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A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Pour le Mérite: Now in White Gold with Black dial

by Jonathan Ho on September 23, 2016

The original Richard Lange Pour le Mérite debuted in 2009 to great fanfare but unlike other limited edition offerings from Lange & Sohne, the 250 piece limited edition didn’t sell out quite as quickly due to the global financial crisis. Yet, the rose gold with white enamel dial soon became one of the most sought after timepieces when market conditions stabilised.

Today, the 218 piece limited edition Richard Lange Pour le Mérite in white gold with black dial returns to similar economic conditions with a delectable new price-point which belies the amazing high complication residing beneath its high gloss, beauteous face – a fusée-and-chain transmission ensuring constant torque and superb rate accuracy.

The latest Richard Lange Pour le Mérite is the newest in the series with a limited 218-watch edition.

The latest Richard Lange “Pour le Mérite” is the newest in the series with a limited 218-watch edition.

New Richard Lange Pour le Mérite

Watch savants will recall “Pour le Mérite” (translated: for merit) to be the suffix which Saxony manufacture has used since 1994 to denote exclusive watches endowed with the sum of watchmaking competence at A. Lange & Söhne. Each of the four models launched have come equipped with the vaunted fusée-and-chain mechanism but the 1997 A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite represented the pinnacle of watchmaking for the maison.

The new Richard Lange Pour le Mérite carries within, the same manufacture L044.1 hand-wound calibre with fusée-and-chain, a horological complication which comprises a cone linked to the barrel via a chain, relying on the principle of leverage to ensure a constant flow of power to the escapement even when the barrel winds down; an innovation first found in high precision marine chronometers from the ancient world.

Fusée-and-chain transmission - 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.

Fusée-and-chain transmission – 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.

Aesthetically speaking, the new Richard Lange Pour le Mérite has a 40.5 mm white gold case with exact dimensions of the edition launched in 2009. The good news is while all platinum and rose gold versions from 2009 have sold out, this latest Pour le Mérite with an attractive solid silver dial finished in gloss black now complements the series in a 218 limited series run. High contrast white Roman numerals and rhodiumed gold hands contrast well against the black silver dial while red small Arabic numerals break potential visual monotony with nuances of colour.

For us, the latest Richard Lange Pour le Mérite in white gold with black dial is a mixed bag. On one hand, priced at S$118,500, it represents tremendous value when you consider that entry level gold Lange Saxonia begin at S$23,000 and when complications start to approach the calibre presented within the new Pour le Mérite, its price comparable competitors come in stainless steel – this makes acquisition of the latest Richard Lange very compelling. The not so good news is that owners of the 2009 rose gold with white enamel dial edition might feel that they could have saved a fair bit of money by waiting. But then again, it can be argued that a fired enamel dial in a Richard Lange Pour le Mérite from 2009 makes all the difference (these pre-owned pieces transact on open markets around US$90,000 to 102,000 depending on condition).

If you’re still not convinced, our talented Editorial Director has high resolution macros of the 2009 Richard Lange Pour le Mérite for your viewing pleasure.

 

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