This is an exceptional minute repeater, because, like few others, you can hear it across a room. Like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept RD#1, the sound is louder when the watch is worn on the wrist. At the same time, an open architecture reveals the movement, with both the tourbillon and the striking mechanism visible from the dial side.
Loud and clear sound
The striking mechanism is activated by the usual slider on the case side, which winds the spring in the minute repeater barrel. During the chimes, you can see the hammers and two gongs in operation; the only part that you can’t see from dial side is the flywheel that regulates the striking speed. It is on the caseback side to limit the emission of unwanted sound. The shape of the hammers is based on the brand’s hallmark arrow-shaped bridges.
According to Girard-Perregaux, the reasons for the exceptional acoustics are the position of the gongs and hammers, the relationship between the size of case and size of movement, the attention paid to keeping the inside of the case free from added structures, and the curved sapphire caseback. The link between the mainplate and the caseband has been reinforced to improve sound transmission from gongs to movement and on to the case.
The purchaser can choose from two different sets of frequencies for the two gongs, higher (more traditional) or lower.
Dimensions and price
The case is in pink gold, 45 mm in diameter, with the usual 30 metres water resistance. It contains the Girard-Perregaux GP09500-0002 manually-wound movement operating at 3 Hertz, with a power reserve of 58 hours. The movement has 406 components and three arrow-shaped bridges in pink gold; the tourbillon carriage alone consists of 91 components and weighs a total of just 0.49 g. The watch has a black alligator strap. Reference: 99820-52-000-BA6A, a limited edition of 10 pieces. Price €387,500.