Ledgers 8 & 9 (My numbering)
In 2013 four more books were discovered in addition to the seven books described above and in The Story of Louis Audemars & Cie(Link).
There is an account book covering the years 1883 to the 1885 bankruptcy and the liquidation process in 1886. Another book holds copies of Hector’s correspondence from Paris but it is – at present at least – illegible.
Two of the books hold accounts and stock-taking records in the 1840s, 50s and 60s. They also contain detailed lists of customers together with names of many watchmaking employees and local suppliers (see Workers & Operatives)
They carried out a total stock take every 2 – 4 years or so – not just watchmaking items, but also food stocks, firewood, bolts of cloth, the cows and calves, even packets of coffee and jars of tobacco. After 1865 they kept the watchmaking stock separately and the records do not survive.
The book-keeping is of a very low standard, much worse than in later ledgers of the 1870s and 1880s. There are frequent errors. The writing is much more difficult to decipher.
In many cases pieces had not been given serial numbers. Indeed there are no serial numbers at all in the extensive range of horological products in the 1848 stock take. Nevertheless these books have added 3277 serial numbers to my records
We know that by the late 1840s Ls. Audemars had already started to make finished watches but is clear from these books that the vast majority of their production was still movements and complications (even just sets of wheel trains) for sale “en blanc” for use by other finishers. It is also clear that during this period they were offering every imaginable type of mechanism – stem-wound, key-wound, fusée, “bascule”, Breguet, &c &c……..
Regrettably none of this material was available in time for inclusion in The Story of Louis Audemars & Cie (Link) – so I suppose if we go to a second edition there will have to be a major re-write!