The latest introduction to Audemars Piguet’s Code 11.59 collection, is the Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie.
The limited edition collection is comprised of five complicated high-horology time pieces. The dial, the case and the movement (comprised of 489 components), are all complex in their design and construction – making the refined wristwatches a feat of both engineering and art.
The Swiss house unveiled the grandest of complications, with all five finished with a dial by enamelist Anita Porchet. Porchet is known for being one of the most legendary dial artisans in Switzerland (her past commissions include Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin and Piaget).
Currently, the timepiece is available in three versions. Another two pieces will come with the opportunity for a client to customize a bespoke design with Porchet. The spangles on the dial are meticulously cut and curved in thin gold leaves by hand on ancient tools, are hand-applied by Porchet on each enamel dial. The 41mm hand wound piece has an 18 carat white gold case and glass of sapphire crystal, finished with a hand-stitched ‘large square-scale’ blue alligator with white gold folding clasp.
“What fascinates me with this craft, is the 360-degree of possibilities and creations it offers, like a painter in front of a blank canvas. By collaborating with Audemars Piguet, I benefited from a larger freedom in the exploration and contemporary reinterpretation of the ancestral ‘paillonnée’ technique, which has provided me with an enriching vision.” – Anita Porchet
Audemars Piguet has specialized in chiming mechanisms since its birth in 1875 and crafted complex patented Grande Sonnerie, Petite Sonnerie and Minute Repeater mechanisms ever since. This chiming timepiece allows for three modes: the Grande Sonnerie, Petite Sonnerie and of course silent mode.
The complication can strike on the hour, quarter-hour and minutes on request, as well as the hours and every quarter-hour by default.
The watch employs a Carillon to add a deeper dimension to the chimes, using three gongs over a standard two, reminiscent of the acoustics of a pocket watch. This is a result of eight years of research, in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, and required a team of watchmakers, technicians, academics and musicians to achieve.
“The Grande Sonnerie is the acme of chiming watches. Like an orchestra, the synchronization of components has to be perfect to guarantee the automatic chiming of the hours and quarters. It took us four years to meet the challenge of combining this traditional mechanism with our Supersonnerie technology, which we endowed with the Carillon function — three gongs.” – Lucas Raggi, Audemars Piguet Development Director
Images and video by: Audemars Piguet
by Amanda Johnstone