Lend Me Your Ear: Preview Of The New Patek Philippe Grande Sonnerie 6301P
Editor’s Note: Just need a quick watch fix? This preview of the new Patek Philippe Grande Sonnerie 6301P is a GET TO THE POINT (GTTP) feature with all the info you want / need to know QUICK. Let’s get to the point.
Why: Because 28 years after Dufour started a revolution with the standalone Grande Sonnerie complication, it’s time for one of the leading watchmakers on the planet to leave their stamp on this horological milestone as well. Because striking watches have been their forte since September 1839 and as such it then comes as little surprise that the new Grande Sonnerie 6301P features 6 complications and 3 filed patents. Because trust Patek Philippe to keep on evolving, not sit content on their past laurels such as their existing chiming watches like 2018’s Minute Repeater with Worldtime ref. 5531R-001, Minute Repeater with chronograph perpetual calendar and tourbillon ref. 5208R-001, or my favourite from that same year the blue dialled Perpetual Calendar with Tourbillon and Minute Repeater the ref. 5207G-001. Because this new masterpiece by Patek in their own words “reasserts its (the brand’s) mastery of the music of time by launching its first wristwatch with a grande sonnerie in its purest manifestation”
When and Where: November 2020 as a limited production but not a limited edition release. Contact an authorised retailer in Sydney – both J Farren-Price and The Hour Glass should be a good starting point. Retail price is 1’150’000 CHF
Who is it for: The best aspect about this for me is that it’s very understated in its approach; I mean look at some of Patek’s other ‘Grand Complication’ timepieces, and they all look like they mean business – say for instance the Grandmaster Chime 6300G or this year’s Minute Repeater 5303R-001.
Both exceptional pieces of horology that can be admired from and identified even from a distance. Excellent conversation starters I am sure, but are not really the definition of understated.
But the new Grande Sonnerie 6301P is pretty much like say 2015’s black dialled 5370P in its aesthetics; simple, elegant, understated, nothing over the top.
It may or may not be a conversation starter depending upon how much everyone involved in that conversation knows about horology, but is definitely a stop-whatever-you-are-doing-and-hear-me-out kind of a timepiece.
And I reckon the is where the 6310P scores the most visually; this subtle expression of horological prowess. On a glance it’s what we have come to expect from Patek. But if you hold on a sec, look closer, it’s got the sound to blow your mind.
Coming back to who is it for, well in my humble opinion it’s for someone who has everything and yet one look at this from him and everything else fades. It’s for the select few connoisseurs, collectors, and aficionados who would not only like to include in their collection the grande sonnerie complication, but also a Patek timepiece that ‘rings’ in all the right tunes
Basic Specs: The new Patek Patek Philippe Grande Sonnerie 6301P features the new 37mm diameter and 7.5mm thick caliber GS 36-750 PS IRM. This movement is encased inside a 44.8mm diameter and 12 mm thick platinum case. The manually wound mechanical movement, the caliber GS 36‑750 PS IRM features three classic gongs and boasts of two patents for the strikework mechanism and one for the jumping seconds.
On the dial besides the notion of time, it also showboats the mastery of perfect symmetry by revealing the movement power reserve indicator and Strikework power reserve indicator opposite each other at 9 and 3’o clock respectively.
The movement comprises of 24 bridges, 95 jewels and 703 components, provides with an impressive 72-hour power reserve along with 24-hour power reserve for the Strikework. It is comprised of a Gyromax® balance, a Spiromax® balance spring, bears the Patek Philippe Seal Hallmark, and beats at the frequency of 3.4 Hz (25’200 vph).
Missing: Humidity and dust-protected only, so not water-resistant. Also, lume on a chiming watch is an oxymoron, but hey, at least both are executed to perfection
How does it do: Simply put, the grande sonnerie complication automatically strikes the full hours and the quarter hours. This time Patek has also complemented this rare complication with a petite sonnerie (that does not strike the quarter hours), a minute repeater (that strikes on demand), and with a patented jumping subsidiary seconds feature.
How does it work: This being a short preview, and not a review, we aren’t going into the inner workings of this mechanical beauty. But you can marvel at the workings here in the following videos by the brand.
What Stands Out: Besides the whole chiming aspect, that stunningly decorated 703-part movement that is cased inside a platinum body with interchangeable solid and sapphire crystal case backs is drool worthy. Say what you may, but the finishing on Patek timepieces is simply peer-less. Ok, not entirely true, there’s Lange and a couple of other brands, but you get the idea.
Aesthetically, the Grand Feu black enamel dial with glazed finish is a beauty to look at as well. The gold applied Breguet numerals, leaf-shaped hour and minute hands in luminescent white gold and 18K gold dial plate only add to the charm. The legibility despite the numerous complications is a driving factor in its appeal. Further complementing the elegant and finely finished aesthetics is the hand-stitched, shiny black alligator leather strap with square scales on a fold-over clasp.
Final Bell: Honestly, there’s much, much more we can write and talk about this, especially the way complications work and the fact that visually it looks inspired by 2015’s 5370P chronograph. But given this is a shorter GTTP preview, let’s just leave this preview (and not a detailed review) with one final thought: For those with no funds issues, a timepiece as distinctive as the new Patek Philippe Grande Sonnerie 6301P is a grand acoustic masterpiece that will be the king of any refined watch collection.
The Landscape: The Grande Sonnerie timepieces are rare and far in between.
The few other brands and watches that are within the same realm of Grande Sonnerie inspired horology are Philippe Dufour’s 1992 road-paver the Grande and Petite Sonnerie wristwatch, Vacheron Constantin (with the Les Cabinotiers Symphonia Grande), Jaeger-LeCoultre (with ref. 6033420, the Hybris Mechanica à Grande Sonnerie), F.P. Journe (with the Sonnerie Souveraine), Audemars Piguet (with the Code 11.59 Grande Sonnerie Carillon Supersonnerie or the Grande Sonnerie et Petite Sonnerie), Bulgari, Franck Muller (with Aeternitas Mega 4) and Greubel Forsey’s ref. P048 (retailing for 1’238’550 CHF upon its release back in 2017).
So to wrap it up, I would say to Patek that when you are in such exclusive company and still manage to ironically gift the horological world a sound worth losing time over, it’s time for me to simply accept your pinnacle of watchmaking and shut up. Joseph over and out.
To find out more about Patek Philippe watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are © 2021 PATEK PHILIPPE SA.