The minute repeater is without a question one of the most complicated and prestigious complications ever made. For those who don’t exactly know what a minute repeater does, allow me to make a quick recap:
A repeater is a kind of complication that can be housed in a wristwatch, pocket watch or mechanical clock. The repeater chimes the hours (and sometimes quarters and/or minutes) by pressing a button.
Why Was This Invented?
Repeaters come in all shapes and sizes. Some repeaters only strike the number of hours, other repeaters can chime using different tones and notes to display the hours, quarters and minutes. This is of course all powered by old-fashioned springs and gears.
Repeaters should not be confused with striking clocks. A striking clock gives the time through a chime every hour, and sometimes half hour. Think of the bell of a church or cathedral, or a cuckoo clock. It just makes a sound every hour, regardless if anyone wants to actually know the time.
A repeater is much more complicated. A repeater only gives the time when you push a button or pull a lever. When it’s untouched, it works in silence like a regular watch or clock.