A repeater complication is a true marvel in modern horology. When a slide lever is pressed on the watch-case, the timepiece rings out the time through a series of chimes. A minute repeater strikes out the hours, quarters and minutes on request while a quarter repeater strikes only for hours and quarters. Repeaters helped the visually impaired tell time and before the spread of electricity, repeaters would help tell time in the dark. Today, minute repeaters are one of the most complex watch mechanisms and are highly coveted by watch enthusiasts for their masterful engineering and beautiful acoustics.
Learn more about Minute Repeaters from Patek Philippe
Telling Time with a Minute Repeater
After pressing the slide lever on the side of the case, chimes will ring out the time in hours, quarter hours and minutes. Hours are signified by a low tone, quarters by two tones (high followed by low) and one high tone for each minute after the quarter.
The following ring would denote that the time was 4:18 because there are four hour chimes, followed by one quarter chime and three minute chimes:
Dong Dong Dong Dong….. Ding Dong….. Ding Ding Ding