Photograph by Tom Schierlitz
One of the most desired and expensive complications is also, in practical terms, the most obsolete. Timepieces with repeater movements—which chime the hour, quarterhour and minute on demand—were invented to enable their owners to tell time in the dark, a task now accomplished largely by luminous indicators. The chiming mechanism uses a series of minuscule hammers to strike hour, quarter-hour and minute gongs, each with its own distinctive tone. Swiss watchmaker Christophe Claret has perfected minute repeaters for numerous brands and today applies his expertise to his own eponymous timepieces—including the Soprano model.