Tambour Répétition Minutes in White Gold Tambour XL (44mm), Black Alligator Strap, LV 178 Calibre Mechanical movement
Minute repeater watches have always been considered by well-versed collectors as the mechanical benchmark in terms of horology craftsmanship. Rather than a long metaphysical discussion of this time- keeper that gives the time in music and allows the second of our five senses to appreciate temporality, here are three points summarising what you need to know about the queen of complications.
Striking watches are said to have been invented by Daniel Quare (1649–1724), a brilliant and meticulous English watchmaker. It is also reported that Thomas Mudge, another Englishman who was active between 1738 and 1794, invented the mechanism, allowing a quarter repeater watch already featuring two gongs to sound the minutes. This was made possible thanks to the introduction of an additional rack and a wheel with four leaves, each with 14 steps. This star wheel, indexed to the hour wheel of the minute wheel, features a microscopic mechanism known as a “surprise”, in addition to its 14 teeth or shrouds (one per minute). Its purpose is to prevent the watch from striking again 14 times or just once on the hour.
The aim of a mechanism of this kind was to provide the time without the need to consult the dial. In other words, it was now possible to know what time it was without having to take the timepiece out of your pocket, thereby clearly showing your boredom. Later, when it became customary for people to gather together in closer quarters, watchmakers invented à tact and à toc watches. Their mechanisms gave the time through vibrations rather than sound in response to this new social issue.
Throughout the 19th century and until the invention of the train, coach watches chimed out the hours when the half-light made it impossible to read the watch’s dial….
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Technical details: Louis Vuitton Tambour Répétition Minutes
Tambour XL (44mm) / Case in white gold 18k / Strap in black alligator