Marcus’ Audemars collection is going home
By James Gurney
Marcus Margulies, whose family owns Time Products, Sekonda and, of course Marcus Watches has also played a crucial role in the development and growth of Audemars Piguet through the years – Time Products were the brand’s distributor not only in the UK, but in the US during the 70’s and 80’s and even Switzerland for a time. So its hardly surprising that his private collection of Audemars Piguet watches is world-renowned.
Alongside some choice watches from the period when Time Products was the brand’s distributor, the collection includes a number of historic pieces going right back to the 1890’s, so it was a significant moment when AP announced that they had acquired Margulies’ collection.
François-Henry Bennahmias, Chief Executive Officer of Audemars Piguet, added: “We are delighted to welcome these vintage pieces back home. It represents a great milestone for the heritage department and a huge contribution to our patrimony. Marcus Margulies is very happy, as he has always believed that the right home for the collection was with the factory in Le Brassus.”
That somewhat underplays Margulies’ appreciation for the brand and the quality of the collection. He relishes the independence and family ownership, saying that Audemars Piguet is one of the few brands he still has a strong emotional bond with. “The group brands have less and less emotion and personality”, he told me on another occasion. As a collector though, Margulies has always been treated as a serious and knowledgeable player, insisting on perfect condition, only supreme rarity tempting him to accept less.
Pride of the collection is the Union pocket watch, an ultra-complicated watch sometimes called the “Universelle”. The ébauche was made by Louis Elisée Piguet finished by Audemars Piguet and then cased and signed by Union Glashütte in Dresden in 1899. The wristwatches encompass early skeletons, “guichet” watches and some fabulous art deco cases and will seriously enrich the museum collection in Le Brassus.