Swiss watchmaking company Greubel Forsey has just unveiled its most complicated creation to date, the amazing Grande Sonnerie assembled from no less than 935 individual parts. Eleven years in development, the Greubel Forsey's Grande Sonnerie is based on two patent-pending innovations; it incorporates eleven different security functions, to help protect the delicate complication, and features an acoustic resonance cage producing an extremely pure sound.
After eleven years of working in the utmost secrecy, the master watchmakers of Greubel Forsey have revealed their contemporary interpretation of Grande Sonnerie, one of the most delicate complications in a mechanical watch, which combines a quarter striking mechanism with a repeater. The result is a beautifully harmonious timepiece of the most exquisite exterior, the most reliable movement, and the purest acoustic.
Grand Sonnerie, one of the rarest complications, is a watch capable of indicating time by sound. On every quarter-hour, it strikes the number of quarter hours, and then a number of hours since the last hour. This watch, actually, has three operating modes to choose from - Grande Sonnerie (which strikes the hours and the quarters in passing), Petite Sonnerie (which strikes the full hours in passing) and the Silence mode (which suspends the chiming function). In addition, there is a Minute Repeater function, which chimes quarter and minute on demand.
To keep the weight of the watch as low as possible, as well as to make the sound more clear and vibrant, Greubel Forsey has opted for a titanium case with a diameter of 43.5mm, and 16.13mm thick. The case houses the hand-wound movement with patented tourbillon, and patent-pending full striking-mechanism with automatic winding. In other words, the timekeeping part of the watch has its own power supply, while the chiming mechanism relies on automatic winding. The latter is powered by the movement on a platinum rotor, visible from the back of the case, which endows the Grande Sonnerie with 20 hours of power reserve.
The reason for two separate power sources is to keep the accuracy of the watch as good as possible, because the chiming mechanism typically consumes a lot of power. In addition, the watch also features a 25°-inclined tourbillon, which not only looks beautiful but also counteracts the effects of gravity on the movement.
The Grand Sonnerie by Greubel Forsey, which will be officially unveiled in just a couple of days at SIHH 2017, retails for no less than CHF 1,150,000, and five to eight pieces made each year. More details will soon at Greubel Forsey.
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