Swiss luxury watch brand CORUM unveils Admiral’s Cup Legend 46 Minute Repeater Acoustica, a world première equipped with four gongs and four hammers, simultaneously striking in pairs.
With the extraordinary Admiral’s Cup Legend 46 Minute Repeater Acoustica, Corum presents a minute repeater equipped with a four-hammer movement. Already considered in itself to be one of the most sophisticated horological complications thanks to its tiny racks, cams and snails, the striking mechanism of a minute repeater watch is magnified here by two additional gongs. For the first time in watchmaking history, two gongs instead of one simultaneously strike the gongs on demand, thus generating not a note, but instead a chord. This splendid object will be issued in a ten-piece limited edition, including a white gold version entirely set with 650 diamonds.
The audible indication of time is the most ancient of all horological complications. In an era when the darkness was lit up only by candles, some of the most talented watchmakers undertook to make time speak out – or rather ring out. As early as the late 15th century, there are records of the first pocket-watches striking the hours “in passing”, like church bells. 200 years later came the invention of the quarter repeater mechanism chiming the hours and quarters on demand; and subsequently the minute repeater, providing an additional audible indication of the minutes.
It takes exceptional skills to create this complex system of “mechanical memory”, especially since it is miniaturized so to fit a wristwatch format: feeler-spindles pick up the information on the hour, quarter and minute snails, and then transmit them to levers triggering the hammers. Each note is hand adjusted, a process calling for a very sensitive musical ear. On the Admiral’s Cup Legend 46 Minute Repeater Acoustica, the two lowest-pitched gongs – C (do) for the hours and E (mi) for the minutes – have been placed on the back of the movement, while the highest-pitched ones – G (sol) for the hours and C (Do) one octave up from middle C for the minutes – appear on the upper side.
An additional touch of technical refinement is lent by a device designed to guarantee the model’s water resistance at 30 meters: the mechanism, which has its own power reserve thanks to a dedicated barrel, is activated neither by a pusher, nor by a sliding bolt, but instead by pivoting the bezel by 27°.
By way of example, at 3.35 am, the watch will strike three C-G chords for the hours, twice with a combination of the chords for the quarters, and five E-C chords for the minutes. Such a device is not only melodious, but also distinctly more audible than that of an ordinary minute repeater, since two gongs on either side of the watch resonate simultaneously at each strike.
The magnificent hand-wound CO 102 caliber powering the Admiral’s Cup Legend 46 Minute Repeater Acoustica, which is exclusive to Corum, is beautifully staged within the legendary twelve-sided case that has forged the legend of this collection. The absence of any dial highlights the hand-finished movement featuring bridges and a mainplate that are satinbrushed, circular-grained and adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif. Surrounded by the acoustic rings, topped by an inner bezel ring engraved with nautical pennants, it may also be admired through the glareproofed sapphire crystal pane set into the exhibition back. Endowed with a 100-hour power reserve, it drives the hour and minute hands, and of course the minute repeater function.
This exceptional model with its generous 46 mm diameter will be produced in a 10-piece limited edition: six in grade 5 titanium fitted with a black alligator leather strap secured by a pin buckle; three in 5N 18K red gold on an identical strap; and an 18-carat white gold version set with 614 round diamonds adorning the case, the crown guard and the pin buckle, as well as 36 baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel – composing a grand total of 11.91 carats.