Corum’s new timekeeper takes an already highly intricate complication such as minute repeater to a new level of complexity. Its Admiral’s Cup Legend 46 Minute Repeater Acoustica is the first watch in the world that utilizes chords instead of single notes for the audible representation of the current time. This is performed by a simultaneous activation of two gongs instead of just one, as it was the case with all minute repeaters up until now. The new innovative timepiece that further develops one of the classical complications is made in three different versions and in an extremely restricted edition of just ten pieces.
Four Gongs for the Chords
In order to be able to indicate the time in this way, the exclusive caliber CO 102 is made with four gongs, instead with two, as it is usual. Two lower pitched gongs are tuned at C (or commonly known as do) and E (mi) tones and placed on the back of the movement. On the other side of the caliber, there are two higher pitched gongs that produce G (sol) and C (that is one octave up from the first one) tones. Each of the gongs is adjusted by hand, which naturally requires a lot of skill and a good ear.
Even the manner of activating the mechanism is unusual; it is not triggered with a pusher or by sliding a bolt, but instead, by a turn of the bezel to 27 degrees to the right. Once the mechanism is activated, feeler-spindles pick up the signals from hour, quarter-hour and minute snails and activate levers that trigger the hammers on the gongs. As it is devised, (lower) C-G chord marks hours, quarters are signalized by a combination of chords, while the minutes are denoted by E-(higher) C. For example, if the current time is 7:48 a.m., there will be seven C-G chords (for seven hours), three combinations of the chords (for three quarters) and three more E-C chords (for minutes). This new way with the use of multiple gongs is not only more complex, but it likewise enables the audible representation of time to be louder, so it can be considered as an improvement to the common striking mechanism and not just as an unnecessary complication.
An Exposed Movement, Visible from Both Sides
Corum Admiral’s Cup Legend Minute Repeater Acoustica’s innovative mechanical movement that enables such novelty is fortunately visible from both sides, through the skeleton dial and the exhibition case back. Calibre CO 102 has a separate barrel for the powering of the striking mechanism. It is hand-wound and made with a power reserve that lasts for 100 hours. The mechanical movement oscillates at the frequency of 3 Hz, incorporates 42 rubies and sports hand-decorated satin-brushed, circular-grained and Cotes de Geneve decorations on its main-plate and bridges, as well as an engraving of the watchmakers logo. The supported functions of the innovative caliber are minute repeater, hours and minutes (indicated with dauphine-styled rhodium-coated skeleton hands).
Both the front and the back of the case are guarded by anti-reflective sapphire, while the flange of the Corum timepiece sports the engravings of nautical pennants. As for the housing, Admiral’s Cup Legend Minute Repeater Acoustica timekeeper is made with the distinctive dodecagonal (twelve-sided) case which is characteristic for the collection. Its width is 46mm, while the thickness is 14.44mm. The watch features water resistance to 30 meters.
Three Versions, Just Ten Pieces in Total
As it has been mentioned, there are three variations of this highly exclusive timekeeper by the Swiss brand. The most “numerous” variation is the model 102.101.04/0001 AK12 with a titanium grade 5 case, constructed in the edition of six pieces. This version is paired with a black crocodile strap that fastens with a tongue buckle made from the material that matches the housing. The next variant of the watch is the one with the reference number 102.101.55/0001 AK12 and with 18k red gold housing. It sports the same kind of the attachment (only in brown color) as the first one and it is made in just three copies. The final and the most exclusive version of Corum Admiral’s Cup Legend Minute Repeater Acoustica is made in just a single piece. It is the model 102.109.69/0001 AK12 made with an 18k white gold casing and decorated with a multitude of precious stones. The unique interpretation of the model shows off 542 round diamonds on the case (the total approximate weight of 3.55 ct), 36 baguette-cut stones on the bezel (7.51 ct) and 48 round diamonds on the crown protector (0.04 ct). Once again, its black crocodile strap has a buckle that matches the material of the case; for the most luxurious version it is white gold with 24 round diamonds (0.81 ct). When we add up all the precious ornaments featured in the watch, it measures up to exactly 650 diamonds with the approximate weight of 12.27 carats.