Its time to unveil...even slightly...some of the elements that make up what will certainly be one of the greatest horological feats ever created!!
One of the complications, and one I am particularly fond of, is the striking function and this piece features something never seen before...the night time function!
This piece features the following:
CARILLON WESTMINSTER CHIMING
GRANDE & PETITE SONNERIE SELECTION
AND NEW “NIGHT TIME SILENCE” FEATURE
You see 2 hands for two different functions:
On the top sector: Sil (Silence) , Night and Chi (chime)
On the bottom sector: PS (Petite Sonnerie) and GS (Grande Sonnerie)
The Carillon Westminster Chiming & Minute Repeating
A Carillion Westminster chimes to the same tune as London’s Big Ben with 5 hammers striking on 5 gongs. This watch follows the traditional Westminster chiming sequence (quarter-hours, minutes and hours) and has 3 options to choose from:
Minute repeater- The time is indicated by the striking of the gongs
Grande sonnerie – whereby both the hours and the quarter-hours are struck at every passing quarter-hour, for example, if the time is 4.45, the full three-bar Westminster tune is struck (one bar of the tune for each elapsed quarter-hour), then 4 single strikes for the elapsed hours.
Petite sonnerie – whereby the hours are struck at the hour only and thereafter a quarter-strike only on the quarter-hours so that for example at the time 4.45 when in Petite sonnerie mode, the watch strikes the full three-bars of the Westminster tune but no further strikes are sounded for the hours until the next full hour is reached.
A silence option can also be activated when no striking is required.
Night-Time Silence Feature
The chiming mechanism incorporates a unique and very user-friendly new feature developed especially for this watch - that of the automatically activated “Night-Time Silence”. This innovative system, unique to Vacheron Constantin, automatically engages so that (in this instance) between the hours of 10pm and 8am it does not chime in order not to disturb its owner. The night time silence function is the first to be automatically activated without the need to manually set the chime or silence option. The precise hours of night silence are bespoke set in-house at Vacheron Constantin before delivery