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Three Mechanical Marvels Marching to The Beat of Their Own Drums

The minute repeater is a remarkable chiming complication activated by the striking of a gong spring meticulously crafted by master watchmakers with supreme dexterity.

By Debbie Hathway

Breguet Classique 7637 Répétition Minutes

The Breguet Classique 7637 Répétition Minutes pays homage to Abraham-Louis Breguet’s innovative spirit in watchmaking, featuring a chiming mechanism and meticulous craftsmanship. The minute repeater, a small mechanical masterpiece, requires skilled artisans and over a month of work to create – an art that Breguet has been perpetuating at its Vallée de Joux Manufacture for 250 years.

This watch’s minimalist dial, crafted using the rare grand feu enamelling technique, showcases Breguet’s aesthetic and technical mastery. The Arabic numerals, minutes track, and Breguet logo are highlighted in powdered silver, complemented by open-tipped gold Breguet hands. The minute repeater is activated via the dedicated slide at 9 o’clock. The new Classique Répétition Minutes, available in white gold, has a black alligator leather strap and a gold triple-blade folding clasp.

A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater Honeygold

The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater Honeygold is a unique mechanical wristwatch by A. Lange & Söhne. It features a jumping numerals display and a decimal minute repeater, meaning it’s the only one to combine these attributes. Limited to 30 watches, it boasts a grey dial made of Lange-exclusive 18ct honey gold, contributing to its distinctive sound. The honey-gold alloy of the case serves as a resonant body, producing a clear, reverberant sound with a rich and warm timbre.

Photo credit – Lange Uhren GmbH

Anthony de Haas, the Director of Product Development at A. Lange & Söhne, who is also a passionate drummer, explains: “Every minute repeater has its own, one-of-a-kind sound. Apart from the gongs and gong hammers, the case material has the greatest impact on the sound. Similar to a musical instrument, different tone colours and sound impressions are created according to the material used. That is also the case with our novelty in honey gold. It sounds different to all other materials ‒ truly distinctive.”

Photo credit – Lange Uhren GmbH

The complex mechanism is carefully tuned by master watchmakers, and the gongs are hand-tuned for pure, resonant sound. The watch’s operating mechanism includes a unique button for triggering the repeater (so there is no need for a slide, typical of this complication), and safety mechanisms guarantee its flawless performance. The constant-force escapement in the manufacture calibre LO43.5 ensures rate stability, and the movement is meticulously hand-finished with 771 parts. The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater Honeygold joins previous platinum and white gold models and is exclusively available at select A. Lange & Söhne boutiques.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce “Rainbow” Minute Repeater – Haute Joaillerie

Following the success of the Aquanaut Luce “Rainbow” Chronograph Reference 7968/300R-001 in 2022, Patek Philippe expands its “contemporary casual chic” line for women with the first Grand Complication: the Reference 5260/1455R-001 minute repeater. This Haute Joaillerie treasure is adorned with 130 baguette-cut diamonds (8.66 ct) on the dial and 779 multicoloured baguette-cut sapphires (45.05 ct) forming a rainbow on the bezel, case-band flanks, and bracelet. The “invisible setting” technique showcases expert gem-setting on the dial, case flanks, and bracelet links.

Patek Philippe, 5260/1455R

The dial maintains excellent legibility with multicoloured sapphire hour markers, a diamond hour ring, a ruby-set hour hand, and a minutes hand adorned with blue sapphires. The self-winding R 27 calibre with two classic gongs, visible through the sapphire crystal case-back, showcases the legendary acoustic prowess of Patek Philippe chiming watches. The minute-repeater slide-piece on the left side of the case is set with multicoloured baguette sapphires, and the rose gold bracelet features a patented fold-over clasp secured by four independent catches.

Patek Philippe, 5260/1455R

Debbie Hathway

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