Grand new Patek offering “simple” but worth £1 million
Patek Philippe says its latest offering is a “simple grand complication” - but looks can be deceiving as something pretty special is making it worth a cool £1,055,000.
The new Platinum Grande Sonnerie 6301P takes its calibre 300 base movement from the 2014 Grandmaster Chime (reference 5175), launched for the brand’s 175th anniversary. But unlike its 20-complications predecessor, the new offering has just six complications, removing travel-time mechanism and alarm, along with many more.
A simplified version of the reference 5175 structure allows for a pure grande sonnerie, which strikes automatically on full and quarter hours and a petite sonnerie which chimes on the hours. You can set the watch to hear one or both.
The other four complications include an on-demand minute repeater which is activated via the pusher in the crown, a deadbeat seconds counter at 6 o’clock and dual power reserve indications for the strikework and the movement. Because there is such energy stored in the tandem-connected mainspring barrels of the strikework, the Grande Sonnerie boasts 1056 strikes in 24 hours.
Sapphire crystal caseback
The open caseback will leave you breathless as you take in the complexity of the 703-part movement. The GS 36-750 PS IRM was more than 14 years in the making, according to the manufacturers. It’s the first of Patek’s complications to offer this full view. The caseback also reveals the grande sonnerie’s motor under the well known Calatrava Cross symbol and shows off the governor - the regulator of the sonnerie’s speed.
Our favourite feature of this watch - and one which collectors alike will love - is its loud, melodic chimes. Patek has a renowned name for creating some of the most fabulous chiming watches on the market. And because sound intensity is so important, each one is tested by its president Thierry Stern, before it is allowed to leave the workshop.
The Grande Sonnerie features three hammers and as many gongs, producing a melody that goes from medium pitch to high and then low, with every quarter resonating the same sound. Each rings at the exact same volume. The Grandmaster Chime only has two hammers.
Creation of the watch was even more difficult with platinum used as the material, as its density is a third higher than gold, which can impact on the richness of sound that can be heard. But there is a silent mode, should you require a break!
“Platinum doesn't allow the sound we need to get out very easily,” says Stern. “But I really wanted to use it so that we could prove to the world that we cannot only fabricate a beautiful watch, but we can also use the most difficult material to do it in.”
The time can be set simply by pulling out the bidirectional crown. A turn clockwise winds the base movement while turning in the opposite direction winds up the striking mechanism.
Watch collectors and Patek fans will enjoy the many aesthetic details of this watch including tricky-to-polish angles.
The 44mm platinum case doesn’t feature the signature diamond at 6 o’clock as in its place is a handy slide that operates the grand sonnerie, petite sonnerie and silencing mode. A diamond is instead at 12 o’clock on the caseband. The stunning grand feu dial in black enamel has applied Breguet numerals, and white gold leaf-shaped hands coated in Super-LumiNova.
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