Now, the “best” for Audemars Piguet means their striving to create the very clear and crisp sound of any moment repeater. The brand points into three accomplishments demonstrated in this watch, which I shall briefly run through. To begin with, the unique preparation of the steel used to produce the gong arrangement makes it possible for the watchmakers to accurately and easily adjust and enhance the pitch, tone, and harmony of the second repeater. Secondly, the way the situation is constructed minimizes sound absorption and maximizes amplification. I’ll examine this “soundboard” technique a little bit in the future. Finally, the striking regulator is redesigned so the anchor system behaves as a shock absorber, minimizing shock noise.One of the most important components of a second repeater watch is the situation because it’s responsible for broadening the noise. It’s often said that gold would be the best material for the task because it generates a richer sound, but the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch opts for titanium. Titanium is a really light and strong alloy, and its low density allows sound to pass through with less resistance. If you have any doubts about that, you just have to check at exotic supercars and their titanium exhausts. Titanium is also used elsewhere around the watch to enhance the quality of the sound, but more on this later.The utilization of titanium also means that despite the watch’s sizable measurements, in 44mm wide and 16.5mm thick, it remains light and comfy to wear. And due to its aesthetic, the case design instantly identifies the watch as a Royal Oak Concept and nothing else.It goes without mentioning that the instance is finished to an impeccably large standard with contrasting finishing. The bezel has mirror polished edges and includes a satin-brushed complete on the surface, which matches the exposed polished 18k white gold twist heads. The case was sandblasted and features a matte finish which juxtaposes very nicely with the more slender bezel. The large crown and chronograph pushers have been made out of ceramic.
Over the weekend four timepieces from Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Zenith were auctioned in Singapore. All sold for well above the retail prices, raising nearly S$100,000 for the Community Chest.
On 30 November Singapore charity the Community Chest held its annual fundraising dinner (full disclosure: I was a member of the event’s organising committee), which included an auction of items donated for the event. Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Zenith generously contributed timepieces for the charity auction. The four timepieces raised S$96,000, with all selling at above the recommended retail prices. The top lot of the event was the Audemars Piguet Millenary 4101 in rose gold, one of the most distinctive models in the Millenary collection, featuring an open dial that reveals the wonderfully decorated movement. This hammered at S$54,000, above the tax free retail price of S$49,500.
That was followed by the Zenith El Primero 410 Singapore Edition. Inspired by the original El Primero 410 of the seventies, this is a limited edition of 45 pieces available only in Singapore. With a retail price of $14,800, it sold for S$20,000.
Also selling for S$20,000 was the Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Classique clock, the ingenious clock that runs on air and Swiss government’s gift of choice for foreign dignitaries. The hammer price was more than double the retail price of S$7860.
And finishing up the quartet was a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms wall clock, modelled on Blancpain’s signature diver’s watch. Typically only found in Blancpain boutiques and never offered for sale, the wall clock sold for S$2000.
The event raised S$2.8 million in total for Community Chest, a charity overseen by the Singapore government. As a member of the organising committee for the Community Chest Gala Dinner 2014 I would like to thank Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Zenith for the support.