The Swiss manufacture introduces the Patek Philippe Grande Sonnerie Ref. 6301P, a timepiece characterized by the presence of six complications and numerous technical refinements The Geneva manufacture introduces the Patek Philippe Grande Sonnerie Ref. 6301P, a timepiece characterized by the presence of six complications (large striking mechanism; small striking mechanism; minute repeater; movement power reserve indicator; striking power reserve indicator and jumping seconds) and which represents the first wristwatch of the Swiss brand to propose the large striking mechanism: perhaps the most fascinating among the watchmaking complications, which is here proposed in its purest form, completed by a small striking mechanism and minute repeater.
The movement – To give its own interpretation of the grand chime, Patek Philippe has developed a new hand-wound movement derived from the 300 calibres in the Grandmaster Chime. This GS 36-750 PS IRM calibre, the sum of 703 components, is distinguished by its compact dimensions (37 mm in diameter, 7.5 mm thick). One of the main difficulties traditionally faced by manufacturers of large chimes is energy control. Contrary to the minute repeater, where the ringer mechanism is generally reset every time the user activates the cursor or trigger button, the large ringer must have enough energy at all times to beat the desired number of strokes as it passes, always producing a sound of equal quality. To meet this challenge, Patek Philippe has equipped the GS 36-750 PS IRM with two pairs of barrels mounted in series, one for movement and the other for the ringer. This configuration guarantees a power reserve of 72 hours for the movement and 24 hours for the striking mechanism. The user winds the two pairs of barrels through the crown in the position against the case, turning it clockwise for the movement and counterclockwise for the chime. The four springs are equipped with sliding bridles to prevent any overvoltage.
For the ringing mechanism, Patek Philippe has chosen three classical timbres: low, middle, high. This technical option requires more energy than systems with two timbres. Besides, it complicates the watchmaker’s work even further during the meticulous tuning of each timbre, until the famous “Patek Philippe sound” sought by connoisseurs is achieved. The difficulty lies in the fact that, despite the limited space, the three timbres attached to the movement must not touch each other nor must they come into contact with other elements of the movement or case. The mechanism has three hammers of equal size and mass, promising a uniform beat for the three notes. For the case, Patek Philippe has chosen platinum and not gold.
By reworking the Grandmaster Chime 300 calibre, the Swiss watchmakers and engineers have chosen to equip the Patek Philippe Grande Sonnerie Ref. 6301P with a new type of small seconds for a large chime. Inspired by one of the four patents developed for the 175th-anniversary commemorative Chiming Jump Hour Ref. 5275, they have incorporated an innovative jumping seconds mechanism into the new Ref. 6301P. This system does not work a positioning sautoir (as is usual), but rather using a gear train and a trigger tilting mechanism that releases the gear train instantly at every second, which promises adjustable and controlled energy consumption. This watch also stands out visually for the small second’s hand at 6 o’clock, which jumps from one second to the next on the chemin de fer scale, in the style of the ancient “regulators” with which precision was controlled in watchmaking workshops.
The new GS 36-750 PS IRM calibre is visible through the transparent sapphire crystal case back and meets all the criteria of the Patek Philippe Seal, both in terms of technical performance and the aesthetic finish and refined architecture of the various components. The lines of the various bridges have been the object of great attention, in particular the large barrel bridge (a feature of the large chimes) and the coq (the balance bridge) passing through, a rarity for Patek Philippe. For the first time, you can see the inertial flywheel regulator, which allows you to adjust the time of the ringer with a glossy finish. Completing everything is the Gyromax balance, with its Spiromax spiral in Silinvar and the three timbres wrapped around the movement, with their respective hammers. The sapphire crystal case back placed very close to the calibre closes the circle of this timepiece’s equipment.
Together with the watch, an interchangeable solid case back in platinum is delivered. The platinum case has a play of successive curves, and the bezel matches the slightly convex sapphire crystal. As with all Patek Philippe platinum cases, there is a small diamond set, this time at 12 o’clock (and not at 6 o’clock as usual), due to the presence of the small ring mode selection slider. Black, “Grand Feu” with “glacée” finish, embellished with applied Breguet style numerals and white gold “leaf” hands with luminescent coating complete the equipment of the Patek Philippe Grande Sonnerie Ref. 6301P, together with a hand-stitched, hand-stitched, bright black alligator leather strap with platinum folding clasp.
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Edit by Alessandro Colombo