The Grande et Petite Sonnerie, which is handcrafted by the greatest master of modern watchmaking, sold for $7,63 million at A Collected Man.
I couldn’t help but wonder: Do we love watches, or their stories hidden on the dial? Especially, if those watches are one of the rare pieces handcrafted by the great watchmakers who have devoted their whole life to this job, there are so many stories to tell. One of these timepieces is Philippe Dufour’s Grande et Petite Sonnerie, which was recently sold a sale at A Collected Man, a London dealer. The Grande et Petite Sonnerie set a world record as the most expensive independent watch ever sold, with $7.33 million.
Dufour says that “if you do something like everyone else, you cannot be recognised. When you are small, you must do something special to stand out.” With time, he became one of the greatest watchmakers in the world over time. And he has produced series such as Grande et Petite Sonnerie, the Duality and the Simplicty throughout his career. For instance, Grande et Petite Sonnerie series features only 8 timepieces and one of them was sold for a new world record a few days ago. Indeed, Dufour had produced this complicated Grande Sonnerie movement firstly to use in a minute repeater pocket watch for Audemars Piguet. However, he was frustrated by the design of watch and then he decided to modernize the movement for a wristwatch in his own name. Of course, the production stage of such a fine watch was not easy and short. As a result, the Grande de Petite Sonnerie, which took Dufuor’s almost ten years, is his most complicated and perhaps significant timepiece.
The Grande et Petite Sonnerie, which was sold at A Collected Man, was made in for the Sultan of Brunei in 1995. As I said before, it is Dufour’s most complicated movement. Just like other watches of the series, the Grande Sonnerie strikes the number of hours, on every hour, and the number of hours and quarters on every quarter. Also, the minute repeater can be activated manually, thanks to a pusher on the crown. The timepiece can be set to both Grande Sonnerie or Petite Sonnerie settings, thanks to the slider at 4 o’clock.
As the main element of the watch is movement, its look is in a classic and plain style. The “Philippe Dufour” signature is in prime position. While indications printed in black ink, the blued-steel hands used for hour. The case is made of high-polished rose gold and the crystal caseback reveals that its famous complicated movement.