The A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret was the brand’s highly under-appreciated rectangular watch that was debuted in 1997 and was discontinued back in 2009. Now the collection is reintroduced with a follow-up to what was the last, and most impressive, piece in the collection with the A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst. Limited to just 30 pieces, it carries a hefty price tag well into several six-figures but it’s hard to argue that this isn’t a spectacular way for the Cabaret to make its comeback.
The Cabaret Tourbillon was horologically significant as it was the first tourbillon that you could stop, essentially making it a hacking tourbillon. Limited to 30 pieces, the new Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst updates the balance spring of the calibre L042.1 so as to allow for an indexless oscillation system. Of course, this being a Handwerkskunst piece the finishes are Lange’s finest.
The rectangular platinum case measures 29.5mm-wide, 39.2mm-tall, and 10.3mm-thick, framing the calibre L042.1 which measures 22.3mm-wide, 32.6mm-tall, and 6.4mm-thick. The case is fit just right for the movement, but the dial side looks to be just as meticulously and impressively done. Done in solid white gold, the tri-layer dial is obviously intended to show off that beautiful tourbillon. However, I’m equally enamored of the hand-engraved “lozenge pattern” framing the recognizable Lange big date aperture. You’ll notice this lozenge pattern is echoed in the six non-Roman numeral hour indices as well as on the movement side with the intermediate wheel cocks and tourbillon.
Above the tourbillon, you’ll notice two subdials, with a running seconds at 8 o’clock and power reserve indicator at 4 o’clock. Each aspect of the dial is framed by fine hand-done tremblage, which is incredibly difficult and physically taxing due to just how small and precise the work is.
Finally, the dial is finished with a semi-transparent layer of enamel that is supposed to make everything just that much rich and radiant. That’s something that I would love to see in the metal, as it’s a touch that just can’t be communicated through photography.
In addition to the lozenge pattern finishing, the calibre L042.1 features an untreated German silver three-quarter plate. I’m a big fan of these warm granular German silver finishes on Lange movements, and I’m sure this one is up there with its best. If the nine screwed-gold chatons on the movement (eight on the back and one on the dial-side of the tourbillon) didn’t give it away, the calibre L042.1. is designed to evoke the grand pocket-watch movements of old. Comprised of 370 parts (84 dedicated to the tourbillon), the manual-wind calibre L042.1 operates at 21,600 vph and has a 120-hour power reserve.
The A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst really is as good as it gets when it comes to just about every aspect of a great watch. The case, dial, and movement are Lange at its best, and I’m also really excited about the rectangular Cabaret collection making a comeback (as limited as it is, at least for now). Limited to 30 pieces, the Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst is priced at 315,000 EUR. You can learn more at alange-soehne.com