According to the Archives of Audemars Piguet, the present watch was sold in New York in 1976.
William Ralph (Bill) Blass (Jun 22, 1922 - Jun 12, 2002)
From the early age of 17, Bill Blass was already an American Icon. His good looks and charm were a starting block as he moved from Indiana to the bright lights of New York. Determined to build a successful fashion brand, he is now regarded as an enduring symbol of American taste and style. His clothes were designed in a classic American way, seen as the standard of upper-class American cool that other designers looked up to and took influence from. Fashion designers and beacons of the time were greatly influenced by his talent and his unapologetic 'can do' attitude, notably Cary Grant, Slim Keith, Nancy Reagan, Diana Vreeland, who in turn offered an influence to him, that of American life and glamour.
Bill Blass was the recipient of numerous industry and public service awards and was a trustee of the New York Public Library. The present Audemars Piguet watch was offered to the designer as a gift in 1976 for his “Designs Consistently Displaying High Quality and Wide Versatility,” It is likely that Audemars Piguet was a sponsor of this awards ceremony. The book which accompanies this lot is his memoire which was begun in 2000 and completed shortly before his death in 2002.