It is estimated that in the 74 years that the Ls. Audemars Company operated they produced some 20 – 30,000 pieces. But nobody really knows.
Following the discovery of the Ledgers in the early 21st Century, and the more recent discovery of Ledgers 8 & 9, we now have nearly 12,900 entries. Many recur in more than one book so they condense to about 8,750 serial numbers. So the archive is incomplete and if your number isn’t in there it doesn’t mean your watch or movement isn’t genuine.
(A booklet listing all the now known watch and movement serial numbers is available to order through our contact page (Link), priced at £Stg 20.00, including world-wide postage).
The matter of antique watch serial numbers has to be treated with caution.
Movement serial numbers are not necessarily the same as case numbers. This is especially so if a movement was sold uncased to a customer who then finished and cased it under their own signature. Movement serial numbers are sometimes concealed under the dial and inspecting them is something that has to be done by a highly qualified professional.
The very great majority of Louis Audemars serial numbers have 5 digits. There are also a few 3-digit and a rather larger range of 4-digit numbers.
There are 379 6-digit numbers but they are all watches or movements sourced from other factories for sale by the Audemars London depot – Ledger No.5. They are most unlikely to have been signed by Ls Audemars and were probably marked with the retail customers’ names.
(A “Ls Audemars” watch or movement with a 6-digit number is most likely to be a product of the successor company founded by Louis Audemars-Valette also – and most confusingly! – titled Ls Audemars & Cie – see The Successor Companies).
If you have a watch or movement which you know – or believe – to have been made by Louis Audemars & Cie, send us the number – and as accurate a description of the watch as possible - in a message via the Contact page on this site. We will then search our records and will get back to you as quickly as we can.
We look forward to hearing from you.