The IWC Portuguese Minute Repeater is a beautiful interpretation of watchmaking’s “Queen of Complications.” Invented more than 2 centuries ago as a means to be able to tell time audibly, the dauntingly complex mechanism of the minute repeater strikes the hours, quarter hours and minutes upon request with the pull of a sliding lever or button. Irrespective of manufacturer, the minute repeater is revered by watchmakers and collectors alike as one of the most hallowed–and virtuoso–complications extant.
The IWC Portuguese Minute Repeater’s 95290 caliber movement, based upon a legendary IWC calibre from 1927, comprises hundreds of densely packed components; cams, snails, and racks all interact to translate the position of the hands into precisely coordinated strikes upon two meticulously tuned steel gongs arranged around the periphery of the movement, whenever the slide-piece on the left side of the case is operated. Hours sound with a low-note, and quarter-hours with a high/low combination strike, while the individual minutes are indicated by high-note peals.
Further traditional elements which are notable in this watch include the Breguet overcoil hairspring, and a screw-weighted balance, which beats at a traditional 18,000 vibrations per hour. The beautifully classic lines of the IWC Portuguese Minute Repeater are perfectly suited to the acoustic masterpiece within, and not merely from the standpoint of style: the generous case diameter allows the perfectly tuned sounds produced by the gongs to expand fully, making for a beautiful and sonorous chime – a hallmark of a masterfully crafted repeating mechanism.
The IWC Portuguese Minute Repeater is available in a limited worldwide production of 100 pieces in platinum and 250 each in 18K white gold and 18K rose gold, respectively. For the passionate collector of haute horlogerie, the IWC Portuguese Minute Repeater is a watch to be cherished.