Harry Winston Midnight Minute Repeater
At the very pinnacle of the hierarchy of traditional complications is the minute repeater, a timepiece that chimes the time “on demand”. The Harry Winston Midnight Minute Repeater re-imagines the classic beauty and compelling artistry of this most noble of complications to create a minute repeater whose unusual design combines all the romance of traditional repeaters, with a visual feast that could only have come from Harry Winston.
The minute repeater is unique among complications because all other complications are essentially extensions of the basic visual nature of telling time. But in fact, the very first clocks ever made may have told the time not visually, but acoustically, by chiming the hours. To work its magic, the repeater mechanism has to "read" the time told by a watch, and translate that into sound. To ring the hours, quarter hours, and minutes on two gongs, a repeater functions uses an incredibly complex system of racks and levers to first determine the position of the hour and minute hands, and then cause two hammers to strike the two hardened steel circular gongs in a precise sequence. No two repeaters are alike. The tempo, tone, and volume of each are the result of laborious hand-adjustment, and so, each repeater is a unique work of art.
The Harry Winston Midnight Minute Repeater allows its owner to experience both the musical magic, and the mechanical fascination, of this remarkable complication. The dial is designed in such a way as to make a number of the most critical repeater components visible, allowing the wearer to observe them in operation. The excentered hours and minutes dial permits two large apertures in the dial which expose the normally hidden repeater mechanism, and also allow the hammers to be seen as they strike the gongs.
This type of construction is unusual –in most repeaters, the gongs and hammers are located at the back of the watch and if visible at all can only be seen by taking the watch off the wrist; the actual repeater mechanism is usually hidden under the dial. Here, the full sequence of events in the actuation and functioning of the repeater is made both visible, and audible, from the movement of the beautifully hand-finished levers and racks, to the striking of the two hammers –embellished discreetly with the letters H and W –on the circular gongs. The gongs themselves form two spirals which lead the eye through the gracefully nested circles from which the dial is composed.
The complexity of the movement reflects the sophistication of the complication. Harry Winston’s caliber HW1006 is composed of 369 parts, with all the beauty that only the finest hand-finishing can create. Offered as a limited edition of only 20 pieces in 18K rose gold, and 20 pieces in 18K white gold, the Midnight Minute Repeater is a feast for the eyes, music to the ears, and a spectacular new star in the Midnight Collection’s constellation of fine watchmaking.