“Sound” Investments: 10 Notable Minute Repeaters and Chiming Watches
One of the most difficult watch complications to produce, a minute repeater transforms a watch from mere timekeeping device to miniature music box. Below we take a look at 10 minute repeaters — and other, even more sophisticated chiming watches — that are more than just bells and whistles.
The newest version of the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Striking Time has a rose-gold case and hands and a silver dial. Unlike most repeaters and other chiming watches, it has its chiming mechanism integrated into the dial design. The black-polished steel hammers are located on either side of the large small-seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. The hammer on the right strikes the quarter hours and the one on the left, the full hours. The two gongs, embedded in a recess between the dial and the bezel, are also visible from the dial side. Every 15 minutes, the mechanism triggers the striking of one of the gongs — three high-pitched chimes for each quarter hour and one low-pitched chime for the top of every full hour. The watch has a device that can deactivate the chiming mechanism whenever the owner wishes to not be disturbed by it: Simply press the push-piece at 4 o’clock and the hammers raise away from the gongs and hold in place, thus silencing the watch. For more details, click here.
The Audemars Piguet Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph is available in a very limited edition of 10 pieces each for both versions, a rose gold and a titanium model. The titanium version, the company says, is ideally suited for the watch’s highest complication, the minute repeater, which strikes on two gongs. As many may not be aware, the quality of the sound emitted by a repeater watch is largely dependent on both the case material and the case’s dimensions. Larger cases (the Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph’s is 47 mm in diameter) and lighter, harder materials (such as titanium) are best suited to maximize the sound volume of the chimes by allowing the acoustic waves to expand inside the case.
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