Watches

Patek Philippe Wants You to Listen to the Music of Time

The Swiss luxury watchmaker launches its first wristwatch with the grande sonnerie complication.
IMAGE Patek Philippe
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What does time sound like? Is it like an ambulance blaring on the street (to wake you up in the morning)? Is it like a ticking bomb signaling the last moments before an explosion (and making you feel more and more nervous)? Is it like a soulless buzzing escaping from a modern device (that you promplty ignore)? 

If you ask Patek Philippe, the music of time, the sound that marks the hours and minutes, is certainly not a violent shake, but a gentle tap. It is never a dull tone that annoys, but a carefully constructed note that reminds you of something important: the passing of finite time.

This month, the Swiss luxury watchmaker explores the polite delights of sound as it releases its first wristwatch equipped with a most elaborate function, the grande sonnerie.  

Photo by Patek Philippe.
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Its new watch, ref. 6301P Grande Sonnerie, automatically strikes the full hours and the quarter hours in the style of a classic gong in low, medium, and high tones, all tuned to that legendary “Patek Philippe sound.” 

Patek explains the Grande Sonnerie’s song like this: The hours are struck on a low-pitched gong, while the quarter hours with a three-strike, high-low-medium sequence. The melody for the first quarter-hour (15 minutes) sounds once, the second quarter-hour (30 minutes) twice, and the third quarter-hour (45 minutes) thrice. An impressive 1,056 strikes in 24 hours makes up the entire composition.

Photo by Patek Philippe.
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Making the grand complication even more precious, it is joined by five other complications: the petite sonnerie (doesn’t strike the quarter hours), minute repeater (strikes on demand), a patented jumping subsidiary seconds, a movement power-reserve indicator, and a strikework power-reserve indicator

Of course, it is not a requirement to know the ins and outs of each complication to wear such a fine watch (platinum case, grand feu enamel dial, leaf-shaped hands, Breguet numerals). You only need to appreciate the Grande Sonnerie’s song. Or just take a look below:

Photo by Patek Philippe.
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Photo by Patek Philippe.

Photo by Patek Philippe.
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Photo by Patek Philippe.

patek.com

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Clifford Olanday
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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