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19 Jun

Mermod Freres Primo 4 Musical Box Watch

Mermod Freres primo 4

There are far more watches costing $100,000 than you’d guess; and many that exceed that price. If you are going to spend that type of money on a watch, it might as well have a unique novelty, considering you aren’t going to wear it very often. Here we have an interesting toy for the uber-wealthy, from obscure watch maker Mermod Freres. What an ostentatious sounding name even.

Mermod Freres movement
cal. MF-101

The Primo 4 Musical is a manually wound mechanical watch with a musical twist. It has four disc with grooves underneath that play a bit like a cog in a music box. Each disc contains 10 seconds of music, one from each of these four works; Magic Flute by Mozart, the Canon by Pachelbel, the Hungarian Dances by Brahms and the Four Seasons by Vivaldi. Pressing one of the pushers activates a disc to rotate and melody be played.

Primo 4 music watch

The discs are displayed in an attractive arrangement on the face of the watch under well designed bridges. They are obviously the highlight of the watch, but are equally attractive as a design statement as they are functional elements. Adding to the musical theme, the border around the face is broken up into section that look like sheet music (without the notes). This is a subtle, but nice touch.

4 musical minidisks
Mechanical musical movement
Rotary disks 50 pins 10 seconds of music

You’ll agree that this music playing watch focuses on being an expensive toy, but does so in tasteful manner. Despite the high price, the design is pleasantly subdued and focuses on the richer elements of the watch, being the skeletonized dial, rich materials (it comes in 18k white or yellow gold), ornately carved crown with bird logo, and the bountiful 45.5mm size. Don’t expect to see many of these watch around, but if you are lucky enough to spot one, take a nice hard look, and listen to its songs.


Practiced horology since the age of 15, successfully took apart, cleaned and assembled a Rolex Submariner Cal. 3135 at the age of 19, further improved his watchmaking skills with NAWCC School of Horology. “It has been 15 years since I took apart my first watch, my goal is to repair every timepiece ever produced”.

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