Audemars Piguet’s Grande Sonnerie mechanism is a patent demonstration of the brand’s fearsome mechanical ability, and it is one of the few brands capable of creating such a chiming watch. When you combine that with the brand’s trademarked Supersonnerie technology and a carillon, you have a truly extraordinary chiming machine.
Marking the debut of a sapphire crystal dial in the Code 11.59 collection, Audemars Piguet introduced three one-of-a-kind versions that come in 41mm pink, yellow, or white gold cases with sleek black ceramic case middles. So, what makes these three models great? We have covered four highlights from these new models for you.
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Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie
The most complicated is a Grande Sonnerie, which marks the hours, every hour, and the number of hours and quarters in each quarter. Unlike minute repeaters, which can sound the hours, quarters, and minutes on command, a Grand Sonnerie automatically chimes the hours and quarters. Naturally, the time can be chimed on demand, much like a conventional repeater, by selecting the Petite Sonnerie tiny strike (only hours) or silent option with a second crown. The minute repeater is activated by the third button on the case’s centre at 10 o’clock.
The Grand Sonnerie by Audemars Piguet is paired with a carillon. Instead of two gongs, this carillon complication has three gongs and hammers that produce various tones, allowing the quarter hour to be sounded with three consecutive sounds spanning from high, medium, and low.
The Supersonnerie, a device created and copyrighted by AP over eight years (in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne) and featured inside the Royal Oak Concept RD1 in 2015, is the third component of this complicated equation. The unique case structure and gongs, which are not connected to the mainplate but to a device serving as a soundboard, enhance sound propagation to levels comparable to pocket watch volume and resonance.
The 41mm cases are available in 18k rose, white, or yellow gold with a width of 13.5mm and feature hi-tech black ceramic case middles. The hollow-style lugs, the extra-thin bezel, and the octagonal case centre are all adorned with brushed and glossy finishings. According to the company, this is the first time black ceramic has been used on the Grande Sonnerie Supersonnerie line, as well as the first time a Code 11.59 watch has been made in yellow gold.
Sapphire Crystal Dial
The openworked bridges, framed by a sapphire clear dial, show an intriguing scenery. The railway minute track and the brand name on the semi-matte black opaline inner bezel have been deleted to improve viewing enjoyment, and hour markers have been integrated on a thin flange hovering over the movement. The gold hour and minute hands, with their modern black metallised centers, show the applied gold hour marks. The ring for the tiny seconds timer is also black, while the markings and digits are gold.
The color of each movement, which is hand-decorated with elegant vertical-brushed finishings and polished bevels, reflects the case’s two-tone color. The timepieces feature a black rubber-coated band with gold topstitching, a calfskin lining, and a corresponding gold AP folding closure, bringing the black and gold color scheme together.
The manual-winding calibre 2956, which combines the classic Grand Sonnerie complexity with a carillon and AP’s proprietary Supersonnerie technology, serves as the central power for the new openworked Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie watches. The 498-part mechanism, which was entirely constructed and decorated by hand, operates at a frequency of 3 Hz and provides 48 hours of power reserve when fully wound.