HAUTE TIME : Audemars Piguet Millenary Minute Repeater

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 The lightness and rigidity of titanium make it a perfect sounding board for the gongs in the watch, giving them a volume and clarity that more conventional precious metals can’t match.

It’s the oldest complication in watchmaking: a timepiece that chimes the time. The newest one from the world renowned house of Audemars Piguet is as seductive a blend of old school and new wave watchmaking as a connoisseur could wish. Chiming the time is as old as mechanical clocks themselves. Eventually clocks and watches progressed from just chiming the passing hours to being able to ring the hours, nearest quarter hour and minutes past the quarter hour.

Audemars Piguet is one of a handful of watchmaking houses that can make minute repeaters in-house. The newest in their line of repeaters, the Millenary Minute Repeater, is not for the faint of heart, lazy of mind or light of wallet. It’s the first minute repeater from Audemars Piguet in their unusual and eye catching oval Millenary case. In addition to the chiming mechanism, it also contains the new Audemars Piguet Direct Impulse escapement. The escapement is the part of the watch that actually keeps time, and one that in most watches needs oil, but the Direct Impulse escapement is designed to run with no need for lubrication. You might expect such a rarity to be clad in gold or platinum, but instead the Millenary Minute Repeater is cased in titanium.  Why? The lightness and rigidity of titanium make it a perfect sounding board for the gongs in the watch, giving them a volume and clarity that more conventional precious metals can’t match. This ultra-rare complication is not only a sound investment for the future –it’s a piece of mechanical magic that gives a voice to the music of time.

Jack Forster is the U.S. editor-in-chief of Revolution (www.revo-online.com), the world’s finest resource for lovers of fine watchmaking

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