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                                     International Watch Co. Schaffhausen since 1868

The Portuguese Minuterepeater Squelette
Question 1

The positioning of the gongs is a little nice story.
From 1987 until 1990 I was working together with Renaud&Papi to develop a new repeater-
mechanism onto the Da Vinci – movement. We had to take care not to cover the positions of the
small hands chrono and small second and perpetual calendar. This was not so easy! We found a
position for the gongs and the two hammers near twelve-o-clock. Finally the Grand Complication
was born.
A few years later we had the idea to set the same repeater-mechanism onto a pocket-watch-
movement. Of course we had to construct an intermediate plate, and then had a big problem: The
position of the seconds-wheel in the big movement was just the same as a lever of the repeater
Because the whole mechanism with the intermediate plate is a “module” we turned around the
module until we found a free position to pass the pivot of the seconds-wheel.
This is the reason why the position of the gongs is on 4-o-clock. The Potuguese minutrepeater is
completely closed, we can not see any mechanism and the positioning of the gongs and hammers
has no importance.
When I got the task to skeletonise the Portuguese MR, I said: on this watch without a dial we
don’t need a seconds-hand.
In this reason it was possible to turn back the mechanism to its initial position. The hammers at
12-o-clock-position look nicer.

Question 2

The materials and the procedure of manufacturing never changed since the first GC in 1990.

Question 3

The volume of the sound depends from different factors. One very important factor is the case.
We said, for this new model a sapphire-glass is imperative! To make this the case became more
solid and it was far more difficult to lead the sound off the case.
So, we made a direct fastening of the gong to the basic-movement and the case. This way the
case is a “soundbox” and lead the sound off. The fact that the movement is skeletonised is not so
important compared with a non-skeleton.

Question 4 is answered in 3

Question 5

The previous movement is made in brass. For the skeleton-movement we use German-silver
witch is more hard than brass and gives more stability to the movement.

IWC International Watch Co. Baumgartenstr.15 Postfach 686 8201 Schaffhausen/Switzerland Tel.052/635 65 65 Internet
                                     International Watch Co. Schaffhausen since 1868

Question 6

All plates and bridges of our movements are made on our newest NC-milling-machines.
In this reason we do not skeletonise the plates and the bridges, but we produce skeleton-plates
and skeleton-bridges. So the parts are not laser cut, but mill-cut.
Of course, the following work done by hand is much more than the machine-work.
To produce the parts direct in skeleton on NC machines make all parts much more precise.

Question 7

The whole repeater-mechanism is on dial-side of the movement and covered by the dial.
In the classic Portuguese MR we see nothing, we only can hear the sound.
There was no technical reason to transform it to a skeleton, it is nothing else than the beauty and
the fascination to observe all parts moving during the activity of the mechanism.
The decoration of the bridges is very simple, there is no hand-engraving as usual. We wanted to
lead the first glance to the moving parts of the mechanism.

January 17, 2005
Kurt Klaus

IWC International Watch Co. Baumgartenstr.15 Postfach 686 8201 Schaffhausen/Switzerland Tel.052/635 65 65 Internet

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