Hands-on – A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar, the hidden gem

Hands-on – A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar, the hidden gem

Saxony has been a fruitful ground for the absolute most remarkable horological innovations. The Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar with its amazing method and wonderful craftsmanship is in ideal keeping with the A. Lange & Söhne great tradition. Presented in 2013, this masterpiece is currently introduced in careful white gold with an impeccable gray dial.

Presented  more than 20 years ago  (in 1994, at the same time the brand was relaunched), the Lange 1 has transformed into a symbol and the foundation of an amazing watch family comprising more than 10 models. Among these, the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar combines two of the most lofty complications. The particular asymmetric layout and patented outsized date, the clear arrangement of the calendar and complication indications that are not overlapping each other are unmistakably Lange & Söhne. Rather than being uncovered, the fascinating ballet of its tourbillon is noticeable just through the case back: no compelling reason to flaunt, Lange & Söhne’s understated elegance bespeaks confidence.

If the Tourbillon is placed in a manner that needs to eliminate the watch from your wrist to see it, the elegant dial is far from being straightforward or minimalist. It harmoniously presents an abundance of information at a solitary glance. The instantaneous perpetual calendar comprises of Lange large date, retrograde day-of-the-week and leap-year display at 6 and a peripheral rotating month ring. It is complemented with a moon-phase indication inside a subsidiary seconds dial.

The hours and minutes are unbalanced and feature a valuable day-night display while an attentive engraving beneath the 12 reveals the presence of the Tourbillon. The dial is made of strong silver decorated in elegant gray. Apart from the applied hour markers/numerals and month pointer, all indications are unobtrusively transferred however exceptionally readable. The hands are rhodium-plated gold, to match with the 18k white gold case.

The Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar is controlled by calibre L802.1, with automatic winding. Gustav Mahler portrays tradition as not being “the love of ashes, however the preservation of fire“. The technical complexity of the development incorporates ongoing Lange innovations, contrasts to revered, now and then almost anachronistic details. In this regard, the tourbillon features the brand’s patented stop second mechanism, carrying the balance to a standstill to ease exact time adjustment to the second. The balance is free sprung, features offbeat adjustment loads and runs at 21’600 vibrations each hour. The moon-phase mechanism is intended to be profoundly exact and requires just an adjustment of one day inside 122.6 years.

The bearing of the Tourbillon cage features a diamond endstone as a recognition for a portion of Lange’s memorable pocket watches – before the creation of engineered rubies, bearings have been manufactured utilizing a variety of stones including diamonds, for instance by the great Breguet himself; read our  technical viewpoint  article on gems here.

This mechanical masterpiece is 34.1mm in diameter, 7.8mm high and comprises no under 624 parts. As always with Lange & Söhne, the development features superlative completions, identifiable right away. Under the rich 21k gold rotor with external platinum mass, the wheel train spans are decorated with uniform stripes and beautiful anglage. Solarisation is applied to adjust surfaces and wheels. The development comprises 76 gems, including several held by screwed gold chatons (with blued screws obviously). The tourbillon connect and an intermediate wheel connect that are framing the Tourbillon are delicately hand-engraved with the brand’s traditional floral pattern. The tourbillon cage is lavishly black-cleaned and beveled.

This work of beauty is housed in the A. Lange & Söhne signature case in white gold – the model was recently released in pink gold and platinum with various dials. Its round case is harmoniously proportioned. At 41.9mm in diameter for a tallness of 12.2mm just regardless of the complexity of the mechanism, it wears very well. It is complemented with a great, hand-sewed alligator strap with collapsing buckle.

Conclusion

The Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar is watch that is superlative in each regard, consistent with the inimitable family of the venerable Saxon manufacture. The allure and the complexity of this masterpiece combining two of the most renowned complications genuinely dazzle. As always, the attention to details brought to each of the 624 parts is staggering, which explains the weighty sticker price (315,900 Euros, retail cost). The fact that the tourbillon is stowed away from meddlesome eyes, simply makes the watch more elegant and desirable. The decision for the comfort of automatic winding – specifically for a perpetual calendar – appears to be an easy decision although the large rotor will in general impede the perspective on the Tourbillon.


Technical specifications of the Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon

  • Case: 41.9mm diameter x 12.2mm thick – white gold –sapphire crystal on the front and on the back – 30m water resistant
  • Movement: Caliber L082.1, in-house – automatic winding –50h power hold – 21,600 vibrations/h – hours, minutes, seconds, day and night indication, perpetual calendar with moon phases indication, tourbillon with stop seconds.
  • Strap: alligator leather strap on white gold collapsing buckle
  • Reference: 720.038F