JMC “piano” Resonance Box for Audemars Piguet

 

 

 

 

The Audemars Piguet Resonance Box has been designed right down to its smallest details in order to amplify the extremely faint sound of a striking or chiming watch. The latter’s residual vibration as emitted by its case is infinitely small. This technical feat has been achieved by means of several acoustic amplification techniques. First of all, the resonator is composed of two extra-thin soundboards in resonance spruce, supported by a side board and connected by a sound post. A cross-bracing in quarter-sawn spruce glued to these two soundboards enhances the high notes generated by the striking watch. Three strings tuned to the frequencies of the watch enhance its sustain, meaning giving added length to the very short sound of the gongs, while adding a decorative and playful touch to the object. The strings rest against a bridge and ensure improved contact between the soundboard and bridge. A watch-shaped holder is fitted on the bridge and bears the watch. This support is precisely cut out the size of the watch in order to ensure the closest possible contact. The watch is given additional gravity so as to improve the transmission of the vibration to the soundboards, by means of an abutment fitted to the cover of the resonance box. The weight of the cover is thus transmitted to the watch. The cover serves a second function, since when it is opened towards listeners, it projects the sound in their direction. The piano itself or the exterior was crafted in mahogany by talented cabinet-maker and marquetry specialist Stéphane Lassueur. The resonator was thus conceived as a musical instrument in its own right. 

More than a mere amplifier, the resonator actually improves the quality of the sound thanks to its conception and the choice of materials. It moves away from the “on/off” dimension and exercises a more subtle influence. This object is at once artistic, hand-crafted, poetic and functional. Based on tried and trusted techniques, this novel creation really plays on the heart-strings.

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