SIHH 2016: Introducing the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie – a Super Minute Repeater Replica At Lowest Price

The Audemars Piguet Watches Buy Replica Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph 25th Anniversary and Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph are three brand new, pre-SIHH 2018 references that we will see in shops next year, even when AP is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Royal Oak Offshore line.When Audemars Piguet unveiled the very first Royal Oak Offshore some 25 years ago, I don’t think they expected it to be the success it is now, even though it mostly built on the original Royal Oak recipe: proceed very large, very bold, and pricey. Now, this was taken to another level with all the Royal Oak Offshore.It was large and brash, and purists who watched it at Basel back in 1993 screamed that the Royal Oak had been desecrated — likely the same people who jumped out to about the first Royal Oak desecrating luxury watches in general. Truth be told, the Offshore was a bold move by Audemars Piguet, but now most of us know how well it’s paid off. Now, the Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore are Audemars Piguet’s best-selling collections — basically synonymous with the brand itself, which obviously isn’t a good thing, but we will leave that discussion for a different time.

When Audemars Piguet unveiled the Royal Oak Concept RD#1 minute repeater last year, it was all cloak and dagger, since the patents related to its concept were still pending. Now that the patents have been granted, the prototype has become a reality in the form of the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie that was just introduced at SIHH 2016.

The Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie actually features three complications, a chronograph, tourbillon and minute repeater. The first two are essentially superfluous, it is the minute repeater that is truly outstanding.

The rear of the Supersonnerie movement showing the chronograph mechanism, and repeater hammers visible at seven o’clock

Audemars Piguet claims the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie chimes as loudly as ten pocket watch minute repeaters, a seemingly exaggerated claim but quite plausible once the Supersonnerie has been heard in action.

Under the dial of the Supersonnerie, with the minute repeating mechanism exposed

Three patents were instrumental in building the Supersonnerie. The first relates to the manufacturing of the gongs, a process that creates an optimal gong which nonetheless needs to be filed by hand to tune it.

The next patent concerns the case construction; the back is actually two pieces, an outer case back and an inner back that functions as a soundboard. Instead of being attached to the base plate as in ordinary repeaters, the gongs are attached to the inner case back, a thin disc of special alloy. This disc functions as a soundboard, amplifying the chimes of the repeater.

Notably, despite the large apertures in the outer back for sound transmission, the Supersonnerie is water-resistant to 20 m, as the inner back is sealed. Most minute repeaters are not water-resistant at all, since the cases are not sealed so as to improve the sound.

The last key feature of the Supersonnerie is the silent governor. The mechanism that regulates the pace of the repeater chimes, the governor in the Supersonnerie has a built-in shock absorber that eliminates most of the noise typically associated with its functioning. This prevents the governor from interfering with the sound of the repeater.

We will bring you more details on the Supersonnerie soon. In the mean time, follow our SIHH 2016 coverage for the latest from Geneva.