Much like every great invention, the minute repeater was born of necessity, long before mankind enjoyed the convenience of electricity, solving an apparently simple yet long-standing conundrum : how to tell the time in the dark.
Ever since its founding in 1875, Audemars Piguet has marked the art of the striking minute repeater and it has long been regarded as a significant part of its heritage. It made the first minute-repeater wristwatch in 1892, and Audemars Piguet became one of the first manufacturers to revive the art of the minute repeater in the late 1980s after it had been overlooked for decades.
The new Millenary Minute Repeater in pink gold is a hand-wound wristwatch with an oval case and three-dimensional architecture that complements a sophisticated movement featuring Audemars Piguet’s own escapement, double balance spring, striking mechanism and gongs. Inspired by the work of French, 18th century clockmaker Robert Robin, the assembly combines the high efficiency of a direct-impulse escapement with the reliability of a traditional, Swiss lever escapement, while eliminating the need to lubricate the pallet stones. Furthermore, the repeater mechanism’s winding system has been purposebuilt for this watch, with the sliding trigger at 9 o’clock as usual, but the striking barrel at 2 o’clock.
What’s more, the escapement’s regulating organ is composed not just of one balance spring, but of two placed top to tail. This flat, opposite-facing double spring system ensures automatic compensation for potential poising flaws and eliminates the need for the ‘overcoil’ terminal curves.
All in all, the double balance spring arrangement, combined with the singleimpulse mode of action on the balance wheel ensure reduced perturbation to the regulating organ and therefore more efficiency and precision.
The oval-shaped Millenary case of brushed pink gold and polished pink gold bezel frame an openworked dial, revealing a wealth of hand-bevelled edges and interior angles as well as the overall anthracite-coloured, galvanic treatment. Note, too, the beautifully ‘blued’ gong of the minute repeater which is visible from the top.