One Very AP Man

At the recent opening of the Audemars Piguet exhibition in Shanghai, CEO François-Henry Bennahmias sat down with HK Golfer publisher Charles McLaughlin and shared his views on golf, hip-hop and the future of the watch industry

Alexandre Joly, François-Henry Bennahmias, Zhng Jingchu, Olivier Audemars, Mathieu Lehanneur, Cheng Ran


CM: Getting back to golf, I interviewed Stephen Urquhart (of Omega) and we discussed golf sponsorship. He was at AP of course. Did you work with him?

FHB: Sure, yes. I started with AP in 1994, and he left in 1998.

CM: Obviously he's a big golfer as well and when I was speaking to him we discussed potentially sponsoring in Hong Kong or tournaments in China. It’s a lot of money but is that something you've considered?

FHB: We've been offered several deals. We've been offered the Hong Kong Open for, several times actually. We've been offered tournaments also from the PGA Tour in the US. It's a huge investment, as you say. Not so much Hong Kong, but in the US. It's a seven to eight-million-dollar ticket no matter what, which is expensive for a brand like ours. Hong Kong is a different story, because also it's a matter of where does the tournament fit in the season? How many of our own ambassadors will play the tournament?

Actually, I've got again the offer on my desk. Not to be as a lead sponsor, because UBS has signed again now. They would want us as a second level sponsor. I'm not closing the door, but it would really depend on how many of our ambassadors we could secure to play the tournament, because if we don't have any of our guys it doesn't make much sense.

CM: It's a shame. It's a perfect market I think.

FHB: It's a great market… in theory.


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