Vintage watches combine history and classic style. Repeater watches chime the hours and minutes, which was a useful feature for telling time in the dark before the invention of illuminated displays. These pocket and wristwatches are highly valued by collectors. Before buying a vintage repeater watch, you should understand the types that are available and then choose a style based on the hallmarks that make the watch a classic timepiece.
Types of Vintage Repeater Watch
Complications are the special features of vintage watches beyond the normal movement. The complication for a repeater watch is the regular chime. There are hour repeater watches, in addition to minute repeater watches that have three different gongs that express the hours, quarter hours, and minutes. Other versions are the five-minute repeater, ten-minute repeater, and quarter repeater. A special version of the watch, the dumb repeater, has a hammer that strikes a metal box on the case to produce a vibration instead of an audible tone. Buyers should listen for a clear tone when the hammers in the vintage repeater watch strike the gong. A dull or tinny sound sometimes signals a problem with the complication.
Styles of Vintage Repeater Watch
A repeater pocket watch has a classic style. Many of these timepieces are made of gold and have white porcelain insets. They attach to a chain to keep them secure. Repeater wristwatches have leather bands and gold cases. They also have porcelain insets, in addition to moon and sun dials on the face. Many of the most valuable repeater watches have elaborate automatons that strike the gong to sound the chime. Common designs include knights in armour and Father Time with his scythe.
Brands of Vintage Repeater Watch
Patek Philippe repeater watches are valued because of their history and exquisite designs. The complicated movements are attractive to collectors, and the limited number of vintage pieces makes them highly sought after. Extremely rare Vacheron Constantin repeater watches have a unique ultra-slim design and platinum or rose gold cases. Only a handful of these watches are in circulation. The range of timepieces from Audemars Piguet made in the early 19th century appear as display pieces in museums, and include one of the smallest minute repeaters in the world.