The sound of history
To pay tribute to its 175th anniversary, Patek Philippe created a collection of limited edition commemorative timepieces, and one of them stands out in particular. It is the so far most complicated wristwatch of the eminent family-owned watchmaking company and decidedly one of the world’s most elaborate wristwatches. This is due not only to the number of complications involved but also to the horological degrees of complexity, two of which have been added to the annals of watchmaking for the first time. Moreover, the Grandmaster Chime is the first double-face wristwatch presented by Patek Philippe that can be worn with either dial facing up: the one that focuses on the time and the sonnerie, the other dedicated to the full instantaneous perpetual calendar. Changing the face is very simple thanks to the ingenious reversing mechanism in the lugs. It is amazingly easy to operate and firmly secures the case in the selected position. Incidentally, the information for which a watch is most frequently consulted – the current time and the date – is displayed on both dials. The ultimate in user-friendliness and safety is assured with intelligent mechanisms that prevent potentially damaging manipulations and thus reliably protect the highly complex movement with its intricate cosmos of tiny parts.
Patek Philippe’s Grandmaster Chime is a wrist-format timekeeping instrument of absolutely unprecedented complexity and ingenuity that establishes new benchmarks in terms of technical and aesthetic elegance. In its double-face case with a diameter of 47 mm, it accommodates four spring barrels and no fewer than 20 complications, including coveted functions such as a Grande and Petite Sonnerie, a minute repeater, an instantaneous perpetual calendar with a four-digit year display, a second time zone, and two patented global debuts in the domain of chiming watches: an acoustic alarm that strikes the alarm time and a date repeater that sounds the date on demand.
The dial of the calendar face is eminently legible. It features four subdials with analog displays grouped around the gold-framed four-digit year display in the middle. The month is indicated at 3 o’clock, the date and leap-year cycle at 6 o’clock and the day of the week at 9 o’clock. The time of day appears at 12 o’clock on the 24-hour and 60-minute subdial. With the exception of the four-digit year, the calendar displays advance instantaneously and at the same time. As regards the date, this is indispensable because the date repeater must obtain precise information, especially during the minutes before and after midnight. The perpetual instantaneous date is also displayed on the other face of the watch where it frames the moon-phase display at 6 o’clock. A patent granted for the four-digit year display acknowledges the elegant mechanical solution which allows the year to be conveniently incremented forward or backward with two pushers.
The Grandmaster Chime is delivered in a chest made of Makassar ebony and 17 further wood species. It is decorated with intarsia and gold inlays. Apart from the watch, it contains the accompanying documentation and a commemorative medal in gold that depicts milestones of the manufacture’s history as well as portraits of the company’s presidents from the Stern family since 1932.
The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime celebrates the 175th anniversary of the manufacture in a limited edition of seven watches. Six of them will be sold to long-standing collectors of Patek Philippe timepieces. The seventh one will find a place of honor at the Patek Philippe Museum where it can be admired by the public.
For more information, please see Press Release.
And The Hour Glass celebrates Patek Philippe’s 175th anniversary with a mega banner at Tang Plaza Singapore from 1 January to 28 February 2015.