Important Collectors' Wristwatches, P...

Hong Kong, Jun 27, 2009

LOT 272

Caliber 97, Grande et Petite Sonnerie Minute-Repeater, Perpetual Calendar Franck Muller, Geneve, "Grande et Petite Sonnerie, Minute-Repeater - Perpetual Calendar.? Made in 1997. Unique, fine and rare, astronomic, grande et petite sonnerie minute-repeating, platinum and diamond-set wristwatch with retrograde perpetual calendar, equation of time, moon phases and 24 hour display and a platinum and diamonds Franck Muller buckle. Accompanied by fitted box and certificate.

HKD 1,750,000 - 2,500,000

USD 250,000 - 350,000 / EUR 175,000 - 250,000

Sold: HKD 2,820,000

C. Three-body, solid, brushed, reeded band with diamonds, repeater slide on the band, selection for the Grande, Petite, Silence at 2, transparent case back, flexible lugs set with diamonds, sapphire crystals. D. Two-tone silver with applied pyramidal indexes, guilloché ring dials for the days, week, the leap year, 24 hours, retrograde month indicator, aperture for the moon phases, outer minute/seconds division with every five red Arabic numerals. Blued steel spade hands. M. Cal. 97, first quality, rhodium-plated, fausses cotes decoration, 50 jewels, adjusted to 5 positions, straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance, shock absorber, self-compensating Breguet balance spring, index regulator, repeating on gongs by means of a slide on the band. Dial and movement signed, case numbered. Diam. 37 mm. Thickness 13 mm.

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Grading System
Case: 2

Very good

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 1-01

As new

HANDS Original


With the Calibre 97, (originally introduced in 1997 at the World Presentation of Haute Horlogerie), Franck Muller is the first watch brand to have perfected the bell chime in a wristwatch; a world premiere in the history of watch making. Preceding the production of this watch, the sound quality now heard in the Grande and Petite Sonnerie was only possible in a pocket watch. Originally, 18th century watchmakers used very ample shapes so as to leave the maximum amplitude for the sound, which escaped through elaborate cut-out designs in the casework. Franck Muller was able to successfully reproduce the sound in a wristwatch as a result of extensive research on complicated alloys and the creation of a bell that would fit into a case no larger than 36.80 mm in diameter and 11.3 mm in height. Two hammers strike the inside of the bell, producing a high and low sound, which allows one to distinguish between the hours, quarters and minutes. The Grand Sonnerie, with a passing chime, announces the hours and quarters on the quarter and the Petite Sonnerie sounds the hours and quarters at the appropriate times. There is also a silence mechanism should the user not wish to hear the chimes. In addition, the Calibre 97 also has a minute repeater which makes it possibile to hear the hours, quarters and minutes upon request. On the dial, the user can see the renowned striking mechanism indicator patented by Franck Muller as well as a ?silent mode?, ?Petite Sonnerie? and ?Grande Sonnerie? indicator. The Calibre 97 also incorporates a third complication: the perpetual calendar in which the day of the week, date, month and retrograde monthly equation of time, the 24 hour counter, leap-years and moon phases, are all visible on the dial. This wristwatch is a unique piece in solid 950 platinum set with 48 baguette diamonds on the scope, 50 brilliant-cut diamonds on the lateral side of the scope, and 46 baguette diamonds on the horns.