In its summer rollout of new timepieces, A. Lange & Söhne has garnered the most admiration, and media coverage, for its Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, a revival of a now-discontinued model that celebrated the 10th anniversary of the artisanal Handwerkskunst series. However, that watch, outfitted with the world’s first stop-seconds tourbillon caliber, was not the only world-first Lange timepiece to be refreshed in 2021, nor was it the only one marking the occasion of an anniversary. Today we discover the most recent versions of the Langematik Perpetual, launched 20 years ago, the first self-winding perpetual calendar watch with a zero-reset function, a single corrector for advancing all the calendar displays, and the Saxon watchmaker’s emblematic outsize date display.
The 2021 editions of the Langematik Perpetual, both limited to 50 pieces, use either 18k white gold or 18k rose gold for their elegantly modest 38.5 mm cases. Both models are distinguished by their rich blue dials, made of solid silver with an embossed, grooved structure underlying the applied Roman hour numerals, made of rhodiumed white gold or rose gold to match the case. The hands, the buckle, and the lunar disk on the ultra-precise moon-phase display are also made of case-matching precious metal.
In classic Lange style, the dial has been thoughtfully designed to render its complex combination of displays as legible and intuitive as possible. The outsize date appears prominently at the top; the subdial on the left indicates the day of the week, along with a 24-hour day-night scale; the one on the right hosts the month and overlaps a smaller subdial with the leap-year cycle; and a combined moon-phase aperture and small seconds subdial rests at the 6 o’clock position. Lange’s moon-phase indication is an ultra-precise “long term” one, requiring a correction only every 122.6 years, and the calendar’s date, assuming the movement is perpetually wound, will not need manual correction until the year 2100. If such a correction is necessary at any point, however, a recessed push-button at 10 o’clock makes it easier, advancing all of the calendar elements collectively. Each one can also be set separately in case of shorter-term periods of rest for the watch.
Driving all of these functions is the in-house movement behind the caseback’s sapphire window, the self-winding L922.1 Sax-o-Mat. Its bidirectionally winding micro-rotor is made of 21k gold with a platinum centrifugal mass and recessed into the three-quarter mainplate. This design allows a view of two other signature elements, the traditionally Saxon hand-engraved balance cock and the whiplash precision index adjuster. Holding a 46-hour power reserve when fully wound, the movement is also equipped with a zero-reset mechanism that stops the balance, instantly sending the seconds hand back to zero, when the crown is pulled. This device, developed by Lange, facilitates and speeds up the process of setting and re-setting the time. As with all Lange movements, the caliber has been assembled, decorated to exacting standards. Comprising all of 478 parts, it is nevertheless extraordinarily slim, just 5.7 mm high, enabling the case to be correspondingly slender, at 10.2 mm.
The 2021 versions of the Langematik Perpetual both come mounted on dark blue alligator leather straps, with prong buckles forged from the same gold as the case. Both the rose-gold and white-gold editions carry an MSRP of $91,800.