Lange Tourbograph Perpetual platinum 1

SIHH 2017 Personal Perspectives: A. Lange & Söhne – From Tourbograph Redux to 1815 Annual Calendar Replica Buyers Guide

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A particular feature of Caliber L921, also known as the Sax-0-Mat, is a zero-reset function for those seconds — hence the “0” at “Sax-0-Mat.” The tiny seconds hand automatically contributes to the zero position when the crown is pulled out, for to-the-second period setting. “Sax-0-Mat” appears on the dial and rotor. The balance oscillates at 21,600 vph. The caliber, that was hand-wound, 30.6 millimeters in diameter and 7.5 mm thick, was four years in evolution, and included a flyback function.Its unconventional features include a separate bridge for the fourth wheel, a chronograph operating lever mounted between 2 bearings, a flexible coupling lever positioned at the middle of the fourth wheel, and a minute-counter-operating lever mounted involving stones. There’s also a stepped pinion for accurate minute-counter improvements, a getaway wheel with four jewels, a massive Glucydur screw balance and a Breguet balance spring. The balance oscillates at the classic frequency of 18,000 vph. The grade additionally supports Lange’s familiar outsize date, where the prefix “Dato” alludes.
It’s filigree and yet rugged in a way few movements with ~700 components are. All the parts seem to have substantial volume to them, almost begging the question why so many other movements we see incorporate fragile-looking small springs and cams inside their own design. The Tourbograph resembles a beautifully decorated machine which dwarfs other movements.Hidden deep within the bowels of the L133.1 is a fusée and chain transmission system, designed to ensure a more even delivery of torque because the mainspring unwinds within its short, 36-hour power book — 36 hours is really brief, however a shorter than average power reserve is not exactly unusual one of such outrageously complex movements. The series itself is 636 parts, but Lange counts it as one (yes, one) component from the 684 part count of this motion itself.On the wrist, the 43mm-wide and whopping 16.6mm-thick platinum instance is a hefty, heavy monster. It wears fine, but the burden of this case as well as the ~1,400 elements inside it can make for one very heavy watch. Weapons grade, I believe is the term. Few watches make me feel crappy, but that one did in its strange way — as it, in all fairness, is a delicate thing.
On the front of the watch is a regulator-style dial with moments in the big circle and hours and moments in both smaller circles. The date, day, and month are revealed in apertures. The opinion has twin barrels that supply a power reserve of 14 times; the power- reserve indicator is at 6 o’clock. Such as the Lange 31 and Zeitwerk, the Terraluna (more information here) is equipped with a constant-force escapement.Precision timekeeping in extraordinary settings compose the World famous A Lange and Sohne timepieces . Marshall Pierce & Company are proud, authorized retailers of A. Lange & Sohne timepieces at Chicago. These watches feature a few of their most advanced movements, and luxury settings of any watchmaker in the world. Celebrating nearly 200 years of watchmaking, A Lange & Sohne celebrates its creator, a young watchmaker who rises through the ranks to be a family name. Marshall Pierce & Company is proud to take a timepiece that holds true to its high standards over time.
Our showroom comprise a vast range of A Lange and Sohne timepieces. Featured in white gold, are selections from Grand Lange 1, Richard Lange, Saxon, and 1815 watches. In rose gold is the Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase, Lange 1 Dalmatic, and Saxon Thin. In yellow gold, an 1815 Up/Down or Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase round out the collection.Marshall Pierce & Company is a licensed A. Lange & Sohne watch retailer. We are a family owned and operated jewelry store that’s been in business since 1928. We know this is a significant purchase, and as always, we’d be pleased to give a scheduled appointment to make sure you pick the ideal A. Lange & Sohne timepiece. Marshall Pierce & Company is dedicated to a luxury watch and fine jewelry buying experience, and pride ourselves on being Chicago’s most trusted and experienced A. Lange & Sohne dealer.
Winding these gigantic mainsprings could be extremely laborious in case this watch had been equipped with a normal winding crown, so A. Lange & Söhne revived the winding key in the epoch of pocketwatches, modernizing the twisting mechanism using an innovative ratchet and torque limiter.When Lange launched the Zeitwerk, it heralded the watch as its “new face.” The company had taken the brand’s signature big-numeral date concept, launched together with the Lange 1, and employed it on the hour and moments screens on the left and right of the dial, respectively. In the time of this debut, then-CEO Fabian Krone described the Zeitwerk as Lange’s most crucial brand new watch as the Lange 1. The view achieved a very difficult task: the motion was able to give enough power to rotate the three relatively heavy disks employed in its time screen, two for the minutes and one for your hours, and make sure that all 3 disks moved at precisely the same instant at the end of each hour. Achieving this required several complex mechanisms, such as a constant-force escapement with remontoir spring similar to that used in the Lange 31 (see Lange 31 thing). The watch also has a fly vane, shaped like a small revolving doorway, which offers air resistance and hence ensures that the discs’ jumps are not that strong.
The Grande Complication is now on loan to the Mathematics and Physics Salon, a museum in Dresden devoted to historical timepieces and scientific instruments.In 1990, directly after German reunification, the German automotive firm VDO bought the title “A. Lange & Söhne” and established a brand fresh A. Lange & Söhne, based, such as the first firm, in Glashütte. Among the new firm’s first watches, the Lange 1, established in 1994, became Lange’s trademark design, exactly what the company refers to as its “face.” The Lange 1, which looks the same as it did 20 decades ago, has a distinctive, asymmetrical dial using a big-date screen and “Auf/Ab” power-reserve indicator. (Earlier this year, the company replaced that caliber with a brand new one, additionally hand-wound.)
The dial side has many other treats for the onlooker, particularly those connected to the perpetual calendar as well as also the rattrapante chronograph. The former is composed of 206 parts, almost a third of their 684 total component count of this L133.1 standard. Lange’s moon stage is “true to 122.6 years” — mind you, that “accuracy” means that it takes that much time for the moon phase display to be off with a comprehensive day. This sort of random way is the way the accuracy of moon phase displays in watches is usually determined, not that anybody really cares about actual usefulness beyond its own aesthetic and engineering element.The rattrapante chronograph on the other hand is among the most technically impressive and challenging complications on the market. A few watchmakers I asked told me that they find it even more challenging to do than a sonnerie or minute repeater, and definitely a much bigger pain in the neck than a perpetual calendar (unless it’s instantaneous and/or further complicated). Both laser sharp chronograph seconds palms break a hair’s width over one another in their own reset place, with the blue being the rattrapante hand, operated by the pusher in the 10 o’clock position of the case.
The movement is your hand-wound Caliber L043.1, that has 415 parts and measures 33.6 millimeters in diameter. (To read our test of this first Lange Zeitwerk, click here.) This view is significantly more than a conventional perpetual calendar. Turn it on and you’ll see among the most complex and unconventional moon-phase screens ever made. At the centre is a disc bearing a map of the Northern Hemisphere. Surrounding the ground is a disk decorated with 2,116 stars. (Their positions don’t correspond to those of actual stars; Lange calls the arrangement a “fantasy sky.”) A third disk, for exhibiting the stage of the moon, lies beneath an aperture in the celebrity disk.The earth disk rotates counterclockwise once every 24 hours; you can observe the period anywhere in the world by speaking to the 24 hour markers onto the ring surrounding the screen. The watch’s balance, visible throughout the caseback, represents the sun: when the moon is between the ground and the balance, the moon disc is all blue, representing the new moon. When it is on the other side of the earth, it is all gold, representing the entire moon. The moon display is so true that it’ll be 1,058 years until it needs to be fixed by a single day.

Unsurprisingly the A. Lange & Söhne line-up at SIHH 2017 included a large and complicated watch, the Tourbograph Perpetual Pour le Mérite. This builds on the original Tourbograph, and has a split-seconds chronograph, tourbillon, perpetual calendar, as well as a chain and fusee constant force.

While the new Tourbograph is an impressive complicated watch, its complexity brings with it a size and weight that makes it unwieldy. At 43mm wide and 16.6mm thick, the case is imposing, and being made of platinum, also very hefty.

Lange Tourbograph Perpetual platinum 1

Lange Tourbograph Perpetual platinum 6

Lange’s movement constructors did a commendable job in building a compact perpetual calendar plate, but it is essentially a bolt-on module on top of the original Tourbograph movement (which is why it is also larger than the original).

Lange Tourbograph Perpetual platinum 3

Lange Tourbograph Perpetual platinum 4

One consequence of that is the odd, bow-shaped tourbillon bridge. On the original the bridge is straight, but because the tourbillon is now set much deeper into the watch – the extra height is due to the perpetual mechanism – the bridge had to be shaped to accommodate it.

Lange Tourbograph Perpetual platinum 2

Lange rightly points out that the curved bridge is fiendishly difficult to finish, especially with its black polished flat surfaces. But its peculiar curvature feels like an answer to a question that shouldn’t have been asked.

Lange Tourbograph Perpetual platinum 5

The Tourbograph Perpetual Pour le Mérite (ref. 706.025F) has a price tag of €480,000 – an enormous amount of money but par for the course as such watches go.

Simpler but more compelling is the 1815 Annual Calendar. It doesn’t try to do too much, but what it does it does well.

This is Lange’s second annual calendar watch, but reduced to the bare essentials. It’s the only Lange wristwatch with a calendar that lacks an oversized date display, instead relying on a sub-dial. While it does sacrifice some legibility, overall the calendar is still easy to read.

Lange 1815 Annual Calendar pink gold 1

Lange 1815 Annual Calendar white gold 3

Another reduction is the fact that the  L051.3 movement is manually wound, not too much of an inconvenience given the movement has a three day power reserve. It’s based on the movements inside the time-only 1815 and 1815 Up/Down, with the typical look of a Lange movement.

Lange 1815 Annual Calendar white gold 2

The look on the front is typical of the 1815 range – and also shared by the Tourbograph – being inspired by vintage pocket watches. The particular layout of the 1815 Annual Calendar with its three sub-dials evoke pocket watches even more than usual for the line.

Lange 1815 Annual Calendar white gold 1

Measuring 40mm in diameter and 10.1mm high, the 1815 Annual Calendar is sized just right. It’s available in white gold (ref. 238.026) or pink gold (ref. 238.032), priced at €37,500, making it fairly decent value for money.

The next watch is pastiche of Lange’s bestselling recent limited editions: Handwerkskunst-lite in a honey gold case. The Zeitwerk Decimal Strike is a variation of the Zeitwerk Striking Time, both of which offer not so much functional complications but whimsical reflections of the passing of time.

Lange Zeitwerk Decimal Strike Honey Gold 1

As its name implies, the Zeitwerk Decimal Strike chimes a high note every 10 minutes, and a low note at the top of each hour. It keeps going all the time, unless turned off by the pusher at four o’clock.

With a case that’s 44.2mm wide, the Zeitwerk Decimal Strike is the same size as its cousins, the Zeitwerk Striking Time and minute repeater. And the L043.7 movement inside is also just a slight variation of the movement inside the Striking Time.

Lange Zeitwerk Decimal Strike Honey Gold 3

Notably, the hammers and bridge on the front are decorated with tremblage, a fine hand-engraving that creates a pebbled texture. Traditionally this was only bestowed upon Handwerkskunst watches, the elaborately decorated limited editions Lange conceived every few years. The Zeitwerk Decimal Strike, however, is not a Handwerkskunst edition.

Lange Zeitwerk Decimal Strike Honey Gold 2

The other limited edition characteristic is the honey gold case. A gold alloy that’s harder than normal and blessed with a warm hue that’s a cross between yellow and pink gold, honey gold is found only on limited edition Lange watches, albeit with increasing frequency. Lange has, or had, an exclusive on this metal for watch cases.

Lange Zeitwerk Decimal Strike Honey Gold 4

Limited to 100 pieces, the Zeitwerk Decimal Strike is priced at €120,000. That’s just under 10% more than the Zeitwerk Striking Time, which is reasonable considering the case material and dial decoration.

The next complication is the Lange 31 in white gold, paired with a grey dial. Technically impressive but much too large and mostly unloved, the Lange 31 can run for a month on a single wind. That’s thanks to two mainsprings each almost 6ft long, which is why the watch is 45.9mm in diameter.

The new white gold version is just as large, but the grey dial is more attractive – it provides more contrast and tone – than the silver dials offered before.

Lange 31 white gold grey 1 Lange 31 white gold grey 2

This is limited to 100 pieces, perhaps the final run of the Lange 31, since it was never commercially successful. The Lange 31 in white gold (ref. 130.039) is priced at €142,300.

And now for the simpler stuff. The Lange 1 Moon Phase was announced before SIHH, and adds a discreet day and night indicator to the mix.

Powered by the same base calibre as the second generation Lange 1, the new moon phase model looks much the same as before, except the background of the moon phase indicator doubles as a day and night display; half the disc shows the stars while the other half a bright blue sky.

Lange 1 Moon Phase 2017

Lange 1 Moon Phase pink gold

Other changes include minor aesthetic tweaks like a stepped bezel and new typography, but the overall look is the same, as is the 38.5mm diameter case.

Lange 1 Moon Phase white gold black dial 2

The new Lange 1 Moon Phase is available in the traditional guises of platinum (ref. 192.025) and pink gold (ref. 192.032), both with silver dials, but also in white gold with an unusual black dial, arguably the best looking of the trio.

Lange 1 Moon Phase white gold black dial 1

The platinum model costs €52,000, while the gold versions are €39,500.

Next is the Little Lange 1 Moon Phase for ladies, which is powered by a different movement from the men’s moon phase.

The L121.2 inside is based on the same calibre as the second generation Lange 1, but is a straightforward moon phase, without the day and night display of the men’s version.

Lange Little Lange 1 Moon Phase 2017-1

Visually, however, it is anything but simple, with a striking guilloche dial that looks, well, really good. Traditionally found only on limited edition Lange watches, like the Lange 1 20th Anniversary, the guilloche dial softens the look of what is actually a masculine watch.

Lange Little Lange 1 Moon Phase 2017-2

In fact, a black strap would make this work as a men’s watch, despite the smallish 36mm case size.

Available only in pink gold for now, the Little Lange 1 Moon Phase (ref. 182.030) will cost €38,500.

And the last watch of the 2017 line-up is an entry level ladies’ timepiece, the Saxonia with a mother of pearl dial.

Hand-wound and 37mm in diameter, this is the basic Saxonia dressed up with a iridescent shell dial. It’s the female counterpart to the basic Saxonia for men.

Lange Saxonia mother of pearl 1

Being small, thin and decorative enough, the Saxonia feels like a bona fide ladies’ timepiece, instead of a downsized men’s watch.

Lange Saxonia mother of pearl 2

The L941.1 movement inside was originally developed for the first generation 1815 of 1994, so is long in tooth but looks typically Lange and does it job well.

The Saxonia is priced at €16,500 in white or pink gold.