After it debuted with a platinum case and a black dial in 2016, A. Lange & Söhne has unveiled the mighty Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon – one of the stars of the that year’s edition - in white gold with a delectable salmon dial.
Salmon dials have jumped out of auction catalogues and into brand boutiques in recent times, the Patek Philippe Ref. 5270P launched at Baselworld last year being a notable example of this trend. Although the Lange dial, made from pink gold, has a more copper tone than other salmon dials in the market. This is easily the most striking watch unveiled at SIHH this far. The Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon has a 41.5-mm white gold case that is 14.6 mm thick.
The three complication featured in this watch are a flyback chronograph, a perpetual calendar, and a tourbillon. As is typical with Lange, however, there is more to each of these mechanisms, as we discover by examining each word in this model’s moniker.
“Datograph” is A. Lange & Söhne’s designation for the combined mechanism of a column-wheel chronograph, with a precisely jumping minute counter and a flyback function, and the typical Lange “outsize” date indication.
“Perpetual” refers, of course, to the watch’s perpetual calendar, a prized of horological complications, and here again, Lange goes the extra mile. All the calendar indications switch instantaneously, providing unambiguous readings at all times. Lange says the watch would not need to correct the mechanism, by one day, until March 1 of the year 2100.
Furthermore, the ultra-precise moon-phase display is set to deviate from the true lunation by a single day after 122.6 years. The watch includes three correctors for the separate adjustments of the moon-phase display, the day, and the combined month/leap-year indications. There’s also an additional rapid-correction pusher at 10 o’clock that can be used to conveniently update all displays simultaneously.
For the first time in a Lange watch with both a tourbillon and a chronograph, the balance beats at a rate of 18,000 (2.5 Hz) instead of the conventional 21,600 vph.
Finally, the “tourbillon” — visible through the sapphire crystal caseback and the open tourbillon bridge — houses the rotating escapement inside a filigreed cage. Working in concert with the free-sprung balance spring made in-house at Lange’s manufacture in Glashütte, Germany, it ensures solid rate accuracy throughout the watch’s 50-hour power reserve, which is indicated at the end of the tachymeter scale (AUF for up, or fully wound, AB for down, or stopped).
For the first time in a Lange watch with both a tourbillon and a chronograph, the balance beats at a rate of 18,000 (2.5 Hz) instead of the conventional 21,600 vph. The practical result of this decision is that elapsed chronograph times can be displayed with an accuracy of 1/5 second. Furthermore, with the patented stop-seconds mechanism, the owner can instantly stop the balance wheel inside the tourbillon cage with a simple pull of the crown, meaning the watch can be set with one-second accuracy.
The movement responsible for all these wonders is Lange’s manual-winding, 729-part Caliber L952.2, assembled and decorated by hand to Lange’s legendarily exacting standards and precision-adjusted in five positions. Like other Lange calibers, it bears the telltale signs of traditional Saxon watchmaking, including plates and bridges made of untreated German silver, screwed gold chatons, Glashütte ribbing, and hand engraving on the wheel cock and tourbillon bar.
Limited to just 100 pieces worldwide, it comes on a hand-stitched alligator leather strap with a platinum deployant buckle and is priced at $287,800.