The Pas Cher Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Replique Montres utilises an ever more familiar case shape from the Swiss powerhouse and updates the internal workings with something totally new, and totally awesome. What Audemars Piguet have focused on more than any other aspect of this watch, is the sound quality achieved by the sonnerie complication from which the piece takes its name. This is not the first watch Audemars Piguet have released in this vein. Back in 2014, they débuted the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research Episode 1 watch, which we reviewed on aBlogtoWatch (you can check out David Bredan’s detailed analysis here). With this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie, ready for release just one year later, the brand feel they have produced a minute repeater of superior acoustic intensity with a supremely clear, sustained tone.
As with the first iteration of this project, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Replique places emphasis on sound quality and clarity. Traditionally, when a minute repeater strikes, a background whirring can be heard. This comes from a component called the governor, which is in constant operation during the chiming process. With this watch, this essential component runs in almost absolute silence, reducing the distraction from the chimes themselves. In fact, Audemars Piguet is so passionate about developing the perfect-sounding watch, they’ve filed three patents in the making of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie.
Audemars Piguet Replique Montres reference their chiming watches sound study programme which began way back in 2006. In collaboration with the EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), Audemars Piguet invested heavily in sound-measurement facilities to assist their passionate team of watchmakers, artisans, technicians, and academics in their research. One of their major challenges was to overcome the noise diffusion caused by robust casing, which is necessary for a decent level of water resistance. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie is resistant to 20 meters, which is actually impressive given the adjustments that have to be made for this kind of watch.