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.
IWC Portugieser Minute Repeater IW544906
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.