The newly launched Patek Philippe 6301P Grande Sonnerie is a masterpiece of ingenious design, featuring the grand and petite Sonnerie chime mechanism, as well as the minute repeater and the new patented jumping seconds hand. The 6301P Grande Sonnerie is, in the words of Patek Philippe, a “derivative” of the Calibre 300 replica Patek Philippe found in the behemoth Grandmaster Chime 6300G. Crafted from a platinum case of unusual size and design, the 6301P is an exceptional timepiece with an extremely rare complexity.
The new hand-wound GS 36-750 PS IRM movement is made up of 703 components and is therefore extremely complex, despite the fact that the movement itself is only 37 mm wide and 7.5 mm thick. With three patents and the use of silicon components (dedicated to the hairspring and a patented jumping seconds mechanism), this is a completely modern movement in terms of manufacture and design.
Despite its relative compactness, this movement does require a great deal of power to perform all these very complex functions. Patek Philippe’s solution consists of two double barrels in series, one dedicated to the moving train and the other to the clockwork mechanism (four barrels in total). The movement runs at 25,200 vph and provides a 72-hour power reserve for the watch and a 24-hour power reserve for the strike. Thus, when the 6301P Grand Sonnerie is fully wound, it will chime for 24 hours throughout the day and for a quarter of an hour.
Since the 6301P is a bell gong, there are 3 gongs, each tuned to low, medium or high pitch, which come together to produce a fantastic sound of striking. One hour is struck on the lowest pitched gong and a quarter of an hour is struck in a three-strikes sequence of high, low, and intermediate order. Grande et petite sonnerie rang out, which literally meant it would ring out on the hour and quarter hour. In the first quarter hour (15 minutes), the sequence plays once; in the second quarter hour (up to 30 minutes), the sequence plays twice; then it plays three times in the third quarter hour (45 minutes). In addition, before each quarter-hour sequence, the watch displays the number of hours that have elapsed so far; after each quarter-hour sequence, the watch displays the number of quarter-hours that have elapsed.
The best clock “Why not?” In doing so, Patek Philippe also introduced a new instant-beating or non-beating seconds hand. With the third (and last) patented system used here, the mechanism uses a wheel and release lever to unwind the wheel train every second, which is a boon when considering energy consumption. I’m sure it’s not easy to get bored watching the second hand immediately rattle as it jumps to 60.
The case design clearly tends to be skilful, a typical decision inherent in Patek Philippe, and underscores the importance of this piece. Measuring 44.8 mm wide and 12 mm thick, this is a very slim piece, tilted to the invisible effect provided by the platinum case. Apart from the pushers on the crown, the sliding switch at 6 o’clock and the diamonds set on all Platinum Pateks, there is very little trivial decoration here. The same is true of the dial, which is affluent black enamel with Baumgue (Breguet) white gold numerals, an 18-karat gold dial and white gold leaf hands. In a very odd and unexpected move, Patek Philippe chose to put the Lumm on its hands, which is ironic given the fact that a chiming mechanism is emitted to tell the time in the dark. Given the discreetness and reasonable size of this watch, the owner may have actually known to wear it and wanted to know when it went dark. So, I say, good for Patek Philippe.