Patek Philippe historians record that the fledgling watchmaker produced its first chiming timepiece, a repeater pocket watch, in 1839 and followed this up with its first grande sonnerie in 1850 and first minute repeater in 1860.
To this day, chiming timepieces are totemic of Patek Philippe’s commitment to perfection.
The family-owned company’s current custodian, Thierry Stern, reportedly listens to every chiming watch due to leave its Geneva manufacture, and refusing to release them if they do not meet his exacting standard.
Today Patek Philippe has taken this mastery to a new level with the release of the Ref. 6301P, a Grand Sonnerie with a brand new 703-component movement, the hand-wound GS 36-750 PS IRM, that also has a petite sonnerie and a minute repeater.
The movement has twin barrels, one powering the hours, minutes and a jumping seconds subdial at 6 o’clock; the second providing the juice to the chiming mechanism.
Power reserves for both are positioned at 3 and 9 o’clock on the understated black grand feu enamel dial with 18ct white gold hands and numerals.
The 24-hour power reserve for the chimes allows the watch to strike the full hours and the quarter hours during an entire day and, thanks to uniform torque, keeps the sound intensity consistent throughout.
Patek Philippe has opted for low, medium and high gongs with three identically-sized hammers to differentiate the sounds of the different chimes. The chimes can be silenced using a switch on the bottom edge of the case between the lugs.
Despite the sophistication and complexity of the GS 36-750 PS IRM movement, it is compact enough to fit into a platinum case with an sapphire crystal exhibition case back measuring just 44.8mm across and 12mm high.
The watch is sold on a hand-stitched alligator leather strap with platinum clasp. It is not limited. Price on application to Patek Philippe.