Chiming timepieces are counted among the most coveted and complicated examples of haute horlogerie, requiring highly advanced watchmaking to bring to life their beautiful sound. Audemars Piguet has long specialised in these exquisite designs, and its latest models demonstrate not only its incredible timekeeping skill, but also stunning, intricate enamelling work on the dials.
For this special collection of five timepieces, the company has enlisted the help of renowned Swiss enameller Anita Porchet. She has created a trio of Grand Feu dials decorated with antique handcrafted gold spangles. Each of these is meticulously cut and curved using antique tools, before being carefully applied by hand. By doing this, Porchet has used time-old techniques to create a thoroughly contemporary look. For the remaining two pieces, clients can request their own personalised enamel dial to be created by Anita Porchet’s atelier.
The watch itself is similarly impressive, powered a new hand-wound movement, the calibre 2956, which brings together a traditional Grand Sonnerie complication with Audemars Piguet’s patented Supersonnerie technology. A Grand Sonnerie not only strikes the hours, quarters and minutes on request like a standard minute repeater, but can also chime the hours and every quarter hour by default. The added Supersonnerie mechanism ensures the best possible acoustic performance, thanks to its unique gongs and case construction. The result of eight years of research in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, the gongs are not attached to the mainplate but instead to a new device that acts as a soundboard, improving sound transmission.