A. Lange & Soehne launches Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite”
December 20, 2010: The fourth A. Lange & Söhne timepiece honoured with the distinction “Pour le Mérite” embodies a fusée-and-chain transmission as well as a tourbillon with a patented stop-seconds mechanism. The underlying purpose shared by both of these grand complications is to improve rate stability and precision. The prominent regulator dial with its fascinating pivoting segment was inspired by a famous historic paragon.
A high-precision regulator crafted by master watchmaker Johann Heinrich Seyffert (1751-1817) in 1807, has a dial featureing three intersecting circles for time indications. In its calibre, a fusée-and-chain mechanism is responsible for the constant transmission of power. This watch, with the serial number 93, was the blueprint for the Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite”.
The overlapping circles of the off-centre dials are what first meet the eyes of connoisseurs who study the face of the Richard Lange watch: the large minute circle at the top is the dominant element that hovers over the slightly smaller subdials for the seconds and hours to the left and right of the vertical centre axis. In the watch, a round cut-out in the seconds dial, traversed by the minute scale and by the recessed tourbillon bridge, reveals the tourbillon cage. But the tourbillon can be admired in its entirety only from twelve to six o’clock.
With a patented stop-seconds mechanism, the tourbillon can be halted simply by pulling the crown, allowing the time displayed by the watch to be set to one-second accuracy. Its bearing on the caseback side is a diamond endstone secured in a screwed gold chaton. This noble setting was one of the hallmarks of the legendary Lange pocket watches that belonged to the manufactory’s eminent “1A” quality category.
With a frequency of six semi-oscillations per second, a classic screw balance, and a recalculated balance spring that is manufactured in-house, the Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” fulfils all prerequisites of a timepiece dedicated to the utmost precision. The stately 41.9-millimetre platinum or pink-gold case accommodates the new hand-finished Lange manufacture calibre L072.1, uncompromisingly crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards. With a diameter of 33.6 millimetres, it is a strictly limited edition of 100 platinum-cased watches.