inclusion amongst the Big 3. Without a doubt, the Royal Oaks and Offshores get the publicity and are responsible for a significant contribution to AP's revenues but we should remember that this is a business. It may be a hobby and passion for us, but at the end of the day, the brands must remain in business in order to keep making the watches we covet and collect. My view is that AP's amazing success with the Royal Oak line helps to provide funding so that AP can develop new escapements, new materials and outstanding complications such as the sonnerie.
For a few years, I thought AP was in danger of becoming the RO company. However, over the last couple of years, I have seen AP strive to find a balance between their different lines, while also finding a business strategy that is supportive of both short and long term goals.
I am glad and consider myself very fortunate that I can enjoy and appreciate their classical Jules Audemars line, which I think is best for complications such as sonneries, tourbillons and equation of time and their sporty Royal Oak line with their innovation as found in the forged carbon Alinghi Team Offshore piece.
As for Lange, I believe that they are more than worthy of being in the company of the very best manufactures in the industry. One aspect that might hamper Lange's placement in the Big 3 is that the current incarnation of the brand has only been around since 1994. AP, PP and VC all have much longer continuous histories. IMHO, however, Lange loses nothing in comparison to the Big 3 when it comes to the quality of their watches and the skill of their watchmaking. Personally, I think VC and Lange rank at the very top when it comes to finishing.
In the end, as I am not a big PP fan or collector, my personal preference is for a Big 3 of AP, Lange and VC.