Watch enthusiast have debated long about the relevance of a Minute Repeater complication in today’s day and age. While I agree that it was a charming feature of pocket watches, I feel that the uniqueness of the Minute Repeater complication is under used currently.
Typically, a Minute Repeater makes a watch chime out the time, at the push of a lever, which is located at the side of the case. Audemars Piguet has been mastering this complication for a while now, and are known to repairing chiming pocket watches in the Vallée de Joux. I like the fact that the first production of the minute repeater will be a Royal Oak.
The art of making the perfect Minute Repeater requires a lot of research and preparation. The design, the sounds and the technology to be perfected, can take years. In the case of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonner, a base concept chiming watch was worked upon in 2015, to help bring the watch to perfection.
A total of eight years were invested in acoustic testing and the three patents that go on to make this watch. The new Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonnerie is not the same as the 2015 concept, but it has used some of the horological advancements that were imbibed in the conceptual watch.
Impact of Titanium and Platinum
The new Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonnerie sports a ‘Grande Tapisserie’ pattern guilloche dial – which is much expected – and is teamed with white gold Royal Oak hands and applied hour markers. The real choice comes in the metals – titanium case, with a titanium bracelet or a platinum case, with a leather strap.
It’s a tough one, because the titanium case is teamed with a blue dial and the platinum case with a black dial. Thankfully, the two variations have the same case size – 42 mm, so the selection is now based on what metal and finish you prefer.
It’s a given that you will ‘hear’ the time in the darkness, but nevertheless, AP has coated the hands and indices with a luminous coat. Apart from the minute repeater function, the watch hosts a Small Seconds complication.
The minute repeater function can be activated via a slide on the left case flank. It is powered by caliber 2959, which has a 72-hour power reserve. The semi-solid caseback has perforations around the perimeter, which is protected by a membrane that enhances the sound of the hammers that hit the gong, as each chime comes from within.
The titanium model is for $321,700 and the platinum model is for $386,600. Limited to 20 pieces in each variation, check it here.