Lange & Söhne is one of those brands that knows that it pays to be patient. With a loyal base of knowledgeable watch connoisseurs as their main clients, they can probably sell out each year a new addition to their “Pour le Mérite” collection. Yet, they don’t. In fact, the new Tourbograph Perpetual is only the fifth watch to be part of this exclusive collection since it was first launched in 1994. Back then it was the very first wristwatch to feature a fusée-and-chain transmission, something that we can also find in the new Tourbograph Perpetual.
The chain alone consists out of 636 parts, and when finished this chain will join the 683 other parts that make-up this highly complex movement. Among them 50 jewels and 2 diamond end stones. The Tourbograph Perpetual is a further development of the Tourbograph that was launched in 2005. This one featured a split-second chronograph, in addition to a tourbillon. This year’s version adds to that a perpetual calendar.
This means that a lot is going on in a movement that measures only 32mm in diameter, with a thickness of 10.9mm, especially when you realize that a fusée-and-chain transmission takes up a significant amount of space. The fact that Lange & Söhne was able to accomplish this in a single watch, without making any concessions to their usual high quality and finish standards, is all due to a clever movement architecture.
What they in fact did was take the basic movement function with fusée-and-chain transmission and tourbillon and added the perpetual calendar construction to the front of the watch, while placing the split-second chronograph gear trains on the back. This serves multiple purposes, but the most important one for the owner of the watch is that the most dynamic parts of the movement are now in plain sight: The tourbillon on the dial side, and the chronograph gears, with its two distinct column wheels, at the back of the watch. In return, the fusée-and-chain transmission remains hidden from the eye at the center of the movement, a small price to pay for one of the most complex Lange & Söhne‘s to date.
The brand is only making 50 pieces of the Tourbograph Perpetual Lange & Söhne, which is priced at €480,000,-