With a complication originally born out of necessity yet now regarded as one of the ultimate expressions of mechanical watchmaking, the watches in today’s Buying Guide do more than just tell time. Each and every one of them is a wrist-worn mechanical masterpiece in some form, from the very refined to the boldly extravagant. The connection between the five? Besides ultra-complex movements, exotic materials and monumental price tags, they are united by their ability to produce sound! That’s right, today’s selection of watches all have a chiming mechanism of some sort on board!
A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Minute Repeater
When A. Lange & Söhne introduced the Richard Lange Minute Repeater during Watches & Wonders 2022, it instantly struck a chord with us. It is a very fitting expression of refinement on one hand and Lange’s mechanical prowess on the other. At first glance, the 39mm wide and 9.7mm thin watch looks like a very classical dress watch, but there’s more to it than that. A subtle slider in the caseband activates the minute repeater mechanism that chimes the time upon demand. Finished to the highest standards – it is a Lange after all – the movement can be seen from the back. Retailing for EUR 409,000, it costs an absolute fortune, but it is one of A. Lange & Söhne’s best watches ever!
For more information, please visit ALange-Soehne.com.
Quick Facts – 39mm x 9.7mm – 950 platinum case, polished and brushed – minute repeater slider on left case flank – sapphire crystal front and back – white enamel over 18k white gold dial – blued steel hands – black Roman numerals and tracks – calibre L122.1, hand-wound – 415 parts – 40 jewels – 21,600vph – 72h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, chiming mechanism with minute repeater – black leather strap – boutique exclusive of 50 pieces – EUR 409,000
Jacob & Co. Opera Godfather 50th Anniversary
From ultra-refined to over-the-top, the Jacob & Co. Opera Godfather 50th Anniversary takes us down an entirely different path. Not a minute repeater or chiming time complication per se, this marvel of engineering features a miniature music box complication instead! Dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the iconic The Godfather movie, it plays the famous soundtrack at the push of a button. Regulated by a triple-axis tourbillon and riddled with movie references, the entire display rotates as well. The extravaganza doesn’t end with just the dial animations, as 13 detailed movie scenes are etched into the caseband by a laser. Limited to 50 pieces, each one will cost you USD 500,000.
For more information, please visit Jacob&Co.com.
Quick Facts – 49mm x 23mm – white gold case with laser-engraved movie scenes – domed sapphire crystal – caseback with flip-up time setting crown – violin-shaped crank for winding – push-button for double pin-and-roller music box – black dial with gold indexes and blued hands – central red rose – calibre JCFM04, hand-wound – 658 parts – 21,600vph – 58 jewels – triple-axis tourbillon regulator – black alligator strap – limited edition of 50 pieces – USD 500,000
Omega Speedmaster Chrono Chime
Just a couple of months ago, Omega wowed us all with the release of the most complex Speedmaster ever, the Chrono Chime. It not only stands out with its full Sedna Gold case and bracelet or its aventurine enamel bezel and dial but mostly for its very unusual and mind-boggling movement. Taking six years to develop and protected by 17 patents, the movement is comprised of 575 parts. These work in harmony to not only keep track of current time and elapsed time but also to chime elapsed time at the push of a button. And to top it all off, it also has a split-seconds mechanism! The full details can be read here. Not limited in number but more so in annual production capacity, the Omega Speedmaster Chrono Chime comes in at CHF 450,000.
For more information, please visit OmegaWatches.com.
Quick Facts – 45mm x 17.2mm – Sedna Gold case, brushed and polished – fixed bezel with aventurine enamel tachymeter insert – sapphire crystal front and back – crown with integrated chronograph monopusher with rattrapante pusher and chrono chime pusher – blue aventurine enamel dial – guilloché sub-dials – exposed chiming hammers – gold hands – calibre 1932, hand-wound – 575 parts – 36,000vph – 60h power reserve – certified Master Chronometer – co-axial escapement – hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph seconds, chronograph 15-minutes, elapsed time chiming mechanism – CHF 450,000
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater
The hugely successful Bvlgari Octo Finissimo range has been with us for almost a decade. Back in 2014, the sporty chic and architectural collection made its debut with the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon. Conquering new terrain in ultra-thin watchmaking, Bvlgari holds multiple records, including the thinnest repeater watch ever made. Last year this was updated with a new, more vibrant blue look instead of the monochromatic titanium of the original. Several tricks are used to ensure a good sound, such as the cutouts in the dial to allow sound waves to resonate throughout the whole case. The watch itself comes in at a slim 6.61mm in height, with the movement being just 3,12mm thin. It retails for EUR 195,000, which seems like a bargain compared to the others on this list!
For more information, please visit Bvlgari.com.
Quick Facts – 40mm x 6.61mm – sandblasted titanium case – minute repeater pusher integrated into the caseband – sapphire crystal front and back – matte blue dial – cutout markers and small seconds sub-dial – openworked hour and minute hands – hand-wound calibre BVL 362 (3.12mm thick) – 21,600vph – 42-hour power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, minute repeater – blue rubber strap and titanium buckle – EUR 195,000
Chopard L.U.C. Full Strike Sapphire
The final entry to this Buying Guide is the rarest, as it is limited to just five pieces. The incredible Chopard L.U.C. Full Strike Sapphire exposes all of its innards through the full sapphire crystal case. But that’s not all, as it also features Chopard’s patented monobloc sapphire crystal and gongs system. This amplifies the sound beyond the case, resulting in a louder, clearer sound. It’s activated by pressing the crown-integrated pusher, also made of sapphire crystal. With everything exposed, it’s a must that everything is finished to the highest possible standards. As a result, the COSC chronometer-certified movement also bears the Geneva Seal of quality. The price is said to be around CHF 450,000.
For more information, please visit Chopard.com.
Quick Facts – 42.50mm x 11.55mm – full sapphire crystal case – sapphire crown with integrated minute repeater pusher – openworked sapphire crystal dial – applied rhodium-plated hour markers – rhodium-plated hands – calibre L.U.C. 08.01-1, in-house – manually wound – 533 components – 28,800vph – 60h power reserve – COSC-certified chronometer, Poinçon de Genève hallmark – Chopard-patented monobloc sapphire crystal and gongs – hours, minutes, small seconds, power reserve indicator, minute repeater – grey alligator leather strap – limited to 5 pieces – priced around CHF 450,000