Since the foundation of their eponymous company in 1854, in the town of Glashütte, the Lange family has always pursued precision and perfection, having developed their own grading system under which only the very best products were awarded the “1A” designation. The brand ceased to exist under Red Russia, having had its assets and properties expropriated in 1948; the Lange legacy was left to live in the shadows of the east.
In 1994 Walter, the great-grandson of founder Ferdinand Lange, with help from the watch community in Switzerland, picked up the legacy and relaunched the brand and its ideals; the new company started under the name A.Lange & Söhne.
Now with the 2011 launch of their fourth watch honoured with the “Pour le Mérite” nomination, Lange has produced a wristwatch which pushes the boundaries of precision – equipped with Lange’s signature fusee-and-chain transmission accompanied with a tourbillon and adding to the complication a patented stop-second mechanism. The stability and precision of the Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” is impeccable, and the dial communicates a unique approach to that horological invention, producing a well-balanced trinity between the time differentials and giving a glimmer to the observer of the technical perfection hidden beneath the rhodium-plated solid silver dial. As you can see on the pictures, there is a cutaway at the subsidiary seconds’ sub-dial, which is located between 7 and 8 o’clock and overlaps the hours’ display standing between 4 and 5 o’clock. When the hour hand goes past 6 o’clock, there instantly appears a pivoting segment of the sub-dial with VIII, IX and X numerals printed on it. The segment stays in its place until the hour hand reaches the 12 o’clock position and then disappears again in a blink of the eye.
This “Made In Germany” manual-wind movement is on our 2011 Must-Have list.
Photos © A.Lange & Söhne