In today’s world of illuminated electronic clocks, one may easily forget that round-the clock time-telling was not always this easy. Before the invention of electricity, when night fell, there was no way to learn the time in the darkness. The minute-repeating complication for watches and clocks solved this dilemma by making time not only seen but heard. The simple press of a button or slide of a band in the case activates a mechanism within the device that chimes at varying pitches to indicate the hour, half quarter hour, and even minute. The minute-repeating mechanism was first patented by English clockmaker Daniel Quare in the late 17th century, with the first minute-repeating wristwatch produced in the late 19th century.
“Minute-repeaters are probably the most desired complication amongst today’s wristwatch connoisseurs,” comments Sam Hines, Head of the Watches department in New York. “Not only is the novelty of the audible feature accessible to all, but our clients view it as a luxury complication because it requires incredible technical skill to create the variety of sounds and movements within the confines of the incredibly thin case.” Because of the mechanical precision required, makers like Patek Philippe never release their minuterepeating watches without testing each by hand. Hines adds, “There is an extreme level of quality control that give buyers confidence that they are acquiring a watch of the utmost precision and refinement.”
Watches & Wristwatches