Chapter 6

A Passion for Sound

Discover how a family-owned company ensures that each chiming timepiece - however subtly different - has the Patek Philippe sound.

The Mechanics Of Sound

Assembling a minute repeater typically takes 200-300 hours, and only a second to hear its chime.

Prior to its final sound test with Patek Philippe President, Thierry Stern, each watch is placed in a soundproof chamber from which the minute repeater chimes are recorded and their sound waveforms analyzed against previously approved and archived chimes. This ensures a consistent acoustic framework for all Patek Philippe Minute Repeaters - although each watch is subtly different in character and personality, all have the Patek Philippe Sound.

The Final Test

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It is our belief that the artistry required at this level of horology is irreplaceably human. It is therefore fitting that the final validation for the chimes of every Patek Philippe Minute Repeater is from the President of the company himself, Thierry Stern. Like his father and grandfather before him, it is his duty to confirm that each chime achieves the standard of the Patek Philippe sound. There are three core criteria that he takes into consideration - the harmony of the chime, the balance of the chime across minutes and hours and, finally, the length and depth of the chime.

Subtly Different In Character And Personality

Such is the depth, complexity and range of chimes within the Patek Philippe collection, that fully appreciating and understanding their acoustic subtleties is something of a fine art. With each watch having nuanced differences in character and personality, delivering the Patek Philippe Sound in each of them is achieved by the savoir-faire and design uniting elegantly and harmoniously.

Discover the subtle differences between six iconic Patek Philippe chiming timepieces.

The Ref. 5078G a self-winding minute repeater - is similar to 5178G except that it is fitted with two classic gongs. Self-winding Caliber R 27 PS.

The Ref. 5178G - a self-winding minute repeater - with chime on two ‘cathedral’ gongs, delivering a particularly rich sound with added resonance. Self-winding Caliber R 27 PS.

The Ref. 5316P - Minute repeater, tourbillon and perpetual calendar with retrograde date, with chime on two classic gongs. Manual winding Caliber R TO 27 PS QR.

The Ref. 6002G - a Sky Moon Tourbillon - is an iconic reference within the collection. Among its 12 complications are a breathtaking moving celestial chart and a minute repeater with two ‘cathedral’ gongs. Manual winding Caliber R TO 27 QR SID LU CL.

The Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300G is the most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch with 20 complications. The masterpiece includes five chiming modes; a grande and petite sonnerie and a minute repeater that chimes in three classic gongs. Along with two patented world firsts: an acoustic alarm that strikes the preselected alarm time; and a date repeater that sounds the current date. Manual winding Caliber 300 GS AL 36 750 QIS FUS IRM.

The Grande Sonnerie Ref. 6301P represents the holy grail for chiming watches - elegantly combining a grande sonnerie, petit sonnerie and minute repeater. The manual winding Caliber GS 36-750 PS IRM, which was granted three patents, features six complications and a strikework with three classic gongs.

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