Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe has celebrated its 175th anniversary with the launch of a collection of commemorative timepieces headlined by the US$2.6m Grandmaster Chime. The double-face reversible wristwatch featuring a 47mm 18ct gold case and “a choir of chimes” also contains 20 complications including a grand and a petite sonnerie, minute and date repeaters, moon phases, a four-digit year display, a perpetual calendar and a second time zone.
In development since 2007, the Grandmaster Chime (with 1580 handcrafted parts – 1366 in the movement and 214 in the case) took more than 100,000 hours to complete. Only seven models of the Grandmaster Chimes with the unique laurel wreath engraved case will ever be made – six will be sold to collectors and enthusiasts while the seventh will join the collection at the Patek Philippe Museum.
According to Patek Philippe, the Grandmaster Chime is the most complicated wristwatch it has ever made “and decidedly one of the world’s most elaborate wristwatches”.
“This is due not only to the number of complications involved but also to the horological degrees of complexity, two of which have been added to the annals of watchmaking for the first time. Moreover, the Grandmaster Chime is the first double-face wristwatch presented by Patek Philippe that can be worn with either dial facing up: the one that focuses on the time and the sonnerie, the other dedicated to the full instantaneous perpetual calendar.”
“Changing the face is very simple thanks to the ingenious reversing mechanism in the lugs. It is amazingly easy to operate and firmly secures the case in the selected position… The information for which a watch is most frequently consulted – the current time and the date – is displayed on both dials.”