A. Lange & Söhne RICHARD LANGE “Pour le Mérite” – That´s the ultimate understatement for a connoisseur

A. Lange & Söhne RICHARD LANGE “Pour le Mérite”
A. Lange & Söhne RICHARD LANGE “Pour le Mérite”

A “simple” dial with three hands, no date; 40,5 mm white-gold case (looks like steel); limited to 218 pieces; sold for 81.300 Euro. Holy sh**! Let us turn the Lange around and discover its calibre L044.1 with fusée-and-chain-transmission.

 

The timepieces with the attribute “Pour le Mérite” have always represented the technological avant-garde at A. Lange & Söhne. Each of the four models launched since 1994 is endowed with a fusée-and-chain mechanism.

The Richard Lange “Pour le Mérite”, first introduced in 2009, exemplifies an ambitious tribute to precision in its purest form: the sole objective of its complication, discernible only on the movement side, is to improve rate accuracy.

The pink-gold and platinum versions, now sold out, are now being complemented with a 218 pieces white-gold edition featuring a black dial.

 

A. Lange & Söhne RICHARD LANGE “Pour le Mérite”
A. Lange & Söhne RICHARD LANGE “Pour le Mérite”

 

The solid white-gold case of the new edition has a diameter of 40.5 millimetres. White Roman numerals and the rhodiumed gold hands contrast well against the black silver dial. Small Arabic numerals in red for 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes add a nuances of colour to the underlying black-and-white design. A hand-stitched black alligator leather strap with solid white-gold buckle underscores the stylistic clarity of the Richard Lange “Pour le Mérite”.

 

The technical hallmark of the Richard Lange “Pour le Mérite”– and of all “Pour le Mérite” models since 1994 – is a fusée-and-chain-transmission that consummately defined new benchmarks in precision watchmaking.

 

A. Lange & Söhne RICHARD LANGE “Pour le Mérite”. Lange manufacture calibre L044.1
A. Lange & Söhne RICHARD LANGE “Pour le Mérite”. Lange manufacture calibre L044.1

 

Inspired by historic pocket watches and integrated into a wristwatch by A. Lange & Söhne for the first time, the mechanism guarantees constant torque and thus stability of the amplitude of the balance across the entire power-reserve range. Wrapped around the mainspring barrel, the chain delivers the power of the mainspring to the wheel train via the cone-shaped fusée. This keeps the torque constant.

When the watch is fully wound, the chain pulls at the smaller circumference of the fusée, i.e. at the shorter lever. Conversely, when the tension of the mainspring is nearly depleted, the chain pulls at the larger circumference of the fusée, the longer lever. In principle, the mechanism works like the gearing of a bicycle except that the gear ratios are infinitely variable rather than fixed.

The 636-part chain can support a weight of over two kilograms. But to fully exploit the positive effect of the fusée-and-chain device, the product developers added a technical refinement: two separate mechanisms block the winding system before fully wound and fully unwound states. Both prevent the chain – which is only 0.25 millimetres thick and 156 millimeters long – from being overstressed.

The fusée-and-chain transmission causes the fusée to rotate in one direction during the winding process and in the opposite direction when the watch is running. For this reason, it is necessary to ensure that the watch continues to run even when it is being wound. A planetary gearing inside the fusée maintains the flow of power from the fusée to the movement during the winding phase. It is composed of 38 tiny parts which the watchmaker must fit into the tight 8.6-millimetre inside diameter of the fusée.

All this remains concealed beneath the black dial. But the most important parts of the fusée-and-chain device are clearly visible through the sapphire-crystal caseback. Generously dimensioned openings in the three-quarter plate made of German silver reveal the mechanism.

 

A. Lange & Söhne RICHARD LANGE “Pour le Mérite”
A. Lange & Söhne RICHARD LANGE “Pour le Mérite”

 

 

Richard Lange “Pour le Mérite” Ref. 260.028

Movement

Lange manufacture calibre L044.1, manually wound, fusée-and-chain-transmission; crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; preci- sion-adjusted in five positions; three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver; balance cock as well as escape- wheel and fourth-wheel cock engraved by hand

Movement parts

279 (without chain); chain: 636

Jewels

33

Screwed gold chatons

2

Escapement

Lever escapement

Oscillator

Shock-resistant screw balance with poising screws; balance spring manufactured in-house, frequency 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour, precision beat-adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring

Power reserve

36 hours when fully wound

Functions

Time indicated in hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds with stop seconds

Operating elements

Crown for winding the watch and setting the time

Case dimensions

Diameter: 40.5 millimetres; height: 10.5 millimetres

Movement dimensions

Diameter: 31.6 millimetres; height: 6.0 millimetres

Crystal and back

Sapphire crystal (Mohs hardness 9)

Case

White gold

Dial

Solid silver, black

Hands

Rhodiumed gold

Strap

Hand-stitched alligator leather, black

Buckle

White-gold prong buckle

Limited edition

218 watches, edition engraving on case-back

 

The Price as already communicated is 81.300 Euro including 19 % VAT. Just in case you want one/you can afford one: act quick, since this watch is going to be sold out shortly …

 

 

 

 

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