The Richard Lange Collection by A. Lange & Söhne represents some of the German brand’s most complicated watches from the brand. Some great examples from that collection include the recently introduced Langematik Perpetual and the Datograph Up/Down, which we recently reviewed on Monochrome Watches. But when you add the words “Pour le Mérite” to the equation, you have quite an explosive horological cocktail indeed.
The most recent addition is the A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Merite,” now in an 18k white gold case. And yes, that means there is both a tourbillon and a fusee-and-chain mechanism in the same watch.
Aesthetically speaking, the Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Merite” comes with the same regulator-style dial that can be found in the impressive 2014 Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna, meaning a large minutes subdial at 12 o’clock, a small seconds sub-counter (with an aperture for the one-minute tourbillon) at 7 o’clock and a surprising hour counter at 4 o’clock, with a patented segment that hides it when it’s not required. At the intersection of the two lower subdials (at 6 o’clock, to be precise), a portion of the hour dial is visible only when the hour hand is between 6 and 12. This pivoting dial segment allows one to clearly read the time when needed and to have a full view on the tourbillon when the hand is on the other side.
The case — previously available only in rose gold and platinum — is now available in 18k white gold, with specific blued-hands. Even though it is part of the regular range, this exclusive model is available only at A. Lange & Söhne boutiques. In fact, the watch was unveiled this week for a very special occasion, namely the opening of the new A. Lange & Söhne boutique in New York City. The case’s main specifications remain the same as those of its predecessors, 41.9 mm x 12.1 mm in diameter. The watch, even though its brings a very high level of complication, remains fully wearable and comfortable on the wrist.
That leads us to the mechanics. As mentioned above, the name “Richard Lange” combined with “Pour le Mérite” should give some clues as to what ticks inside this A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon. Clearly, we are in seeing here some of the best of the Saxon manufacture. Three features are highly noticeable:
- A one-minute tourbillon for a high level of accuracy
- A stop-seconds mechanism that instantaneously blocks the balance inside the tourbillon cage and thus stops the movement with a simple pull of the crown
- A fusee-and-chain transmission (instead of a classical barrel) with a constant-force feature: it ensures that the movement is powered with a constant torque throughout its entire power-reserve period, for a better accuracy, whether the watch is fully wound or close to stopping
This magnificent technology can be seen through the watch’s sapphire caseback. The movement is finished to the highest standards, with hand-executed, bevelled angles, Glashütte stripes, perlage, and an engraved balance cock. The movement is composed of not less than 987 parts (including the 636 parts of the chain, with links measuring 0.6 mm x 0.3 mm). Another detail of note: the axis of a tourbillon is traditionally set into a jewel, but here, it is set into a diamond.
The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Merite” in white gold is available now exclusively in A. Lange & Söhne official Boutiques and priced at $212,900. Of course, the platinum and pink gold editions are still available as well. More info on A. Lange & Söhne official website.