The exquisite melody of time
March 5, 2012 Savoir-Faire

The exquisite melody of time

In his workshop, Dominique Burdet creates, one part at a time, Grand Complications minute repeaters that are ever more highly prized by collectors.

RSS

A low-pitched bell for each hour. Two medium-pitched bells for each quarter-hour and a single, higher-pitched bell for each minute of the final quarter hour. These are the crystalline sounds that ring out on demand, at the heart of Audemars Piguet timepieces.

This highly complicated mechanism was created by Dominique Burdet’s team in the Grand Complications Workshop at the Manufacture in Brassus. “We produce the Jules Audemars and Royal Oak minute repeaters, as well as a pocket model. Each watch requires between 700 and 1,000 hours of work, which means we rarely make more than three per year and per watchmaker,” says master watchmaker Burdet, who has worked for the brand in the Vallée de Joux for almost 20 years.

The movement parts are delivered unfinished, then polished and assembled one by one. The slightest error would have repercussions on the melody of time. “To create a beautiful sound, you need a lot of experience and expertise. The watch is patiently tuned, like a musical instrument, and must always strike the correct number of times. To accomplish this you must arm the movement with enough force to power a spring that operates the hour, the quarter-hours, the half-hour and the minutes that follow,” he explains.

For the past few years, the interest of collectors and enthusiasts in this type of model has grown, particularly for the pocket watch which now has a waiting list. “Owners regularly visit our workshop. They love to tell us about their relationship with their minute repeater, the pleasure they get from hearing it ring and from surprising their family and friends with it,” Burdet says with a smile.

The exquisite melody of time

The exquisite melody of time

Explore
  • The exquisite melody of time

    Royal Oak GRANDE COMPLICATION

    Selfwinding watch with perpetual calendar indicating the day, date, week, moon phases, month, leap years, minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph and small seconds at 9 o'clock. 18-carat white gold case, blue dial, 18-carat white gold bracelet.

    View Details
    Reference 25865BC.OO.1105BC.01 Thumbnail

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, front
    Front
    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, back
    Back
  • The exquisite melody of time

    Royal Oak GRANDE COMPLICATION

    Selfwinding watch with perpetual calendar indicating the day, date, week, moon phases, month, leap years, minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph and small seconds at 9 o'clock. 18-carat white gold case, silvered dial, 18-carat white gold bracelet.

    View Details
    Reference 25865BC.OO.1105BC.04 Thumbnail

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, front
    Front
    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, back
    Back
  • The exquisite melody of time

    Jules Audemars GRANDE COMPLICATION

    Selfwinding watch with perpetual calendar indicating the day, the date, the week, the moon phases, the month and the leap years, minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph and small seconds at 9 o'clock. 950 platinum case, white classic dial, blue strap.

    View Details
    Reference 25866PT.OO.D002CR.01 Thumbnail

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, front
    Front
    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, back
    Back
  • The exquisite melody of time

    Jules Audemars GRANDE COMPLICATION

    Selfwinding watch with perpetual calendar indicating the day, the date, the week, the moon phases, the month and the leap years, minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph and small seconds at 9 o'clock. 18-carat pink gold case, white classic dial, black strap.

    View Details
    Reference 25866OR.OO.D002CR.01 Thumbnail

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, front
    Front
    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, back
    Back
  • The exquisite melody of time

    Jules Audemars GRANDE COMPLICATION

    Selfwinding watch with perpetual calendar indicating the day, the date, the week, the moon phases, the month and the leap years, minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph and small seconds at 9 o'clock. 18-carat yellow gold case, white classic dial, black strap.

    View Details
    Reference 25866BA.OO.D002CR.01 Thumbnail

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, front
    Front
    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, back
    Back
  • The exquisite melody of time

    Jules Audemars GRANDE COMPLICATION

    Selfwinding watch with perpetual calendar indicating the day, the date, the week, the moon phases, the month and the leap years, minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph and small seconds at 9 o'clock. 950 platinum case, white classic dial, black strap.

    View Details
    Reference 25866PT.OO.D002CR.02 Thumbnail

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, front
    Front
    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, back
    Back
  • The exquisite melody of time

    Jules Audemars GRANDE COMPLICATION

    Selfwinding watch with perpetual calendar indicating the day, the date, the week, the moon phases, the month and the leap years, minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph and small seconds at 9 o'clock. 18-carat pink gold case, white classic dial, black strap.

    View Details
    Reference 25866OR.OO.D002CR.02 Thumbnail

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, front
    Front
    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, back
    Back
  • The exquisite melody of time

    Jules Audemars GRANDE COMPLICATION

    Selfwinding watch with perpetual calendar indicating the day, the date, the week, the moon phases, the month and the leap years, minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph and small seconds at 9 o'clock. 18-carat yellow gold case, white classic dial, black strap.

    View Details
    Reference 25866BA.OO.D002CR.02 Thumbnail

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, front
    Front
    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, back
    Back
  • The exquisite melody of time

    Jules Audemars GRANDE COMPLICATION

    Selfwinding watch with perpetual calendar indicating the day, the date, the week, the moon phases, the month and the leap years, minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph and small seconds at 9 o'clock. Titanium case, sapphire dial, black strap.

    View Details
    Reference 25996TI.OO.D002CR.01 Thumbnail

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, front
    Front
    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, back
    Back
  • The exquisite melody of time

    Jules Audemars GRANDE COMPLICATION

    Selfwinding watch with perpetual calendar indicating the day, the date, the week, the moon phases, the month and the leap years, minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph and small seconds at 9 o'clock. 18-carat pink gold case, sapphire dial, black strap.

    View Details
    Reference 25996OR.OO.D002CR.01 Thumbnail

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, front
    Front
    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, back
    Back
  • The exquisite melody of time

    Jules Audemars GRANDE COMPLICATION

    Selfwinding watch with perpetual calendar indicating the day, the date, the week, the moon phases, the month and the leap years, minute repeater, split-seconds chronograph and small seconds at 9 o'clock. 950 platinum case, sapphire dial, black strap.

    View Details
    Reference 25996PT.OO.D002CR.01 Thumbnail

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture

    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, front
    Front
    Calibre 2885 Manufacture, back
    Back