Giulio Papi was born on May 22nd 1965 in La Chaux-de-Fonds. As a child, he was fascinated by mechanics and quite naturally turned to a career in watchmaking. After graduating in 1984, he considered continuing his studies in engineering. “But after four years of studying, I was too keen to bring some life to these little bits of metal and I felt I was quite at ease on both the practical and the theoretical front” he remembers. It was at this point that he joined Audemars Piguet. “It was and still is my favourite brand. The advertising campaign kept featuring horological complications, and it was my dream to be able to make my own complex mechanisms”. With this in mind, Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi was born in 1992. It was the start of a collaboration which constantly pushes the boundaries of Haute Horlogerie, thanks to the tireless efforts of the research and development team.
Engineer, craftsman and artist, Giulio Papi is considered a watchmaking genius. In 2008, he received the Best Watchmaker award at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, and three years later, published “Horological finishing and decoration”, a book that is now a reference in watchmaking. “I am fortunate to be able to make a living out of my hobby. It isn’t a job, but a passion. I am proud of all the watches I have made, but each one is different and has its own story to tell. I am delighted to have always maintained a demanding, independent spirit.”
In 2015, Giulio Papi received the Esprit d’Entreprise prize attributed by the Gaia Awards for the major role he played in the development of wristwatch complications since 1986. This award honors people who have greatly contributed to the horology industry, its history and its culture.