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A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Merite” Watch Hands-On

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Merite” Watch Hands-On Hands-On

One of the best surprises at SIHH 2011 was how much I enjoyed the A. Lange & Sohne Richard Lange Tourbillon "Pour le Merite." The regulator style watch took influence from a pocket watch made in the Dresden area a while back. It had three overlapping subdials, with one for the hours,  minutes, and seconds. Lange took the concept and added to it some very complex mechanical features that make this not only a neat looking watch, but one with a very sophisticated inside.

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Merite” Watch Hands-On Hands-On

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Merite” Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I wrote about the Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Merite watch here when it was first introduced. There I cover all the technical details and talk more about the movement. When meeting with A. Lange & Sohne I was pleasantly surprised to see the details all worked together in a very cohesive way. Making a complex watch is one thing, making it feel balanced and properly composed is another. It also helped that Lange gave me some Radeberger Pilsner that they brought to Geneva from Dresden - the local beer of the area. Nothing is better than some draft beer when you are in the stuff halls of SIHH at the Palexpo.

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Merite” Watch Hands-On Hands-On

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Merite” Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The L072.1 manually wound movement in the Richard Lange Tourbillon regulator is manually wound and has a tourbillon escapement as well as a fusee and chain transmission. For super star watch nerds, this is a glorious combination of holy grail features. The tourbillon sits viewable in the seconds subdial, while it is harder to see the mini bicycle chain part of the fusee and chain. Each of these exotic items is meant to increase accuracy in a movement. Fusee chains are much more rare and harder to make. Having them both together probably excited a number of people.

As is the case in most hand-made and decorated A. Lange & Sohne watch movements, the one in here is breathtakingly beautiful, and I don't use that term lightly. Really one of the brand's better one. Don't forget the hand-engraved balance cock. I pretty much take every opportunity I can to say balance cock.

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Merite” Watch Hands-On Hands-On

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Merite” Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The little "trick" on the dial was the piece of the hour dial the retracts when the hour hand isn't using it, so that you have a fuller view of the tourbillon and opening to the movement. The complication is pretty slick, and I will just defer to the little movie I took to have you see it in action (please thank Arnd for the narration!... and the Radeberger). As I said in the prior article on this watch, the complication isn't necessary, but appreciated in a high-end item of mechanical splendor and one of those things that make you smile about Lange timepieces. Even though their watches are dutifully classic, there is a warm sense of playfulness in their watches that just seems to be missing in other watches of this caliber. The watch is fun and impressively complex. Like I said, the final execution of it impressed me, and I really think Lange did a nice job for their 2011 flagship piece.

In platinum the Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Merite is limited to just 100 pieces with a price of $211,900, and is not limited in pink gold with a price of $175,600.

About the Author

Fueled by an unshakable love for horology and a general curiosity for intricate things, Ariel Adams founded aBlogtoWatch in 2007 as a means of sharing his passion. Since then, ABTW has become the highest trafficked blog on luxury timepieces, and Ariel has become a contributor to other online publications such as Forbes, Departures and Tech Crunch, to name just a few. His conversational writing style and inclusive attitude brings a wider appreciation for watches the world over, and that's just the way he likes it.

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  • Ovidiu

    Thank you Ariel for coming back to this one. I’ve read in your previous review about the missing dial part but now, after seeing it action… simply speechless.

    When I’m looking to it I get mixed feeling: you know is a quite complicated piece but in the same time it very simple and clear, two thing that you don’t usually find in the same time but nevertheless L&S managed to do it beautifully.

    • My pleasure. It is a cool watch

  • kris c

    The moving piece of dial is isin’t necessary? Most of this watch is not necessary, thank goodness they made it anyway. Just stunning.
    You see fusee movements in vintage/antique pocketwatches, etc, but it’s just not done anymore, so if I had a comment it would be that they should have made it more viewable. maybe not the whole thing, but you should be able to show that off easier.

  • IS3515

    This is why I love this website. Thanks Ariel.

  • Erik L

    that’s a nice balance cock.

  • Dangeruss

    Oh man! You’ve no idea how insufferable it is to want something this badly and know that I’ll never possess it. Maybe when Invicta comes out with a quartz version 🙂