Audemars Piguet is introducing a particularly special piece to its 2020 Code 11.59 collection – the Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie – thus featuring one of the most prestigious complications in the watchmaking world. Furthermore, the watch combines the art of watchmaking with art itself, having collaborated with Swiss enameller artisan Anita Porchet to create the dials. A mere five pieces are available.
Notably, Anita Porchet is one of Switzerland’s most recognised and respected enamelers. She has worked for the likes of Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and Piaget while creating miniature works of art upon watch dials. When creating her designs for the dials, Porchet was inspired by the Code 11.59’s unconventional design. Three of the Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie feature “Grand Feu” enamel dials decorated with antique gold spangles (curved gold leaf created by hand), known as “paillons”.
By contrast, the two remaining limited editions are to feature personalised dials, depending on the creative desires of the clients to purchase the other two watches. The dials’ materials are intended to pay homage to the enamel Grande Sonnerie masterpieces, which were crafted in the Vallée de Joux between the 18th and 19th centuries.
Due to the organic nature of the materials, manufacturing technique, and the art done by hand, each of the Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie‘s dials is unique. Furthermore, the creation of the dials is no easy feat. Firstly, a thin layer of glass sand mixed with water is applied by hand onto the gold dial, before being heated at more than 800°C in a special oven. This is then repeated multiple times to achieve an excellent level of transparency, depth and light. Each baking session requires different temperatures and times and is a highly delicate process – demanding an equally high level of expertise.
While the dials of the Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie are protected by double glare-proofed sapphire crystal, the 41 mm cases of the limited editions are made with 18-carat white gold. Featuring a screw-down crown, they are water-resistant to 20 m. Furthermore, the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet case is, like the dial, not easy to create; the case features an octagonal middle case with a round, extra-thin bezel and stylised arched lugs. As with the dial’s art, this required dedicated tools – and human talent. The alternation of satin-brushed and polished surfaces on the case is also done by hand.
Meanwhile, the movement powering the Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie is the manual-winding movement calibre 2956. Measuring 29.9 mm (13 lignes) in diameter and 5.88 mm in thickness, it consists of no less than 489 components and 53 jewels. Moreover, it has a 48-hour power reserve and beats at a frequency of 3 Hz.
The watch’s functions include not only hours and minutes, but also a minute repeater as well as the Grande Sonnerie and Petite Sonnerie Carillon. First conceived by the brand in 2015, a Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie does not only chime when activated, like a classic minute repeater. Rather, the Supersonnerie allows it to – notably loudly – chime the hours and quarter hours without activation every time.
That said, should the wearer simply wish to activate the minute repeater, they can use the pusher at 11 o’clock. Thanks to the carillon, the complication has three, as opposed to two, sets of hammers and gongs. Therefore, it can chime a high note for each hour, produce a triple chime for the quarter hours, or a low note for minutes. Meanwhile, the strike mode for the complication (silent, grande or petite sonnerie) is set by using the crown at 2 o’clock. When in the Petite Sonnerie position, the watch chimes only the hours. In silent mode, the automatic chiming is deactivated.
Last but not least, the limited edition Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie watches are presented on a hand-stitched “large square-scale” blue alligator strap, which operates with the help of an 18-carat white gold folding clasp. They are water-resistant to approximately 20 m and are priced from CHF 710,000, with the two personalised models’ prices depending on the clients’ choice of customisation.
|MODEL:||Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie|
|CASE MATERIAL:||18-carat white gold|
|DIMENSIONS:||Diameter: 42 mm|
Height: 13.505 mm
|WATER RESISTANCE:||2 bar (~ 20 m)|
|DIAL:||Anita Porchet custom designs, “Grand Feu” enamel dials with antique gold spangles|
|STRAP/BRACELET:||Hand-stitched “large square-scale” blue alligator strap, 18-carat white-gold folding clasp.|
|POWER RESERVE:||48 hours|
|FREQUENCY:||21,600 vph (3 Hz)|
|FUNCTIONS:||Hours, minutes, Grande Sonnerie and Petite Sonnerie Carillon, minute|
|PRICE:||CHF 710,000 – limited to 5 pieces|