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Thank you Harry and let me clarify about sonneries

November 14 2006 at 7:35 AM
GĂ©rald Roden  (Login RodenG)

Dear Harry and fellow friends of The Purists !

I think your pictures are great and demonstrate if necessary the passion you have for Horlogerie. Since I joined Roth and in 1999 Genta I have a passion for Sonneries, Minute Repeaters and Grande Sonneries.
Since then I have heard a lot linking the art of watchmaking more to the world of wizards than watchmakers !

Hopefully thanks to sites like yours and more knowledge in magazines dedicated to watchmaking things are slowly getting clearer.

First of all let me confirm that to the exception of the new HW made by Claret the Manufacture Roth and Genta is the only one to manufacture in serie
since the early 90 Grandes Sonneries Westminster Carillon with a tourbillon escapement. I am not taking into consideration watches that are made as "prototypes" in one unit. These movements have a lot of variation but the knowledge and the experience means a lot in this kind of craftmanship and what is important is to reproduce and to keep the knowledge.

We are since 2000 producing from 5 to 8 pieces a year. And every time improving. Improving the sound, improving the mechanism. We already five years ago patented a system to block the stem when the ringing sytsem is in motion. We developped a new system to record our progress in sound, loudness, accuracy of the notes, tempo. This will also unable us to finalise our new minute repeaters that we start to deliver early next year.

We have drastically improved our tourbillons as we make about 300 a year now for both brands. But can you imagine the pace for improving Sonneries ! This is giving me every day a big lesson of modesty.

Our grande sonnerie is a completely integrated movement. In other words it is not an additional mechanism added to a base movement. I want also to emphasize that a Carillon sonnerie is with four hammers and that the sound automatically gets weaker because the strength of the spring is divided by four instead of three. A three hammer sonnerie (like the one from AP, hi TM)
is by definition louder and easier to assemble and regulate.

The complication of a watch according to our standard is not an assembly of complications but is linked to its complexity that is requesting the highest level of knowhow in this difficult art.

Our sonnerie hammers the time 35040 times a year using its four hammers in addition of being a minute repeater and this is magic even though we worked very much on the technics of micromechanics and acoustics.

I am proud to share this with you guys, proud of our team in Le Sentier and Geneva and very soon we shall have a visit of two of you and I propose to share with you more on this.

Thank you for reading and best.

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