Audemars Piguet Quantième Perpétuel Automatique, 5548BA, Yellow Gold

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This Quantième Perpétuel presents a twist on a much-loved ultra-thin, automatic perpetual calendar. This early piece features a yellow gold case, combined with an unusual dial featuring Roman numerals, which is much more rarely seen than the production model with straight indices.


In the late 1970s, complicated wristwatches were exceedingly rare.

The Quartz Crisis had decimated the watchmaking industry, with the number of watchmakers in Switzerland having dropped from 1,600 to 600. Against all odds, three watchmakers at Audemars Piguet decided to develop the world’s thinnest automatic perpetual calendar movement. The project was carried out in secret, with the manufacture’s upper management completely unaware of what was going on. The watchmakers worked in their free time, often meeting at night to discuss their work.

In 1977, they surprised Georges Golay, the CEO of Audemars Piguet at the time, with the finished calibre. A risk taker who’d already released the Royal Oak a few years prior, Golay was confident that the manufacture could successfully commercialise the automatic perpetual calendar. When it was launched in 1978, the Quantième Perpetuel was the world’s thinnest automatic perpetual calendar. To put things in perspective, in 1984, only 1,066 perpetual calendars were produced in Switzerland. Of those, Audemars Piguet made 675.