Well, its all very straightforward. The "Dong" represents the hours, the "ding-dong" represents a quarter hour segment and a "ding" represents a minute. So for example, 3.19 would be represented by "dong, dong, dong,(3hours), ding-dong,(15mins) ding, ding, ding, ding", (4mins). The watch described is a Minute Repeater. There are also 5-Minute repeaters that chime hours, quarter hours and 5 minute segments and also the Quarter Hour Repeater pocket watch that only chimes hours and quarter hours.
|As you can imagine, these types of pocket watches are fairly expensive. Here are a few examples. The first is a 19th century Minute Repeater by George Edward & Sons, London. This would cost you in the region of US$6,500.|
|Next we have a very nice c.1870 5-Minute Repeater without a maker's mark. This is in really excellent condition and is probably worth in the region of US$4,000.|
|Finally, here is a very nice c.1846 Quarter Repeater signed "E J Dent - Watchmaker to the Queen," but actually made by the company of Nicole Nielsen, it is fairly rare piece and as such is worth in the region of US$6,000.|
Prices for repeater pocket watches vary quite a bit depending on the maker, date and condition but I rarely see one, be it a Minute, 5-Minute or Quarter Repeater, less than US$2,000, and don't expect a particluarly good quality example for that money. Prices can go as high as you would ever like to pay, US$20,000 for a really good example with perhaps additional automaton complications.
All images reproduced with the kind permission of Pieces of Time
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