August 3, 2012
by Ariel Adams
Minute repeater watches sound the time back to you in a little song. Music box watches just play little songs. Each of these watches are nice in their own regard, but if you want to get a musically capable watch that is somewhat budget friendly (relatively speaking) then, a music box watch is the way to go. Music box watches are also comparatively much more rare, making the availability of a minute repeater seem much more easily obtainable by comparison.
Swiss-based Boegli specializes in “musical watches”. Each of the wrist and pocket watches that they produce contain traditional drum and pin music players. This new Grand Opera watch is their first ever round wrist watch. Their previous watches were only available in squarish rectangular cases. In addition to the new shape (which looks a lot more wearable than the angular models), the Grand Opera has a handy feature which allows you to start and stop the music playing (at will) by using a pusher. Presumably, past models just let the spring wind out allowing the music to run until the power ceased.
By the way, one of the other Boegli watches collections was titled the “Classic Rock.” Much to my chagrin, actual classic rock was not what the watch played. So why name it that? Anyhow… The Grand Opera watch case is 47mm wide in steel, but is rose gold plated. I haven’t heard of a lot of gold-plated watches lately. The case has a sapphire crystal and decent look to it. On the case is a crown connected to the watch movement at 9 o’clock, and a crown to wind the mainspring for the music box at 3 o’clock. The pusher to activate the music is at about 4 o’clock. One thing that this new Boegli watch does well is properly mix the dial between music and time functions. While small, the off-centered time display (with date) is still legible and prominent. A view to the drum and pins for the music player is located on the dial as well. The case of the watch is overall modeled after a watch movement with blued screws and some Geneva stripe polishing.
Inside the watch is an ETA 2671 automatic movement. This is a small diameter automatic which allows enough space for the traditional music box components. Resonance is an issue in watches like this but the drum and pin set up can be remarkably loud, so I expect that the Boegli Grand Opera has a nice sound to it. The 17 note system plays a melody from Mozart’s The Magic Flute. I think something from Led Zeppelin would be cool as well. Boegli will produce only 99 pieces of the Grand Opera watch, which comes with a relatively sober price tag of 3,800-4,200 Swiss Francs.
Technical specs from Boegli:
Case : all stainless steel with IPG rosé plating, water resistent 5 ATM
Case back : see-through back secured by 6 screws
Glass : sapphire crystal on both sides
Movement : new round module with mechanical musical movement with 17 notes keyboard playing The Chime of Bells from “The Magic Flute“ (Die Zauberflöte , K. 620) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, automatic movement ETA 2671. Decorated with “Côtes de Genève”
Crowns : 1 crown at 3 O’Clock to wind up the musical movement and 1 crown at 9 O’Clock to set the time
Pusher : 1 “Start/Stop”-pusher for the musical movement (melody)
Dial : 3 levels, “Côtes de Genève” decoration & blued steel screws
Date : calendar display at 6 O’Clock on the time dial
Hands : blue colored hour, minute and second hand
Strap : genuine alligator leather with butterfly buckle
Melody : The Chime of Bells from “The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte , K. 620) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Limited edition : 99 pieces
Size : Ø 47,00 mm & height : 14,80 mm
Price : from CHF 3’800