions to his role at Audemars Piguet thanks to his experience and wealth of knowledge.

The special dinner hosted by Tektaş Watches & Jewellery President Shelly Ovadia at the Santral İstanbul Energy Museum brought Michael Friedman together with watch enthusiasts and was attended by notables such as Çağlar Ertuğrul, Kayla Manukyan, Hande Anı Can, Leyla Koray, Özlem Yarar and Arda-Nida Bozkurt.

Having worked at the New York City office of the auction house Christie’s for almost five years, Friedman accepted the role as chief historian at Audemars Piguet in 2013 and now manages every aspect of the monumental heritage program at the Le Brassus plant. Friedman’s main responsibility is to purchase rare Audemars Piguet timepieces from auction houses and exclusive collectors, and he spends half of his time traveling to talk to the brand’s customers spread across a wide geography on a variety of popular topics such as launches from the world of AP products and design history. 

One of the oldest watchmakers still controlled by the founding families, Audemars Piguet has been producing grand complication watches since 1875, in other words for longer than almost all watchmakers.

Producing perpetual calendars and advanced complication watches including chiming watches is an extremely tedious task. Since the very beginning, Audemars Piguet has been listed among the few brands globally that can produce “grand complication” watches that combine chiming mechanisms such as minute repeaters and grande sonnerie with other complications. Expertise at this level and orientation means that watchmaking at Audemars Piguet is at a much smaller scale compared to the industry-focused production mostly dominant in the majority of the sector in the past and present.

Producing complication watches is more than just a part of the history of Audemars Piguet. For instance, while chiming timepieces continue to be one of Audemars Piguet’s active research topics, the fact that the company has been producing some of the most superior repeater complications and grande sonnerie watches of all times ensures that a vast reserve of know-how is created and is available for reference in the future.