How to Use a Minute Repeater Watch

If Leonardo da Vinci was a watch maker his greatest work of art may have been the minute repeater. Utilizing tonally enchanting music, the minute repeater is appealing to anyone with the sense of hearing. To a watch enthusiast no complication is more beautiful, more admired, or more revered than the repeater.

The minute repeater was first developed in an era before the widespread use of electric lighting and was a useful way to tell the time in the dark when the watch dial and hands could not be easily seen.

Though Minute Repeaters may no longer be used for their original purpose they remain a highly revered and valued watch complication amongst watch enthusiasts. Minute Repeaters are often made in limited numbers and can be very expensive.

The minute repeater is activated by pushing a slide along the side of the case. This winds a separate spring that powers the repeater. Releasing the slide releases the spring, which moves the repeater mechanism through its chiming sequence.

In order to tell time using the minute repeater you activate the minute repeater and listen to three different chimes to distinguish the hours, quarter hours, and minutes. The hours are signaled by one tone, the quarters are signaled by a sequence of two tones and the minutes by another distinct tone.

Curious if you can master this long lost skill?



Once you’ve got the hang of it check out our selection of these incredible timepieces… there’s no time like the present to treat your wrist and ears!

How to Use a Minute Repeater Watch