A. Lange & Soéhne 165 Years – Homage to F.A. Lange` anniversary collection
To mark the 165th year of the founder of Germany`s precision watchmaking industry, A. Lange & Soéhne have released an exciting trilogy of watches consisting of the TOURBOGRAPH `Pour le Mérite`, the LANGE 1 TOURBILLON, and the 1815 MOONPHASE.
TOURBOGRAPH `Pour le Mérite`
LANGE 1 TOURBILLON
An escalation of superlatives: the TOURBOGRAPH `Pour le Mérite`
In 2005, A. Lange & Soéhne presented a grand complication that established a new benchmark in precision watchmaking: the TOURBOGRAPH `Pour le Mérite`. It was the first one-minute tourbillon in a wristwatch format with a fusée-and-chain transmission as well as an additional rattrapante chronograph. Because of the complexity of the mechanism, it was possible to craft only one watch per month, so the last timepiece of the first partial edition of 51 platinum models was only just delivered a few weeks ago. The coming of a second partial edition of 50 watches in a yet-to-be-de-fined gold version was announced on the occasion of the original debut. The TOURBOGRAPH `Pour le Mérite` which is now being presented in honour of Ferdi-nand Adolph Lange also has a case made of the new, harder gold. And it, too, embodies Lange`s ambition to build the world`s finest watches. At the same time, it proves that even a horological superlative can be taken to a new, higher level.
Tamed whirlwind: the LANGE 1 TOURBILLON with stop seconds
At the turn of the millennium, A. Lange & Soéhne presented the LANGE 1 TOURBILLON based on the legendary LANGE 1. At that time, it was not yet possible to achieve what Lange`s calibre engineers accomplished a few years later with the CABARET TOURBILLON: to directly and instantaneously stop the balance inside the rotating tour-billon cage. With this feat, they corrected an intrinsic flaw of the tourbillon mechanism that for two hundred years was considered to be the ne plus ultra of horological so-phistication. While the elaborate device elevated the rate accuracy of a watch by overcoming the effects of gravity, it could not be stopped, so the watch could not be set to the second. Lange`s ingenious solution to the problem – the patented stop-seconds mechanism – is now integrated in the LANGE 1 TOURBILLON of the anniversary collection as well. It expresses Lange`s long-standing principle of questioning the validity of even what is already considered perfect.
The crowning conclusion of this rare opus is a mirror-polished bar made of honey-coloured gold that is precisely embedded in the dial and carries the tourbillon cage on the dial side. A further special feature of this watch is the fact that the one-minute tour-billon is suspended between diamond endstones on both sides. A hallmark that Ferdi-nand Adolph Lange once introduced to sign the 1A quality category of his pocket watches.
A thousand years of precision: the 1815 MOONPHASE in a new garb
The 1815 MOONPHASE epitomises Lange`s unending quest for the ultimate in preci-sion. No effort was spared to calculate an extremely accurate moon-phase train for this watch. Thanks to a suite of wheels with special transmission ratios, its error per lunar month is a nearly infinitesimal 6.61 seconds. It takes 1,058 years for this error to add up to a deviation of one day relative to the actual lunar cycle. Had such a timepiece existed in the year 952 – during the lifetime of Otto I the Great – and had it run without interruption since then, its moon-phase display would have to be corrected for the first time this year.
Among collectors, the 1999 limited edition pieces of the 1815 MOONPHASE in pink gold and platinum with a black dial rank among the most sought-after Lange timepieces. Their hallmark is an artistic rendering of the `Big Dipper`, probably the best-known constellation, on the dial. At watch auctions, well-maintained exemplars of this coveted treas-ure sometimes fetch more than three times the original price. The value of the 1815 MOONPHASE `Homage to F. A. Lange` could follow a similar trend: its edition is limited to 265 watches world-wide.
A little bit of history
It was in 1845 when Ferdinand Adolph Lange moved from the splendour of palatial Dresden to the remote and impoverished mining town of Glashétte to make his dream of the ideal watch manufactory come true. He did it with the intention of crafting the world`s finest timepieces. Aware of the fact that today`s innovation is tomorrow`s stan-dard, he evolved to become a staunch reformist to whom precision watchmaking owes numerous inventions and enhancements. For instance, he was among the first members of his guild to adopt metric units of measurement and abandon the then prevalent but complicated Parisian ligne system. His work was characterised by the quest for supreme precision. The drafts for mechanisms of his own design, even the most complicated ones, were exemplary as regards clarity of engineering and layout. His values remain the benchmark that inspires the work of all Lange employees.
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