Sounds of Time

Welcome to additional information accompanying Ding Dong – the Sounds of Time, Vanity Fair's On Time May 2009 article on Minute Repeater watches by Meridian's Bob Stuart.

Click here to read the On Time article (PDF, 2MB). You can also download an extended version, The Sound of Minute Repeaters (PDF, 2.75MB)

For more about Meridian and the range of high-quality luxury entertainment systems we manufacture in our factory near Cambridge in England, please visit the official Meridian Website.

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The Watches

1. Audemars Piguet
2. Bulgari
3. Corum
4. Franck Müller
5. IWC
6. Jaeger-LeCoultre
7. Piaget
8. Vacheron Constantin

Girard-Perregaux

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For each Minute Repeater we examined, you can view a "waterfall" plot, a waveform and an audio spectrum chart showing the complex sounds of the chimes, along with audio files that will enable you to hear the chimes for yourself. Do you agree with our distinguished panel?

a typical chime waveform

Each watch was recorded, both on a table and on the wrist, in an anechoic chamber (below left) – a special room where there are no echoes and you only hear the sound source itself – with a special instrumentation microphone (below right). The chimes were recorded on a computer with a powerful digital recording system (above).

Anechoic chamberMicrophone positionRecording in the anechoic chamber.

Left: The chamber setup itself.
Right: The microphone in position over the Vacheron Constantin.



The Watches

In the sections below you can examine the test results for the watches and listen to their chimes.

To view a large version of each of the plots, simply click on the image. To return to this page, just click the "Back" button in your browser.

In the same way, you can listen to the chimes by clicking on the links. For each watch, there are two recordings: one made with the watch on a wrist and the other with it on a table (where it is generally louder, but the sound may be coloured by the surface). Each recording is available in two forms: Apple Lossless (highest quality) and mp3 (most widely playable). You can download the sounds by right-clicking on the link and choosing "save link as" and then, if you import them into iTunes, you can transfer them to an iPod.


THE WATCHES Waterfall, Waveform and Spectral plots
(table recordings)
Hear the chimes
mp3 or Apple Lossless
Audemars Piguet1. Audemars Piguet Audmars Piguet 3-quarter chimes

Wrist mp3
Wrist Lossless

Table mp3
Table lossless

 
Audmars Piguet spectrum  

Audemars Piguet2. Bulgari Bulgari

Wrist mp3
Wrist Lossless

Table mp3
Table lossless

 
Bulgari  

Audemars Piguet3. Corum Corum

Wrist mp3
Wrist Lossless

Table mp3
Table lossless

 
Corum  

Audemars Piguet4. Franck Müller

Franck Müller

Wrist mp3
Wrist Lossless

Table mp3
Table lossless

 
Franck Müller  

Audemars Piguet5. IWC IWC

Wrist mp3
Wrist Lossless

Table mp3
Table lossless

 
IWC  

Audemars Piguet6. Jaeger-LeCoultre Jaeger-LeCoultre

Wrist mp3
Wrist Lossless

Table mp3
Table lossless

 
Jaeger-LeCoultre  

Audemars Piguet7. Piaget Piaget

Wrist mp3
Wrist Lossless

Table mp3
Table lossless

 
Piaget  

Audemars Piguet8. Vacheron Constantin Vacheron Constantin

Wrist mp3
Wrist Lossless

Table mp3
Table lossless

 
Vacheron Constantin  

Audemars Piguet
The Girard-Perregaux Opera Three is not, strictly speaking, a minute repeater, so it was not included in the tests. However, we thought you might like to hear it. It sounds the hour with a miniature carillon with a choice of music selected with a lever. In this example, both musical selections are played, one after the other.

Opera Three mp3


Opera Three lossless

Girard-Perregaux
Opera Three