Portuguese Family

Portuguese Minute Repeater

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reference 5449

Even for Portuguese mariners, the ship’s bell had transformed the abstract notion of time into something acoustic. In the Portuguese Minute Repeater, depressing the slide causes a strike train to sound the time out audibly in hours, quarters and minutes. With a hunter-style 98950-calibre pocket watch movement and stylistic elements from the Jones calibres.

Highlights

  • Limited edition of 500 watches each in platinum and 18-carat red gold
  • Hand-Wound
  • Minute Repeater
  • Three-Quarter Bridge
  • Diameter 44 mm

Price: $93,200 — $116,000

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Acoustic Signs of the Time

For Portuguese explorers out on the open sea, timekeeping was of crucial importance. Using a log together with a special sandglass – the log glass – they were able to measure the vessel’s speed. The ship’s bell, on the other hand, was used to signal the beginning and end of sailors’ watches: the bell would be struck once every half-hour and twice every full hour, with four double strikes signalling the end of a watch. The abstract concept of time was thus being converted into acoustic signs even back then. In the Portuguese Minute Repeater, depressing the repeating slide causes a delicate strike train to sound the time out audibly in hours, quarters and minutes: the full hours on a lower tuned gong, the quarters with double strikes, and the number of minutes that have elapsed since the last quarter on the higher of the two gongs. The repeating mechanism consists of over 200 individual parts working together as if they were in a mechanical orchestra. An all-or-nothing piece ensures that the chimes are only struck if the repeating slide is fully depressed. The watch is equipped with the 98950-calibre hunter pocket watch movement, which comes with stylistic elements from the early F. A. Jones calibres. Both versions are limited to 500 watches.

Variations

Details

  • Reference IW544906
  • Case Material platinum
  • Bracelet/Strap black alligator leather strap
  • Dial Colour silver-plated
  • Jewels 52
  • Calibre 98950
  • Price $116,000
  • Limited edition of 500 watches each in platinum and 18-carat red gold
  • Mechanical movement
  • Hand-wound
  • IWC-manufactured 98950 calibre (98000-calibre family)
  • 46-hour power reserve when fully wound
  • Minute repeater for hours, quarters and minutes
  • Small hacking seconds
  • Glucydur®* beryllium alloy balance with high-precision adjustment cam on balance arms
  • Breguet spring
  • Three-quarter bridge
  • Sapphire glass, arched edge, antireflective coating on both sides
  • See-through sapphire-glass back
  • Case height 14 mm
  • Diameter 44 mm
  • *IWC Schaffhausen is not the owner of the Glucydur® trademark.

  • Reference IW544907
  • Case Material 18-carat red gold
  • Bracelet/Strap brown alligator leather strap
  • Dial Colour silver-plated
  • Jewels 52
  • Calibre 98950
  • Price $93,200
  • Limited edition of 500 watches each in platinum and 18-carat red gold
  • Mechanical movement
  • Hand-wound
  • IWC-manufactured 98950 calibre (98000-calibre family)
  • 46-hour power reserve when fully wound
  • Minute repeater for hours, quarters and minutes
  • Small hacking seconds
  • Glucydur®* beryllium alloy balance with high-precision adjustment cam on balance arms
  • Breguet spring
  • Three-quarter bridge
  • Sapphire glass, arched edge, antireflective coating on both sides
  • See-through sapphire-glass back
  • Case height 14 mm
  • Diameter 44 mm
  • *IWC Schaffhausen is not the owner of the Glucydur® trademark.

Watch Viewer

  • IW544906 Watch Front
  • IW544906 Watch Back
  • IW544907 Watch Front
  • IW544907 Watch Back

Enlarge

Minute Repeater

It took 50,000 hours to develop the highly complex minute repeater strike train for the Grande Complication and the Portuguese Minute Repeater. It is operated by an eye-catching repeating slide on the left-hand side of the case and chimes out the time in crystal-clear tones: the hours on the lower-pitched of the two gongs, followed by a double strike on both gongs for the quarters and finally a single strike on the higher-pitched gong for the minutes. Every gong is individually handmade and carefully tuned for pitch and tonal purity. The all-or-nothing piece, as it is known, ensures that the mechanism will never chime out an incomplete – and thus incorrect – series of acoustic tones even if the repeating slide is released too early.

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