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The Grandmaster Chime by Patek Philippe is a $2.6 million wristwatch patek philippe grandmaster chime

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MENU About The Company Bloomberg London Homepage Markets Stocks Currencies Commodities Rates + Bonds Economics Magazine Benchmark Watchlist Economic Calendar Tech U.S. Global Startups Bloomberg Technology TV Gadgets With Gurman Digital Defense Studio 1.0 Focus On: Infrastructure Pursuits Cars & Bikes Style & Grooming Spend Watches & Gadgets Food & Drinks Travel Real Estate Art & Design Brilliant Ideas Politics Global Risk Briefing How We’ll Know if Trump Is Making America Great Again Tracking Trump’s Web of Conflicts GOP’s Health Plan: Tracking Key Changes One Amendment at a Time Kim Jong Un’s Big Nuclear Push Is Closing In on America Opinion View Gadfly Businessweek Latest Issue Debrief Podcast Subscribe More Climate Changed Video Series: Ventures Graphics Billionaires Game Plan Small Business Personal Finance Inspire GO The David Rubenstein Show Sponsored Content Sign In Sign In Subscribe More stories Patek Philippe Unveils Grandmaster Chime: The World's Most Complicated Wristwatch (Ever) By Stephen Pulvirent 2014-10-13T23:07:29Z - Comments Email Print Speed Share Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email Print Save Tap for Slideshow Source: Patek Philippe

The Grandmaster Chime in special presentation box with commemorative medallion.

Close Source: Patek Philippe The Grandmaster Chime in special presentation box with commemorative medallion. Close

The Grandmaster Chime in special presentation box with commemorative medallion.

Source: Patek Philippe The rose gold case is ornately engraved on almost every surface. Close

The rose gold case is ornately engraved on almost every surface.

Source: Patek Philippe The Calibre 89 pocket watch from the 150th anniversary. Close

The Calibre 89 pocket watch from the 150th anniversary.

Source: Patek Philippe The Grandmaster Chime's two faces, the time face and the calendar face. Close

The Grandmaster Chime's two faces, the time face and the calendar face.

Source: Patek Philippe The Grandmaster Chime's two faces, the time face and the calendar face. Close

The Grandmaster Chime's two faces, the time face and the calendar face.

Slide 1 Slide 2 Slide 3 Slide 4 Slide 5

This evening in Geneva, Switzerland, Patek Philippe unveiled its 175th anniversary collection. This includes the Grandmaster Chime ref. 5175 , the world’s most complicated wristwatch -- ever. It blends classic chiming complications like the grande and petite sonnerie with brand new ones like the date repeater, while also building in a state-of-the-art perpetual calendar.

This watch is no joke.

For its 150th anniversary in 1989, Patek released the Calibre 89 pocket watch. At the time it was the most complicated watch ever produced and only four were made. 25 years later the firm has outdone itself yet again with some pretty unusual complications, like a dial that shows the date of Easter. Because, if your watch is going to weigh more than a kilogram and cost more than a penthouse apartment, it had damn well better tell you when the ham is coming.

Just looking at the Grandmaster Chime, there is no doubt that you’re staring at something special. The 18K rose gold case is absolutely massive at 47.4mm across and 16.1mm thick, and it is hand-engraved on nearly every surface. The case actually spins between the massive lugs, allowing you to see the two dials. (You didn’t think they’d cram all those complications onto just one dial now, did you?)

The Grandmaster Chime's two faces, the time face and the calendar face. Source: Patek Philippe

Twenty Complications

I could walk you through each of the 20 complications, one by one, explaining how they integrate, and how the displays work together, but then you’d still be reading as the 200th anniversary watch is announced. Instead, a list: (deep breath)

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 The Grandmaster Chime's two faces, the time face and the calendar face. Source: Patek Philippe

Watch Layout

Alright, uncross those eyes, and I’ll do a little explaining.

The two dials are roughly divided between the time-telling side on the front and the calendar side on the back. The front has the alarm setting dial up top and the date and moonphase down at 6 o’clock. On the left is the power reserve for the movement, and on the right the power reserve for the sonnerie. Turning the watch over, you have (moving clockwise from 12 o’clock) the second timezone display, the month, the date and leap year cycle, the day of the week, and, in the center, the year.

The Calibre 300 movement has 1,366 parts and holds six different patents for new mechanisms. Included in these two patents are a repeater that will chime out the date on command and an alarm that rings out the time instead of only a standard tone. Just the movement is 37mm across and 10.7mm high -- larger than some of Patek’s watches.

The rose gold case is ornately engraved on almost every surface. Source: Patek Philippe

How Is It?

By now you’re probably scratching at your keyboard, wondering, “Well, how is it?” The short answer: Impressive. Even watch cynics can't deny the incredible amount of R&D and craftsmanship that goes into something like this. However, I'll admit, it may be a little too much. I don’t need more filigree on my wrist than Louis XIV had at Versailles, and the size makes this a wristwatch in technicality only. Sure, a stripped-back version would not have been able to claim the most-complicated crown, but it might have had me reaching for my wallet a little more aggressively.

The Patek Philippe Grand Master Chime ref. 5175R will be a limited edition of seven pieces, with one residing in the Patek Philippe museum in Geneva. The other six will be priced at 2.5 million Swiss Francs (approximately $2.6 million at time of publishing).

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About

Loot chronicles everything from culture to luxury goods. It's not about being rich but leading an enriched life. Commentary or analyses in this blog are the views of authors and/or commentators, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

Contributors James Tarmy Jennifer Parker Stephen Pulvirent Nic Screws Hannah Elliott Tejal Rao

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