Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet partners with French musician Gener8ion to create four soundtracks that personify haute horlogerie
By: Dimitria Vitanova
Posted on: August 11, 2016
Have you ever wondered how haute horlogerie sounds?
Cacophonous – yes; but also astoundingly soothing. Different at disparate times of the day.
Or, at least, so do the compositions of ultra-luxury Swiss watchmaker, Audemars Piguet, which strikes the musical notes of the craft in an industry-first collaboration. The two-century old Maison teamed with French house-electro DJ, Surkin, aka Gener8ion, to capture the tunes of its flagship Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie as well as of its bucolic home in Le Brassus village in the Vallee de Joux.
The imaginative outcome – four around 2-minute long tracks that clock the passage of the day through a seamless mesh between synthesized cadences and the unlikely, organic melodies of Audemars Piguet manufacture. From the low hiss of a blowtorch to the rhythmic clicks of a mechanism to the hushed grate of guilloche to the cheery chirp of birds, the pieces paint a poetic atmosphere where revered legacy and stunning innovation meet.
“Each step involved in the making of a timepiece delivers an extensive range of sounds ready to be captured,” said Gener8ion who spent days recording the chords inside the horologer’s workshops.
The chime of Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie, an exclusive watch with unprecedented acoustics, opens each soundtrack that, then, progresses in accordance to the whims of the hour after which it’s titled. Fusing the pulse of a watch escapement with the throb of a complication, taped at Audemars Piguet’s Museum, 6h03 is all about awakening. 10h45 ticks off at the core of watchmaking, combining the hum of manual chores and the hubbub of machines.
As characteristic the resonances of the brand might be, they, alone, hardly relay its full essence. Part of what truly makes Audemars Piguet is the untrammeled landscapes, which quiet time in Le Brassus, the Maison’s residence. The remarkable unison between Audemars Piguet’s buzzing ateliers and their tranquil surroundings defines the 16h15 track. The closing salvos reverberate in 22h17, when both Audemars Piguet’s workshops and nature dim – until 6:03am tolls again.
A sleek finish to the sonorous project are the tracks’ videos that illustrate both the crispness and sophistication of the music. Rendered in milk white or graphite gray (for 22h17), the videos comprise a single continuous pan across a graphics-generated expanse, where each beat sets off an undulation – uncannily reminiscent of the mountainous flanks of the Vallee de Joux.
All segments fade to a single bold sentiment – “To break the rules, you must first master them.” Audemars Piguet seems to have adopted that mantra, under a ravishing music accompaniment.
To watch & listen to the Audemars Piguet X Gener8ion playlist, visit the brand’s YouTube channel