By Jovan Krstevski
Patek Philippe sure knows how to honor its remarkable heritage. The year 2014 marks Patek Philippe brand’s 175th anniversary and of course yet again, the watchmaker delivers another mind-blowing timepiece that translates both elegance and class precisely being their most complicated wristwatch in the company’s rich history. It’s quite hard to spot a single fault on this limited-edition watch and the fact that there’s only seven of them ever created, heightens the satisfaction and prestige of a very select few who share the same passion in extremely exuberant and complex high-end watches.
There is no doubt how complicated the watch looks considering the hefty price tag of 2.5 million Swiss francs. Surprisingly, it’s worth the investment as the watch exudes the expectations of even the most seasoned watch collector. Personally, I wouldn’t wear one on casual occasions, assuming that I’m one of the lucky six!
To go deeper into the details, there’s really no stopping the Grandmaster Chime in wowing us with its complexity and exuberant taste.
I often wonder if I could wear two watches for the sake of having multiple functions. Apparently, Patek Philippe also thought about it and invested plenty of man-hours carefully designing and assembling the remarkable efficiency exhibited by the Grandmaster Chime. It features a double-face case (47.4 mm in diameter and 16.1 mm in height) that the watchmaker proudly calls a grand reversible construction. For the uninitiated, this horological label is only reserved for creatively designed and assembled timepieces by master artisans.
Interestingly, the Grandmaster Chime took four years to develop leaving no doubt of what it genuinely represents – the Patek Philippe’s remarkable presence in the horology history. The exuberant engravings on the side of the case and the lugs including the crown truly showcase a masterpiece. The engraved laurel-design rose gold case pivots flawlessly on the precise engineering of the lugs and judging from its specific function, it must really be tough.
Each of the dials exhibits multiple functions; from simple timekeeping to a very complex instantaneous perpetual calendar not to mention that it chimes hourly and quarterly. Its revolutionary acoustic date indication is also the first in the long line of complicated watches. The dial plates are astonishingly made of 18K solid gold same as the ornaments in the center of the dial and the Roman numerals. The color of the dial harmoniously graces the overall appearance of the watch with a brilliant silvery polish.
List of all twenty complications:
- Grande Sonnerie
- Petite Sonnerie
- Minute repeater
- Strikework mode display (Silence/Grand Sonnerie/Petite Sonnerie)
- Alarm with time strike
- Date repeater
- Movement power-reserve indicator
- Strikework power-reserve indicator
- Strikework isolator display
- Second time zone
- Second time zone day/night indicator
- Instantaneous perpetual calendar
- Day-of-week display
- Month display
- Date display (on both dials)
- Leap year cycle
- Four-digit year display
- 24-hour and minute subdial
- Moon phase
- Crown position indicator (RAH)
Classic and elegant watches define timekeeping in somewhat elevated state appreciated only by those with refined taste in watches. The Grandmaster Chime on the other hand surpasses this level and goes right to the annals of horology history; did I forget to mention that it already belongs to the museum?
An in-house Caliber 300 GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM featuring a mechanical wound movement with a distinct 25,200 bph powers the Grandmaster Chime. Sadly, its complicated inner workings of 1,366 components cannot be seen from the outside.
The dark brown alligator strap is of course exquisitely engraved by hand and has a solid gold clasp. The watch is elegantly packaged in a fabulous classic wooden chest.
Indeed, the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime is right to bear the tag of the world’s most complicated chiming wristwatch ever created. For more info, please visit patek.com
Jovan Krstevski – Founder, Proprietor & Executive Editor
Watch collector, aficionado and a Event profile in the Swedish nightlife. He launched Watchgeek back in 2011, which is now known as WristReview and is one of the most widely read watch blogs on the Web. He quotes ’WristReview is a site to help people find, explore, discover and enjoy wristwatches.’ His passion jump started in his early teens, when he was given his first mid-range wristwatch which was an Omega Seamaster. Since then he has always been in love with wristwatches! Besides WristReview, he also writes for a number of publications. P.S: He is also a huge fan of The Man of Steel/Superman. Read his articles here.