Former U.S. president Bill Clinton is the newest high-profile partner—indeed the highest, yet—for Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet. On Oct. 10, the 132-year watch company and Clinton, the 42nd president, representing his William J. Clinton Foundation, formally unveiled the new Jules Audemars Clinton Foundation Equation of Time timepiece.
Georges-Henri Meylan (left), CEO of Audemars Piguet SA and
Francois Henry Bennahmias, president of Audemars Piguet North America
listening as Clinton addresses the press. Photo credit: Clinton Global Initiative.
The limited edition has 42 watches in each of three precious metals: platinum ($137,300), 18k rose gold ($98,800), and18k white gold ($100,000), for sale worldwide immediately.
The new luxury watch collection was presented to a crowded, late-afternoon invitation-only press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel New York. There were journalists from Asia, Europe, and the United States, and almost a dozen foreign and domestic TV news crews. A brief video of the Foundation’s worldwide endeavors was also shown.
The project continues a long-standing tradition of philanthropy for Audemars Piguet S.A., which has pledged $3 million to the work of the Clinton Foundation. That will come from a “significant portion” of proceeds from the sale of each timepiece.
“My foundation is working around the world to have a measurable and sustainable impact on some of the most pressing issues we face today, such as HIV/AIDS, global climate change, poverty and the health epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States,” Clinton said. “We cannot do this work alone, and I thank Audemars Piguet for their support of my foundation.”
“The Clinton Foundation and Audemars Piguet share common values of innovation and excellence, and the same philosophy,” said Audemars Piguet S.A.’s chief executive officer Georges-Henri Meylan. “Audemars Piguet is very proud to help the Clinton Foundation achieve the ambitious goals it has set for the coming years. Our new partnership allows us to launch a unique timepiece and donate $3 million to the foundation.”
Francois Henri Bennahmias, president of Audemars Piguet North America, noted that the luxury watch brand’s clients are those who both appreciate the fine craftsmanship of the watches and the opportunity to support important charitable causes, such as the Foundation.
The self-winding watch, with a transparent sapphire caseback, features several “complications,” or complex functions. They include equation of time (the difference between watch time and solar time), with equation of time graduations on the flange; solar culmination time adjusted to the White House’s location; sunrise and sunset times; and a perpetual calendar with astronomical moon display. Each watch has the White House as a location on its graduated ring, and the signature and seal of President Clinton engraved on the back of the watch. The platinum version comes with an architectural scale model of the White House.
Past celebrity partners with Audemars Piguet include hip-hop artist and music mogul Jay-Z (2005, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Jay-Z 10th Anniversary Limited Edition series) and California governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger (2000, four chronographs created for the Schwarzenegger movie, “Terminator 3”).