Models with minute repetition are the crown of watchmaking. At the moment, they are again in great demand. Patek Philippe invited them to discover the secrets of the mechanical function.
K a craft requires such a great precision as mechanical precision watchmaking.In this respect it is difficult for ordinary people to imagine what skills belong to making a timepiece for the wrist that he not only ticks, but also signals the time through bells.
Here, Patek Philippe owes thanks:The Geneva Manufactory invites customers and experts in Germany to visit Munich to make the secrets of their models comprehensible in workshops.
Among all the functions, the percussion is the most difficult to construct, and accordingly the company can not buy watches with this complication.You have to qualify for it by showing your interest as a long-term customer.The owner Thierry Stern personally decides whether to get a piece, he also takes the sound of each model personally at the head office.If a parameter such as the pitch, the harmony of the interplay or the length of the sound does not meet his requirements, the clock is not delivered.
For the German manager Yannick Michot the workshop is also a highlight: The man from Dijon with the gray head and the blue jacket has ten models in Munich on site, there is not.Michot normally receives only single pieces: the new owner is invited to Munich and instructed how to deal with the play;it must not cause the mechanism that starts the lute work to take place too quickly one after the other because the parts need a few seconds to return to the starting position.If you want to hear too much too fast, you run the risk of destroying everything.
Since 1924, she rings her arm
In his introduction to the history of the function before eleven journalists, Michot is to note that he has a special day.At the end of the 17th century, English clocks came to the continent, whose lute works could already signal full hours and quarter-hours, the so-called quarter repeater.And the first pocket watch , built by Patek Philippe in 1839, had a beater.The first watch with a minute repetition built the house in 1924 for a blind engineer;at that time it was still customary to construct pieces on order according to special requirements, free according to the old English motto that the money of the rich is the obligation of the craftsman and thus the innovation is advanced.
In the middle of the 1950s, percussion instruments were regarded as a distinctive style of life. After that they disappeared almost completely for a time, they were considered to be so unfashionable that even a house as famous as Patek Philippe produced them in single pieces.In 1989, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the House, the famous caliber 89 was self-explanatory about this complication.
A watchmaker, a watch
A watchmaker from Geneva has come for the demonstration in Munich .She now provides the audience with computer animations with background information:anyone who buys a watch with repetition at the company gets a piece that is guaranteed by a single watchmaker.Two types of sounds are available, “tradition” is high and clear, “cathedral” somewhat deeper and equipped with more volume.
This brings the watchmaker, whose name is not to be passed on, to the most important point in the clinically clean repair shop between her German colleagues:the sound springs.Since it would take too much space to install real bells into the watch, metal springs are wrapped around the factory around the factory and hammered by tiny hammers, creating the sound.It takes only eight hours to make a pair of hammers, the design engineer has the choice of 21 basic models, if necessary he has to regrind them to make the sound sound clean.
The sounds are triggered by a special mechanism that sets gears and other components that resemble a rake:”This is complicated enough, but it is even more difficult to optimize the sound,” says Yannick Michot.One is in a constant process to remain a leader.It is advisable, because currently also competitor brands have recognized the potential of the function and offer corresponding models.
What watch is accurate?
What a Patek Philippe makes particularly special is the experience of the workshop participants, after having thoroughly examined the pieces on site (the model with the blue dial and Tourbillon would be right for the author, the prize of more than 500,000 Swiss francs is his inspiration to bring it to something more in life).At the end, the participants are allowed to evaluate electronic sound samples and compare the extent to which their results differ from those that Thierry Stern had written in a form sheet.
After judging three clocks it is clear that the boss is still a little more accurate than the audience, which is soothing. A model did not make it to the customer at Stern, it had to go back to the workshop. And after a good four hours is probably for each of the present ones firmly:the world would turn even without clocks with Schlagwerk. But it is a nice feeling to know that somewhere on the planet there are people who are concerned with the fact that this technique of craftsmanship is not only preserved in the digital 21st century, but is also being pushed forward.