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A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I understand that some of our more genteel audience members and colleagues in the watch industry may find our ongoing use of the term “watch porn” to be vulgar, but we have yet to discover a more apt way to refer to timepieces (and the images thereof) that inspire our passion on such a basic and visceral level. So, for those who are offended by “watch porn,” perhaps you can suggest a more appropriate term to describe what we are seeing here in the new-for-SIHH-2016 A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon.

I covered the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon recently here prior to having had an opportunity to see it hands-on. I recommend you visit that article for more information on the tech specs and overall details of the watch. For now, I’d like to simply talk a bit more about the watch after having seen it and placed it on my wrist.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Thicker than the standard Datograph Up/Down, the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon uses the same 41.5mm-wide case size – here, in platinum. Comfortable on the wrist, this massively complex beauty is still hefty thanks to the platinum material and feels decidedly complex given its range of very difficult to produce complications done as only the German masters at A. Lange & Söhne can accomplish. Our David Bredan continues to suggest that if someone does not become a watch lover by viewing the back of an A. Lange & Söhne Datograph, there is little chance they will ever become a watch lover. The combination of aesthetic elements, and sheer engineering wonder go together so well in a timepiece such as this.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Compared to standard Datograph watches, this new calibre L.952.2 manually wound movement isn’t tremendously different, but it now has a tourbillon. This, of course, changes the dynamic of the watch and is the real “luxury icing on the cake” given that the addition of the perpetual calendar complication is something which we interpret as more functional. With that said, one can easily ask the question, “why purchase a tourbillon if it is not visible on the dial, as is the case in most tourbillon-equipped timepieces?”

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

This isn’t a question that I can faithfully answer without suggesting that the answer is going to be very subjective. If you are a first-time tourbillon buyer then, yes, you probably want to show it off a little bit. If you are a seasoned watch collector and the addition of a tourbillon really doesn’t add much to your daily wearing experience or level of excitement, then perhaps the addition of the extra effort put into the watch is valuable to you, but it isn’t a feature you need exposed on the dial. A. Lange & Söhne has for a long time been dedicated to the notion of “stealth wealth,” and a watch like the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon with a “hidden” tourbillon only visible through the rear of the watch is a very direct manifestation of that concept.

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A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Compared to the other style of Datograph with a perpetual calendar complication, the new A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon has a much more refined dial that includes more “white space” on it as well as increased amounts of visual balance and symmetry. Legibility for reading the time is excellent, and pretty much all the information you need at a glance is there, such as the date and chronograph register data.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I would not suggest that reading the perpetual calendar or power reserve information is available at a glance, but it really doesn’t need to be. Instead, this information is best left to the side until needed and not there to obstruct your view of reading the time. With that said, finishing and textures of the dial continue to be excellent which means that readability is about as good as can be asked for in a dial of this design.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Speaking of the power reserve indicator, I found that it is much less obvious in person than one might expect from the perfect marketing images from A. Lange & Söhne. While easy to see when looking for it, the linear power reserve indicator toward the left side of the dial on the peripheral ring is a good example of a discreet complication.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

A lot of perpetual calendar watch dials annoy me because so much of the information can get in the way of what I actually want to be looking at. The leap year indicator is something I very rarely want to reference, for example. The leap year information on the A. Lange & Söhne Datrograph Perpetual Tourbillon is offered on a small disc in an attractive but subtle way that I really prefer. It is difficult to describe in words, but I’ll just say one more time that the dial of the timepiece, given all of the available information, is truly wonderfully refined.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I’ll close by reminding you that A. Lange & Söhne designed the movement with a special pusher at 10 o’clock that allows you to advance all of the perpetual calendar data by one day with each push. This very helpful element makes it possible to adjust the calendar if the power reserve runs out for a few days. This means if your A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon gets unwound and sits for 5 days, you can reset the calendar in about 5 seconds versus about 5 minutes (or longer). The utility of features such as this should not be discounted.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Beautiful and easy to wear, the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is nevertheless extremely luxurious and highly exclusive, being limited to 100 pieces. Price is 295,000 euros, and you better put in your order now. alange-soehne.com

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  • I_G
    • Shinytoys

      his hand has got to be getting tired…but he’s smiling…

  • SuperStrapper

    Picture 5 looks to be taken with a polarizing filter, and I want to eat it with a spoon: just lovely.

    Anyone offended by the term ‘watch porn’ should grow up or move on.

  • MEddie90

    Stunning, the use of apertures to show the 24hr and leap year really declutter the dial compared to a more simple perpetual datograph, plus the addition of a tourbillon and power reserve really set this piece ahead of the competition.

    The only thing i’d probably change is the moon phase which makes the dial seem cramped and doesn’t really serve much of a purpose (unless your fishing or hunting in which case you wouldn’t be wearing this watch).

    • iamcalledryan

      I agree with all points but the moonphase. It’s one of those complications today that creates an interest, rather than delivers a needed reading (like the equation). A few months ago I thought nothing of them. After spending some time reading about them I have decided I HAVE to have one! It would serve no purpose but to be interesting for me to look outside on a full moon and confirm its existence.

      My favorite moon phase complication is the Patek Philippe ref. 6102 Sky Moon because unlike most others, it also tells you exactly when the moon is within your view!

      • MEddie90

        I think its fair to call a moonphase more of an emotional complication. It may not serve much purpose but sheer interest and on some timepieces I can appreciate that. A Sarpaneva watch with its grimacing face taking up the bottom half of the dial or a 3d moon on the de bethune all seem to suit the watches character.

        Maybe its just me but when I think of a Lange I think of a more stoic, practical and less whimsical attitude.

        • iamcalledryan

          Agreed, this is as whimsical as they get. Holding out for the Lange Temp Suspendu!

          • MEddie90

            The day Lange release a temp suspendu or crazy hours will be a strange day indeed.

  • DanW94

    Hands down, my favorite watch of the SIHH 2016 offerings shown. It’s amazing. Love the hidden tourbillon. If somehow the dial side is not enough for you, just turn it over for your discreet viewing pleasure.

  • cervantes

    Stunning indeed. The regular and perpetual datograph is 41mm not 41.5.

  • iamcalledryan

    utterly stunning – the best of the best

  • Beefalope

    No one is more reliable for delivering the goods than ALS. They simply don’t make mistakes.

  • Shinytoys

    yes indeed!!!!

  • Ryan B.

    very beautiful

  • funNactive

    I may not be a purist but I’d rather see the Tourbillon through the window on the dial in place of the moon phase. Being able to watch the tourbillon while on my wrist would be the purpose (for me) in spending the money on a tourbillon.
    Great cases size @ 41mm. Complications don’t need to come in a large package.

  • Auto Correct

    Gorgeous piece & great photography! Thanks

  • SwissMatic

    Best power reserve indicator ever.

  • Nateb123

    Costs as much as a Ferrari and looks as good as one too.

  • Bruce

    If someone were to ask me what a watch looks like, this would undoubtedly be it.

  • spiceballs

    Agreed, for me also the best, so far. Thx Ariel & guys.

  • aRIdd aRid

    absolutely gorgeous ! +1 for the power reserved indicator !

  • BrJean

    Simply awesome! I think all 100 upcoming pieces are already sold.

  • speedy

    The movement is stunning (“as usual”), but what I like the most is the design of the dial. It shows all the information of the calendar with a big date and a day/night indicator, the chronograph with a tachymetre, the power reserve, the moon phase, 5 lines of text, and yet it remains clear, sober and elegant despite the still reasonable case size. A great improvement on the already more-than-fine datograph perpetual without tourbillon.
    Gorgeous watch overall.

  • So I went today and told Tino Bobe, Head of Research & Development, that the only thing I didn’t like is the counterweight of the chronograph hand because it will disturb the view of the full moon, and he guaranteed I will be banned forever from the manufacture.

    lol just kidding, he is a super cool guy. But yeah, it does stand in the middle there, although luckily it is skeletonized. Other than that, yet another super amazing watch.

  • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

    Just remove the Tourbillon word from the dial to make it a true stealth watch. I prefer if a Tourbillon is visible, but would not say no to this piece… 🙂

  • Martin Cerny

    Love the movement, great watch but I really wonder who can read what is written on the dial? There are over 120 alphabetic characters. Definitely a lot to tell us 😉

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