Audemars Piguet @ Millenary Minute Repeater

Audemars Piguet Millenary Minute Repeater is much like every great invention, the minute repeater was born of necessity. This most revered and beguiling of horological complications was invented, long before mankind enjoyed the convenience of electricity, in order to solve an apparently simple yet long-standing conundrum: how to tell the time in the dark. The striking mechanism is the oldest complication of all and, as early as the 15th century, certain pocket watches were capable of sounding the hours in passing, with quarter repeating mechanisms that were able to signal the hours and quarters on demand appearing almost 200 years later. Such watches, endowed with a mechanical 'memory,' are now seen as the greatest demonstration of horological mastery and the exclusive preserve of a very few movement manufacturers. Ever since its founding in 1875, Audemars Piguet has embraced the art of the minute repeater and it has long been regarded as a significant part of the company's heritage as a maker of both pocket watches and of wrist watches. As time went by, it added other complications, such as a perpetual calendar, a chronograph and, in 1885, power reserve indication. This wealth of experience enabled the company to make the first minute repeater wristwatch in 1892, a masterpiece of miniaturisation that came to be regarded as central to the brand's make up. As a result, 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 rose gold perpetuates a line of complicated Audemars Piguet wristwatches which includes such exceptional pieces as the Tradition d'Excellence No. 5, the MC12, the Deadbeat seconds and the Carbon One. Cased in pink gold the watch features hours, minutes, seconds and minute repeater functions together with a specifically developed winding system making it - like its illustrious forebears - an exquisite blend of technical sophisticaton, innovative materials and watch making savoir faire. Its distinctively-shaped case provides an instantly recognisable setting for the eye-catching, gold with enamel subdials which beg closer inspection of the remarkable mechanism within. What the viewer discovers is that Audemars Piguet's watch makers have blended the long standing tradition of minute repeater construction with the manufacture's very latest technical breakthroughs, not least of which is the AP escapement.

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