Striking mechanisms are at the heart of Audemars Piguet's DNA. According to the archives, more than half of the 1,625 watches, pendants and pocket watches produced between 1882 and 1892 incorporate a striking mechanism. Since then, the Manufacture has created Grande Sonnerie, Petite Sonnerie and Minute Repeater mechanisms of incredible complexity on wristwatches.

In 1892, the very first minute repeater wristwatch in history was produced. Originally a ladies' watch worn as a pendant, it was transformed into a wristwatch and represents the joint work of two Audemars Piguet watchmakers who delivered the 13-line Lépine movement to Louis Brandt & Frère.

Minute Repeater pocket watch

The minute repeater strikes the hours, quarters and minutes with precision and on demand. It is mechanically programmed to play 720 sequences: one sound sequence for each minute of the twelve hours displayed on a watch. Hours are indicated by low notes, minutes by high notes, and quarter hours by a combination of both. These sequences are played by hammers, which strike hardened steel gongs when the striking mechanism is activated by a latch located on the side of the case.

The number of gongs and hammers, each, tuned to perfection by ear.

The number of programmed melodies on a minute repeater.

Number of minute repeaters produced by Audemars Piguet every year.

Number of minute repeater wristwatches produced by AP between 1892 and 1992.

Number of parts for our latest Grande Sonnerie movement, Calibre 2956, introduced in the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection.

Gongs in a Supersonnerie watch

The Grande Sonnerie is the most complex single complication.

Sebastian Vivas

Heritage and Museum Director

In addition to striking the hours, quarters and minutes on demand as a traditional minute repeater would, a Grande Sonnerie, like a bell tower, automatically strikes the hours and each quarter hour.

Considered as one of the most sophisticated and complex complications, the Grande Sonnerie has remained quite rare to this day. Today, only a handful of specialised watchmakers at Audemars Piguet are trained to assemble and adjust a Grande Sonnerie.

Number of pocket watches featuring a Grande Sonnerie between 1882 and 1892.

Number of minute repeater wristwatches including a Grande Sonnerie between 1892 and 1957 due to its complexity.

The year Audemars Piguet launched its first Grande Sonnerie wristwatch.

Grande Sonnerie pocket watch

The Grande Sonnerie is the acme of chiming watches. Like an orchestra, the synchronisation of components has to be perfect to guarantee the automatic chiming of the hours and quarters.

Lucas Raggi

Development Director

Exploded view of the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie

Audemars Piguet introduced its patented Supersonnerie technology in 2015, following 8 years of research and development in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL).

The Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie presents a newly developed case construction that prevents sound absorption and boosts amplification. In traditional minute repeater technology, the gongs are fixed to the plate.  In the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie, they are attached to a new device that acts as a soundboard, to which they transmit vibrations directly. The technology functions like the upper body of a guitar. With the vibration air system improved, sound quality, tone and amplification are richer.