Apr 142015

Patek Philippe’s 175th anniversary is celebrated with the creation of limited-edition commemorative pieces. The star of the collection is the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime, a wristwatch with 20 complications.

Thierry Stern, 44, the fourth generation of his family to head the luxury watchmaker brand, supplies the statistics: 47 mm in diameter, 16.1 mm thick, the watch required eight years to develop; the movement has 1,366 components, including three gongs and three hammers, 20 complications and two dials; the case has 214 parts.

The watch case’s elaborately hand-engraved laurel wreath recalls pocket-watches of centuries past. “We did a pocket watch for our 150th and for the millennium,” says Mr. Stern. “For our 175th, everyone expects another pocket watch.”

Only seven will be produced—six for clients and one for the Patek Philippe Museum. Its price? $2.6 million.

It took eight years of research and development involving engineers, watchmakers and designers; 60,000 hours to produce the components for the watches; 100,000 hours for a team of watchmakers to assemble the watches.

The Grandmaster Chime has four chiming complications. One new complication is an alarm that chimes the time for which it is set. Set the alarm for 7:30 and you will hear seven hour tones and two quarter-hour tones. If set for 1 o’clock—a time that would sound only one easy-to-miss tone-the alarm at 12:58 sounds with 12 hour tones, three quarter-hour tones and 13 minute tones.

The other new complication, the date repeater, chimes the date. Press the pusher positioned at 4 o’clock and on a digit date you will hear that number of dings (seven for the seventh of the month). On the 17th, you will hear a ding-dong indicating 10 days followed by seven dings.

It will take a team of watchmakers 100,000 hours to assemble Patek Philippe’s Grandmaster Chime.

 Posted on April 14, 2015  Jewels & Watches