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A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds Watch

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds Watch Watch Releases

By releasing the all-new A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds at SIHH 2016, the Glashütte, Germany-based manufacture has given us what quite possibly is the most accuracy-focused and, in that regard, most impressive Lange watch that we have ever seen. And not just that, but as we shall shortly discover, a fantastic package that ticks a lot of the boxes that represent key criteria for so many: moderate size, good legibility, some cool mechanical features, and all this wrapped into what is unmistakably a “Lange look.” As you would expect, though, whether or not the resulting watch is affordable, is a different question altogether.

Lange repeatedly refers to the A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds as a scientific observation watch – and while I feel safe in saying that most all science labs and space research teams will not add one of the 100 numbered pieces of it to their shopping lists anytime soon, Lange really did go a long way in making this new piece one suitable for those obsessed with timekeeping accuracy. How so?

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds Watch Watch Releases

By offering a mix of – claimed – enhanced timekeeping performance and accurate to-the-second legibility. First, let’s discover what’s what when it comes to the former specification. While there have always been standard movements with traditional construction that were refined, tuned, and modified to be extremely accurate, over time many additional features have been developed in an effort to push the chronometric performance of mechanical timepieces.

One of these is called “constant force,” a clever little device built into the movement to counter the effects of fluctuations in the power delivery of the mainspring. Between fully wound and completely unwound, the torque delivered by the mainspring drops considerably, affecting the amplitude of the balance wheel and hence the overall timekeeping accuracy.

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds Watch Watch Releases

Although its name hides this fact, the in-house-manufactured and, again, all-new L094.1 caliber of the A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds boasts such a power-delivery managing mechanism: through the cutout you see to the lower right in the image above, a five-spoke wheel is visible, with a spring installed underneath it – this is the constant force device. It is responsible for repeatedly collecting and storing energy and releasing it once every second, giving an extra push to the escapement. This, allegedly, will level out peaks and dips in power delivery from the mainspring through the going train and into the escapement, hence resulting in superior accuracy throughout the 42-hour power reserve of the watch.

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The really clever bit, though, is that Lange has paired this mechanism with jumping seconds – something not entirely new or unique per se (we have seen a similar combination with this Arnold & Son Constant Force Tourbillon, or the F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain); but a combination that nevertheless is certainly a novelty for Lange.

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds Watch Watch Releases

Jumping seconds originally was really all about improving legibility when it came to telling the time at a glance with to-the-second accuracy – and, although that still applies, today it arguably is a bit more about offering a slightly new and different watch to the collector desperate for something genuinely rare. Technically, this quartz-like one-tick-per-second is an impressive and fascinating modification to the original sweeping seconds hand that we see gliding across the dial, jumping 5-6-8-10 times per second. Why is it fascinating? Well, because when compared to perpetual calendars and other, “slow complications” that look good on paper (and on the wrist, thanks to a busy dial), the jumping seconds has the benefit that it performs something cool and different in an animated way that is observable once every second – not once every midnight, for example.

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds Watch Watch Releases

Now, we have familiarized ourselves with the innards of the new A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds, so let’s see how presentation measures up to the technical gizmos under the dial. To begin on a personal note, I will say that when I first saw the official images of the A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds, I for a moment thought to myself: “great, another piece that’s going to be cool and all, but way too large to be taken seriously as an actual watch.” Remember the visually similar Richard Lange Terraluna (hands-on here)? That piece is amazing on so many levels – but its sheer size and heft render it more a novelty that was designed to impress, than a timepiece made to be worn and used.

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  • IanE

    Well, I’d certainly like a Lange Regulator – but I’d like to remain solvent even more! 42 hours really is measly, and that red warning triangle is no substitute for a proper power reserve indicator (perhaps on the back, with the triangle still on the front for a bit of visual fun).

  • funNactive

    I like my mechanical watches to sweep (despite the accuracy).

  • JimBob

    Just to be clear, this is a dead beat seconds hand and not a foudroyante.

  • BNABOD

    this is perty but man would I struggle to read the time day in and day out. the silver hour and min hands just disappear on that white dial. the movement is stunning though.

  • egznyc

    Highly technical movement, you say? Why so? This is a time-only watch (and power reserve) – don’t be fooled by the “scientific observation” in its name. As you note, there won’t be many scientific labs purchasing this item, which is probably just as well as the government agencies funding research won’t allow an $85K platinum luxury watch as an expense 😉

    I’m not usually a fan of regulator-style watches but this looks superb, front and back. The low-power warning is really eye-popping – not to mention useful.

    • MEddie90

      A remontoir is a pretty complicated device, combine this with a separate gear train for the jumping seconds with a rather ingenious release mechanism, a seconds reset with vertical clutch and PR which gives you a 10 hour warning and you have a pretty complicated watch, sure its no grand complication but for a simple time only movement it has some pretty neat little tricks up its sleeve.

  • Nelson

    The dial is so illegible. The overlapping dials look cluttered They also should replace the silver hands with blue hands.

    • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

      Completely agree on this one. If they want to advertise it as a scientific watch they should not compromise high legibility for other aspects – who cares if is below 40mm if it does not fulfil it’s primary goal?

  • Roman Klime

    Regulators make my head ache, when i’m trying to match all that hands to find out what time it is.

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