A repeater is a complication in a mechanical watch or clock that
audibly chimes the hours and often minutes at the press of a button.
There are many types of repeater, from the simple repeater which merely
strikes the number of hours, to the minute repeater which chimes the
time down to the minute, using separate tones for hours, quarter hours,
and minutes. They originated before widespread artificial illumination,
to allow the time to be determined in the dark, and were also used by
the visually impaired. Now they are mostly valued as expensive novelties
by watch and clock enthusiasts. Most watchmakers consider minute repeaters as the ultimate single complication in watchmaking. Everything must be absolutely perfect to deliver the precise striking of the gong and an immaculate sound.
Here is the list of our top 16 Minute Repeaters - Part I
Parmigiani Toric Tecnica Minos
Parmigiani presented for their SIHH 2013 collection another
grand complication timepiece to further demonstrate the brand’s affinity for
creating complex grand complications watches.
Parmigiani’s 'Toric' collection reside solely in the brand’s
haute horlogerie segment and are among its most complex pieces as well as the
manufacture’s most unusually decorated dials.
This new Toric Tecnica Minos has a hand-wound caliber with an impressive
mix of complications: minute repeater on
2 cathedral gongs, tourbillon, perpetual calendar and power reserve (43
hours). The case is 45mm, rose gold.
The new Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Tecnica Minos comes paired
with an alligator strap and an ardillon buckle.
Price - Undisclosed
Harry Winston Opus 4
This minute repeater was developed with Cristopher Claret in
a limited edition of only 20 pieces.
While at first glance the Opus 4 seems more traditional with
its Premier inspired case, it is an equally exceptional watch. It is completely
reversible: one face is technical, with a tourbillon and a minute repeater using a cathedral-type chime; the other is romantic with a large, delicately
engraved moon and a date display on the dial perimeter.
Without being overstated, the Opus 4 proclaims the
virtuosity of one of the last Swiss chiming watch specialists. The Christophe
Claret-designed movement has 423 parts, including 40 jewels.
It has a manually wound mechanical tourbillon, repeating on
the hours, quarters and minutes on cathedral designed by C.Claret. A 53 hour power
reserve at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour in a 44 mm round case in
950T platinum. As always, Harry Winston does not fail to impress.
Price - Undisclosed
Carnival of Venice - Minute Repeater
Nardin finds inspiration in one of the world’s most romantic
cities for the new, limited-edition Minute Repeater Carnival of Venice, a
creation of stunning artistic illustration and brilliant engineering. And, it’s
not the first time this magical place has been the setting for a Ulysse Nardin
timepiece’s tale. Its dial, the heart of the timepiece, depicts two figures in
front of the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal. Both Jaquemarts are wearing
masks, alluding to the Carnival of Venice. The feeling of festivity is set.
With the minute repeater’s chiming of the hours, quarters and minutes, the
Jaquemarts lift their masks. The movement powering this musical masquerade ball is Ulysse Nardin’s manual-wind Caliber UN-71, with a 48-hour power reserve.To this day, Ulysse Nardin remains among the rare manufacturers in the world to use Jaquemarts on the dial of its wristwatch minute repeaters. The Carnival of Venice Minute Repeater is a limited-edition mechanical timepiece of eighteen made in platinum, with an18-karat rose gold option.
Price - Undisclosed
IWC Portuguese Minute Repeater
For Portuguese explorers out on the open sea, timekeeping was of crucial importance. Using a log together with a special sandglass – the log glass – they were able to measure the vessel’s speed. The ship’s bell, on the other hand, was used to signal the beginning and end of sailors’ watches: the bell would be struck once every half-hour and twice every full hour, with four double strikes signalling the end of a watch. The abstract concept of time was thus being converted into acoustic signs even back then. In the 44 mm Portuguese Minute Repeater, depressing the repeating slide causes a delicate strike train to sound the time out audibly in hours, quarters and minutes: the full hours on a lower tuned gong, the quarters with double strikes, and the number of minutes that have elapsed since the last quarter on the higher of the two gongs. The repeating mechanism consists of over 200 individual parts working together as if they were in a mechanical orchestra. An all-or-nothing piece ensures that the chimes are only struck if the repeating slide is fully depressed. The watch is equipped with the 98950-calibre hunter pocket watch movement, which comes with stylistic elements from the early F. A. Jones calibres. Both versions are limited to 500 watches.
Price - USD 90,000.
Zenith Academy Minute Repeater
Zenith is famous for their automatic movements that beat at
incredibly fast rates, their most famous movement is the El Primero
(36,000 beats/hour) which is featured in this watch, more specifically
the El Primero 4043 Caliber automatic movement with a 50 hour power
reserve. The 46 jewel movement contains 461 parts and is beautifully
decorated.The Zenith Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph watch
comes in a rather large 45mm 18k rose gold case that’s 16.55 mm thick
and is attached to a brown alligator leather strap. The watch’s dial is
very elegant with a white face and rose gold Roman numerals and rose
gold minute and hour hands. The dial has two sub-dials for the
chronograph seconds and minutes. The dial also has a small window that
shows the hammer in the movement that makes the chime sound. Zenith is producing only 25 of this beautiful timepiece.
Price - USD 172,000.
Tutima Hommage Minute Repeater
Tutima opens its Glashütte factory and
presents a masterpiece of German watchmaking to celebrate the event: the
Tutima Hommage, the first minute repeater fully conceived, produced and
developed in Glashütte. The Hommage Minute Repeater follows all the lines of German tradition
with a ¾th plate and hand-engraved balance cock. A classic dial belies
the complex mechanics inside. If you didn’t notice the slide on the left
side you’d never know the 43mm case housed musical time. There’s still a
touch of the pilot in the watch with the large aviator-style crown.
With 550 pieces, the movement looks to be beautifully finished and it
should be for the price.
In a 20-piece limited edition, 15 pieces will be made with a full
dial and 5 pieces with an open dial. A limited edition of 5 pieces will
be made in platinum. Tutima has arrived in the big leagues.
Price - USD 175,000
Jaeger Le-Coultre Master Minute Repeater
The Master Minute Repeater features an extraordinarily pure
tone, made possible by a crystal gong which was the result of joint research
conducted by the engineers of the Manufacture and sound specialists. Precision
and Haute Horlogerie: 15-day power-reserve, two barrels and variable inertia
balance. Qualitative power-reserve indication. Dial revealing the heart of the
mechanism. Marvelously this is one of the only water-resistant minute repeater watches.
Made in 18K pink gold and braced in an alligator strap, the
Master Minute Repeater consists of 43 jewels and 413 parts. Distinguished by it extraordinary purity and intensity, the
crystal-clear sound of the Master Minute Repeater Antoine LeCoultre
asserts it as a new reference in the world of minute repeater watches.
Limited to 200 pieces.
Price - USD 180,000
Piaget Emperador Coussin XL
After creating the world’s thinnest tourbillion, they now
decided to create the world’s thinnest minute repeater. With unparallel
expertise and technique, the Emperador Coussin XL reflects the brand’s glorious
legacy. Less than 9.5 mm thick, the rose gold case has a wide diameter at 48mm.
A lighter case allows the acoustics of the chime mechanism to resonate clearly.
A wide sloping button on the side activates the minute repeater while the crown
resides at the 3 o’clock position. The dial does not exist per say, as the
caliber 1290P movement is transparently seen through the crystal glass housing
rose gold hour markers. Similar to the front, the back seamlessly presents the
mechanics at work. At the 4 o’clock position, an inscription in French
represents that the timepiece was not only produced by one of the greatest, but
also made in one of their most reputed watch factories. Water resistant upto
100 meters, the Emperador has a brown leather strap that enhances the brown
shade of the watch.
Price - USD 250,000
Girard Perregaux 1966 Minute Repeater
This particular Girard-Perregaux really spells out
excellence. Girard-Perregaux 1966 Minute Repeater features a traditional
construction of twin circular metal gongs coiled inside the case. The dial of
this watch is great example of understated classicism. The movement used are
great for both the ears and eyes. It has a meticulously made signature and an
arrow-shaped balance cock. This makes it one of the most outstanding Repeaters.
The creation of the sound relies on a device that requires the presence of two
circular gongs coiled inside the case and small hammers that strike them at
regular intervals. In order to create a vibration to produce the sound that
comes closest to perfection, the tuning of the chimes remains one of the most
delicate elements; one that Girard-Perregaux takes particular care in refining.
The watch contains a hand-wound mechanical movement equipped with a power
reserve of over 4 days, housed in a pink-gold case with a diameter of 42 mm.
Price - USD 287,000
Breguet 5447 Perpetual Calendar Minute Repeater
Montres Breguet continues on its drive to position itself at the very
top of the haute horlogerie pyramid at BaselWorld last year with the
Classique 5447, a minute repeater and perpetual calendar. The slenderness of the gong is determined by the excellent musical ear
and extreme dexterity of the master-watchmaker, since even the smallest
adjustment error can irrevocably destroy the result of long hours of
work. Abraham-Louis Breguet’s invention of the gong spring (a strip of
metal wrapped around a movement) in 1783 made a decisive contribution to
this field by enabling watchmakers to reduce the size of watch cases
and to perfect the quality of the sound.The 5447 houses an entirely hand -engraved movement driving a
complex retrograde jumping-month mechanism, located at 10:30. At the end
of the year, the hand moving across the arc of a circle month indicator
makes an almost instantaneous jump to return to the month of January
and to resume its trajectory. The case is rounded in 18K Rose Gold at a diameter of 40 mm and hand crafted dial in 18K Gold is elegantly engraved on a rose- engine.
Price - USD 299,300.
Hublot Big Bang Minute Repeater
The watch is a world first, as no other minute repeater has
ever been housed in a carbon fiber case. But it’s not just the case that’s made
of carbon. Even the movement’s bridges are made of this space-age material. For
one thing carbon fiber is both durable and lightweight; making it a comfortable
wear for even the larger pieces. On the other hand, the meticulously designed
carbon fiber case and bridges help to create a unique sounding chime by
creating space within the case, which resonates and amplifies the melodious
chimes beautifully. Another unique feature of this watch is that all the three
major complications (tourbillion, cathedral minute repeater and mono-pusher
column-wheel chronograph) are visible from the dial side of the watch; seducing
the wearer with the intricate workings of such a unique and complex piece. One
feature that sets the 44 mm Hublot Minute Repeater aside from others is the
activation bolt or "slider”. Hublot have come up with an intuitive design,
where the minute repeater’s activator is harmoniously integrated into the case
design. Once again, Hublot showcase their philosophy
of "fusion” in their unique ability of taking traditional designs and watch
complications, then translating them into something original, futuristic and
Price - USD 333,300
Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Minute Repeater
Since Parmigiani’s watchmakers restored the watch almost
from scratch, they got acquainted with the intricate mechanism from the 19th
century and decided to re-introduce it as an add-on module for their Caliber
PF321 movement using the 21st century technology.
To make the watch even more complicated, they further
equipped it with a Minute Repeater module with cathedral chimes. The mechanism
includes three planetary gears with four arms, each bearing its corresponding
Arabic numeral from "1″ to "12.” As one can gather from the picture, each hand
successively travels the arc in precisely 60 minutes and then is replaced with
the next hand in line.
The new timekeeper is presented in polished 18-carat white
gold case, with a 45 mm diameter and almost 13 mm in height.
Price - USD 365,200
Louis Vuitton Tambour Minute Repeater
This is the first independently designed and developed high complication
model from LV produced in partnership with La Fabrique du Temps. The
watch incorporates the highly complex minute repeater function together
with a useful mode for contemporary globetrotters.
Visible through both the smoked sapphire glass dial and the transparent
caseback is the manual-wind LV 178 calibre, which chimes the wearer’s
home time and features a 100-hour power reserve. The dial displays both
the ‘home’ and ‘away’ time zone at a glance.
The watch is available in white, rose or yellow gold. The 44 mm case of
the Tambour Minute Repeater is water-resistant to thirty metres.
As with many Louis Vuitton, products the watch can be customised upon
request, with options such as initials, a family crest or an element in
relief, replacing the number 4 under the glass dial. The timepiece is
presented on a black alligator strap.
Price - 379,000
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Skeleton Minute Repeater
The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Minute Repeater Perpetual
Calendar was produced for 60 years, from 1946 through 2006. The discontinuance
was a shock to the watch market, but a jolt of good news to those collectors
fortunate enough to own one. This watch is in platinum This watch has the
loudest, liveliest and prettiest tone one may ever hear from a repeater. The
case is platinum, with the familiar flared lugs that only Vacheron uses. Front
crystal is sapphire and the back crystal is acrylic. Acrylic crystals permit
the repeater tone to sound more purely and louder. There are four calendar
setting buttons on the case sides. Case dimensions are 37mm diameter by 10.5mm
thick. Dial is silver with applied hour markers and sunken
subdials. Movement is the manual winding Vacheron Constantin Caliber 1755 with
30 jewels and adjusted to five positions and temperature. The construction of
this movement and its finishing are extremely beautiful. The repeater hammer
and gongs can be seen at work, when the repeater is activated.
Strap is a black crocodile Vacheron strap with platinum tang
Price - 407,000
Jaquet Droz’s Bird Repeater
The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater, as with many other models
from this artisanal watch brand owned by the Swatch Group, takes its
inspiration from the creations of Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721-1790), a Swiss-born
watchmaker. The wristwatch reflects not only horological expertise, but also
gives one a glimpse of the artistic perception inspired from the centuries ago.
Operated by a cam system, the three- dimensional presence on the dial comes to
life at the push of a button setting the animation in play. One bird bobs down
to feed the little one while the other spreads its wings, revealing an array of
colored feathers. Simultaneously the egg in the nest opens, giving birth to a
chick. It is a remarkable sight to have on a watch. To add, the push-button
also triggers a minute repeater, which strikes the hours, quarters, and minutes
as the birds put on their show. The system uses a cathedral gong whose
resonant, mellow tones are generated by two turns around the mechanism. The
watch, which required two years of development, is offered in a 47-mm case in
18k rose gold and on a rolled-edge, handmade, black alligator leather strap
with a rose-gold folding clasp. Limited edition production of only eight pieces
with each engraved with a series number on the case back.
Price - USD 493,500
Ulysse Nardin - The Great Alexander
The unconquerable hero of Greek history and symbol of strength inspires
Ulysse Nardin's Alexander the Great Westminster Carillon Tourbillon
Jaquemarts Minute Repeater, an exceptional timepiece that showcases the
mastery of Ulysse Nardin watchmakers. Technically advanced, while
keeping the storied tradition of mechanical watchmaking intact, the
Alexander the Great Minute Repeater is as mighty as the warrior for whom
it is named.Its mechanics are housed in a 44 mm case of 18-karat white gold or rose
gold 4N, and are water-resistant to 30 meters. The visible one-minute
tourbillon is integrated into the dial, its bridge created in the same
shape as those used on the tourbillons James Pellaton produced for
Ulysse Nardin at the beginning of the 20th century. The superbly
finished basic movement features 36 jewels with a diameter of 27.60 and a
height of 8.50 mm. Each part of the movement is decorated, angled and
Price - USD 685,000
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