A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual Pour le Mérite: Classic superwatch with multiple complications
This is by definition a superwatch, with tourbillon, chronograph and perpetual calendar all co-existing in blissful harmony. As a bonus, the chronograph is of the split seconds variety.
Any visit to A. Lange & Söhne at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is bound to be impressive and evocative; with the Tourbograph Perpetual Pour le Mérite, the Glashutte-based brand comes through yet again in 2017! Briefly, this is by definition a superwatch, with tourbillon, chronograph and perpetual calendar all co-existing in blissful harmony. As the good folks at A. Lange & Söhne put it though, one could say there a couple more complications here as the chronograph is the split seconds variety (the most difficult to execute of all chronograph functions, sometimes known as the double chronograph) and the fusée-and-chain transmission system indicated by the Pour le Mérite distinction.
Whatever your perspective on watchmaking complications, and if you truly consider the fusée-and-chain transmission system as such, the Tourbograph Perpetual Pour le Mérite is one of the most complicated pieces at the fair this year, if not the most complicated traditional timepiece. For this reason – though it is not the only reason – we decided on this as our highlight for Day 2 of the SIHH 2017. Of course, this sort of watch has a lot of mineral wealth that we can mine, editorially speaking, and we will certainly do so in the Spring issue of WOW.
First though, we have to state that we admire the watchmakers’ at A. Lange & Söhne for their dedication to making the best watch they possibly could, right down to creating an integrated movement rather than merely adding modules to an existing base. Adding a curved tourbillon bridge and subjecting it to the same mirror-polishing regime is just the icing on an already delicious horological treat that has us hankering for more information. We will be speaking with the technical gurus at the German manufacture in the days to come on this and other subjects.
This brings us to a sad note for A. Lange & Söhne, where we learned that Walter Lange had passed away on the second day of the fair. Spiritually connected to virtually every employee there, he was instrumental in reviving the name A. Lange & Söhne after German reunification. He had a long and eventful life, and his influence will no doubt live on in the watches of A. Lange & Söhne. With that, we leave you with the specs of the superwatch of the moment.
Case: 43mm platinum
Dial: Solid silver
Movement: Manual winding calibre L133.1 with tourbillon and fusée-and-chain transmission
Functions: Hours, minutes, split seconds chronograph, perpetual calendar with moon phase display
Numbered and limited edition of 50