The latest Limited Edition Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar continues the Saxony manufacture’s 25th birthday celebrations and A. Lange & Sohne’s releases are steadily pushing novelties deep into “Grail Watch” territory with the fourth model of the anniversary collection. The Lange 1 is a design icon of its own and a signature timepiece for the maison and the inclusion of two key, highly regarded, symbols of fine watchmaking, tourbillon and perpetual calenda – the Limited Edition Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar 25th Anniversary is the brand’s highest expression of the perpetual calendar complication.
Some cynics are wondering why something as monumental as a brand’s quarter centenary doesn’t feature some new fangled horological innovation but this is exactly the reason the Limited Edition Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar is a Grail Watch – none of its majesty or appeal lies in something novel but in true, salt of the earth, horological innovations which revolutionised the face of watchmaking; hence this Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar 25th Anniversary is not just an emotional investment but one of legacy and provenance.
Elegance and subtly rather than a splashy ode to self defines the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar thanks to its argenté-coloured dial with nuanced shades of blue providing contrast accents to various indications. While the tourbillon is not visible on the dial side, the name suffix hints to its existence on the reverse side of the movement. This 25 piece limited edition white gold model is the most complicated timepiece in the Lange 1 collection. Returning is the nigh-recognisable asymmetry, a hallmark of Saxony watchmaking and like the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar first launched in 2012, the layout remains fundamentally similar save for special decorative touches and finishing.
A rotating peripheral ring that indicates the month was devised to integrate all calendar indications in the dial architecture of the Lange 1, making this iteration of the Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar easily one of the most legible of perpetual calendars in the industry. The underside of the construction features a circumferential contour with wave-shaped recesses. A spring-loaded sampler lever glides along this contour and is deflected by a magnitude that corresponds to the depth of the respective recess. The more it is deflected, the shorter the month.
Icing on cake, all calendar displays of the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar switch instantaneously, a remarkable achievement when it was created and it still is today, given the microcosm of sensitive gearwork which would find the cumulative effects of force from all jumping indications reverberating through the calibre.
A retrograde day-of-week display takes the place of a power-reserve indicator. The leap year is indicated in a small aperture at 6 o’clock. And the moon-phase display, calculated to an accuracy of 122.6 years, showcases a hand-engraved lunar disc in white gold through a crescent window on the seconds subdial.
As befitting a 25th Anniversary Limited edition, the reverse side of the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar showcases a filigreed, stop-seconds tourbillon cage rotating about its axis once a minute to eliminate the influence of gravity on Lange’s proprietary cam-poised balance. Exquisite attention has been paid to the cock with gorgeous engraving of the brand’s iconic outsize date with the number 25 in reference to both anniversary and a hat tilt to that fateful launch day on 24 October 1994 with advertising visuals thoughtfully planned to run the day after with that date!
25 limited editions
Movement Automatic calibre L082.1 with 50 hours power reserve
Case 41.9mm white gold case
At US$335,800, the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar 25th Anniversary Limited Edition is more expensive than Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon, making the Datograph a steal for $295,000.