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Review: A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

Full hands-on review with live photographs.
by Chester Lau on May 12, 2016
Reviews
Positives

Beautiful movement, good dial design and a clever movement to boot.

Negatives

Not even if we nitpick.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

Just when you thought it could not get any better, A. Lange & Söhne keeps us amazed with their latest: the Lange Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon. Everything about the watch screams unparalleled quality, from the case to its movement. The movement is beautifully made with exceptional hand finishing. Not to mention, the watch is as mysterious as it is beautiful, with the fascinating minute tourbillon which can only be seen on the movement side. 

 

Background read: Our Announcement report on the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon.

 

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The A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon cased in platinum and measures 41.5 mm in diameter.

 

The Case and Dial

The A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is cased in platinum and measures 41.5 mm in diameter. While slightly larger than the Datograph (41mm x 13.1mm), the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon at (41.5mm x 14.6mm), the latter fascinatingly comes with a larger entourage of complications. This shows the prowess of Lange movement design.

 

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Not only a technical masterpiece, the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is also beautifully hand finished.

 

While some may find the case on the thick side, especially for a classic watch, the elegant case finishing mitigates all semblance of ruggedness associated with a thick case. The case is a mixture of satin and polished finishing, with nicely tapered lugs. From the pushers to the crown, nothing is left to chance and every piece is meticulously finished. The pusher at 10 o’clock is a quick adjuster which allows all the displays to advance by 1 with a single push. A very useful function for adjusting perpetual calendars. The amount of power that the mechanism manages to regulate with the single push is as fascinating as it is subtle.

 

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The dial remains balanced despite the complication displays, with the ingenious use of disc aperture displays.

 

Worthy of applause is Lange’s ingenious use of disc aperture displays and integrating the displays to keep the symmetry and space on the dial. Most perpetual calendars in the market today have at least 4 sub dial displays, with the exception of Moser with none. Apart from the overall sleek layout, we find the new dial an improvement to the Datograph Perpetual model. In particular, we like the new power reserve indicator at the 9 to 10 o’clock position. Located near the tachymeter, the red and white indicator gives the otherwise classic watch a tinge of sportiness.

 

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The moonphase display is situated at the classic 6 o’clock position. The disc shows a surface frost texture with a subtle star display. The choice to use the 5 peak star shape seems to suggest a lighthearted relief to the otherwise serious watch.

 

The font on the dial is congruent with the watch theme and design. The moonphase display is situated at the classic 6 o’clock position. The disc shows a surface frost texture with a subtle star display. The choice to use the 5 peak star shape seems to suggest a lighthearted relief to the otherwise serious watch.

 

The Movement

 

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Featuring the beautiful L952.2 Caliber with 729 individual parts. The hand finished parts and movements are finished to the highest detail and quality.

 

The Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon uses the L952.2 Caliber with 729 individual parts. As its name suggests, it is a perpetual calendar with chronograph functions and a minute tourbillon. The minute tourbillon features a free-sprung balance wheel with eccentric poising weights, designed and made in-house. As with the tradition of high complication tourbillon watches, like the Patek Philippe 5078P and the 5016, the tourbillon of the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon can only be seen from the movement side.

 

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The column wheel is magnificently finished. Also visible are the golden chatons, heated blue screws, and a mixture of Lange’s specialty finishing creates a theatrical ensemble at the heart of the watch.

 

The movement beats at a rate of 18,000 vph instead of the 21,600 vph found on the older Lange tourbillons. This rate directly translates to the second hand making 5 steps per second, precisely lining up the hand to the 1/5 second markers on the dial.

 

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Is this as good as it gets? The layered layout of the movement creates a visually stunning display for the tourbillon at the back. As with all Lange tourbillons, a diamond endstone is used.

 

As usual, the finishing of A. Lange & Söhne timepieces is impeccable, with a mixture of traditional techniques and hand engraving on German silver plates. What Lange does better than most brands in movement aesthetics is the almost theatrical layout of the plates and parts on the display side. And in this case, Lange’s amazing movement work comes through again with the layered layout of the movement which creates a visually stunning display for the tourbillon at the back. As with all Lange tourbillons, a diamond endstone is used. The main difference that this has with the Lange 1815 Tourbillon models is that it does not have a zero-reset function but only a hack mechanism. The hack mechanism for the tourbillon was pioneered by Lange and first appeared as a World Premiere in the Cabaret Tourbillon in 2008, and has been a feature in all Lange tourbillons since.

 

Nothing is left to chance on this 100 piece limited edition, with the case work featuring high precision satin and polish finishing.

 

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The A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is limited to 100 pieces and priced at € 295,000.

 

The watch is priced at € 295,000, which we find competitively priced for a watch of its stature. Here at Deployant, we are long time fans of the brand and it is no doubt that we are absolutely in love with the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon. What the watch sells is not only complications, but the ability to present complications in the simplest, most legible and no fuss way possible. For more information on the timepiece, visit here

 

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