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Review: A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar in White Gold

More than meets the eye
by  on July 9, 2016
Overview
Brand

A. Lange & Söhne

Complication / Type of Watch

Perpetual calendar Tourbillon

Recommended Retail Price

€315900
S$435400

Positives

Great movement in terms of technical complication, aesthetics
Creative display of traditional complications

Negatives

Nothing significant unless the buyer holds value retention in high regard

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Movement
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Price Performance / Value
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Bottom Line

Great watch to have, if money was no issue.

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A. Lange & Söhne released the latest Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar in White Gold at SIHH 2016. A bastion for discrete luxury, the watch is an amalgamation of the iconic Lange 1 display, the classic perpetual calendar complication and the tourbillon. The watch first saw light of day in 2012 in platinum, which we report here

 

lange1-perpetual-tourbillon-dialup

The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar in a white-gold case with a grey dial.

 

What we like about the watch

The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar is arguably among some of the best discrete luxury timepieces in the market today. It has some of the most complicated complications in a single piece, with a creative reinterpretation of its classic display. Due to the clear separation of the time and date, all information can be taken in at even a cursory glance. Interesting to note is that the perpetual calendar displays advance instantaneously.

 

lange1-perpetual-tourbillon-back

Caseback reveals the Lange manufacture calibre L082.1.

 

The Movement

Without sounding like a broken record, Lange’s movement finishing are as usual top notch, with all the features of hand finishing on its iconic german silver movement plates and bridges. The movement is also equipped with Lange’s patented stop-seconds mechanism.  This allows the watch to be set with one-second accuracy, not common with tourbillon complications.

 

lange1-perpetual-tourbillon-rotor-detail

The self winding watch is complete with a solid central rotor with a 21-carat-gold segment in the middle and an additional platinum centrifugal mass on the periphery.

 

Other notable features include a beautifully finished tourbillon cage decorated with black polish, the most sophisticated and time-consuming type of artisanal surface finishing. The bearing of the tourbillon cage also features a diamond endstone as a tribute to the historic 1A pocket watches by A. Lange & Söhne.

 

lange1-perpetual-tourbillon-mvt

The upper part of the tourbillon cage is decorated with black polish, while the intermediate-wheel and tourbillon cocks are engraved by hand.

 

The movement uses a solid central rotor with a 21-carat-gold segment in the middle and an additional platinum centrifugal mass on the periphery. Beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph, the movement has a maximum power reserve of 50 hours. The shock resistant balance is equipped with eccentric poising weights and fit with an in-house manufactured balance spring.

 

lange1-perpetual-tourbillon-bridge-detail

The bearing of the tourbillon cage features a diamond endstone as a tribute to the historic 1A pocket watches by A. Lange & Söhne.

 

A creative Perpetual Calendar

We especially like how the watch looks like a regular Lange 1 but is in fact a ultra complicated timepiece. The discrete luxury theme is well-disguised yet strangely appealing. Part of this subtle appeal is accredited to the creative dial display. The calendar consists of an outsized date, retrograde day-of-the-week and leap-year displays and a peripheral month ring; not forgetting the moonphase display at 7 o’clock which is said to require adjustments in 122.6 years. The perpetual calendar mechanism itself is also designed to only need to be advanced by one day in 2100. These technical achievements easily makes the Lange Perpetual Calendar system one of the best available today. More technical details are in our SIHH 2012 report on Lange novelties.

 

lange1-perpetual-oblique-crown

With its complications, the watch comes in at a slightly thicker size measuring 41.9 mm in diameter and 12.2 mm in height. Sufficient heft without being too large.

 

Concluding thoughts

The watch is an absolute beauty to add to any collection. It’s price at €315900 or S$435400 is a challenge to most, but is nonetheless competitively priced against similar offerings in the market. That said, the watch at full retail is still a significant sum for most rational collectors, and as with rational thinking, if one’s concern is with value retention, then do take more caution in getting this piece.

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