Known for its technical and decorative precision since its foundation in 1845, haute watchmaking brand A. Lange & Söhne has created a series of “new-era” tourbillon masterpieces that attest to its motto “Never Stand Still”. “New-era” timepieces date from 1990 when the brand was restored, followed by the introduction in 1994 of four new collections.
This year’s novelties include the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon that combines the functions of a perpetual calendar and leap year, chronograph flyback, moonphase and tourbillon, with no adjustment required for 122.6 years. The perfectly legible black, solid silver dial with hour and minute hands in luminous rhodiumed gold; seconds, day, month, four-year hands and a minute-counter hand in rhodiumed gold; and chronograph sweep seconds hand in rhodiumed steel, is stunning in its 41.5 mm platinum case. A sapphire crystal on the back allows you to admire the superb finish of the Caliber L952.2 made with 792 components.
Another masterful example from the brand is this beautiful and harmonious 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst introduced in December 2015. A “handwerkskunst” piece from A. Lange & Söhne is considered to be the highest of haute watchmaking, going even beyond the “normal” great attention to finish and complications that already include 18 steps of decoration on the movement, Glasshütte ribbing on the 3/4 plates, and unique engraving on the balance cock and gold chatons. Bearing the 1815 characteristics of blued hands, Arabic numerals and a railway-track minute scale, this 1815 model in a 39.5 mm pink gold case, specially created to honour the 200th birth year of founder Ferdinand Adolph Lange, features an amazing tremblage engraving technique to produce a granular effect on the pink gold rhodiumed dial.
The 1815 Tourbillon boasts two patented mechanisms: when the crown is pulled, the balance inside the tourbillon cage stops, and with the ZERO-RESET function, the seconds hand instantly jumps to zero position, to start and reset the watch with one-second accuracy.
Needless to say, with everything manufactured in-house, only a few of these tourbillon timepieces are made every year, and most come in limited editions of 20 to 100 pieces.
Six such historic masterpieces are currently exposed at the A. Lange & Söhne boutique in Paris at 19 rue de la Paix, until November 19th. On display are the superbly chic and elegant rectangular Cabaret Tourbillon from 2008; the Tourbograph” Pour le Mérite” Homage Edition from 2005 – the world’s first wristwatch that unites a tourbillon, a fusée-and-chain transmission and a rattrapante chronograph; the Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite”; the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst with enamel dial, the Lange 1 Handwerkskunst in pink gold, and the 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst.
Parallel to these historic pieces on exhibit, you may also admire the tourbillon masterpieces currently available in the boutique: the Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” (2011) in pink or white gold priced at EUR203,900; the 1815 Tourbillon (2014) – sublime even if not the Handwerkskunst version, in pink gold at EUR157,300 and platinum at EUR192,900; and the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar (2016) with white or grey dial, in pink or white gold, priced at EUR318,600.