Chiming watches are mechanical timepieces that incorporate a mechanism for chiming or striking the time. The sound produced can be used as an audible indication of the time, in addition to the visual display on the watch dial.
They typically use a series of hammers and gongs to produce the chime. When the hour or quarter-hour is reached, the appropriate hammer strikes the corresponding gong, producing a distinctive sound.
One of the most famous examples of a chiming watch is the repeater watch, which can be activated to chime the time on demand. Repeater watches were originally developed in the 17th century as a way for people to tell time in the dark, before the invention of electric lighting. By pressing a button or pulling a lever, the watch would chime the time in a series of tones corresponding to the hours, quarters, and minutes.
Another type of chiming watch is the alarm watch, which uses a mechanism similar to the repeater watch to produce a ringing sound at a predetermined time. Alarm watches are often used as a practical tool for waking up or reminding the wearer of an important event.
Chiming watches are highly prized by collectors and enthusiasts for their technical complexity and the beauty of their chiming sounds. They are often produced in limited quantities and command high prices due to the skill and expertise required to create them.