For 25 years, Christophe Claret has created many chiming movements: Minute-repeaters, Westminster minute repeaters, and grandes sonneries, plus chronographs and gaming watches with chimes signaling specific functions.
However, he has always dreamt of creating a wristwatch movement capable of playing a wide range of notes like a music box. Now, with a comb capable of playing 20 individual notes plucked by 120 pins on a revolving cylinder, Orchestra is the perfect illustration of that dream. Creating Orchestra was a massive technical challenge as developing its rich melodies was a lot more complex than may first appear.
Orchestra offers two different musical scores. It is equipped with a mechanism that offers the option of playing one of the two melodies at each passing hour; playing a melody on demand thanks to the detent A, or not playing a tune at all (‘silent mode’). Furthermore, each note of the 20-tooth comb has been tuned by hand in order to obtain the most precise musical note. Each cylinder has more than 120 pins that are all adjusted by hand. It is the positioning of the pins on the cylinder that is responsible for playing the two musical scores requested by Orchestra’s owner. For that purpose, there must be a specific “musical arrangement” made by a musician.
It took Christophe Claret two full years to develop the best solution for transmitting the sound from the combs inside the case to the air outside. A patent has been obtained for the ingenious system optimizing the acoustic properties and rich tonality of Orchestra’s melodies.
In Christophe Claret’s opinion, the Orchestra timepiece is even more complicated than a tourbillon Westminster repeater. It is equipped with the movement that has the most musical depth out of the 70 calibers created by Manufacture Claret.