At first sight, the sleek grey dial of the Lange 31 in the 45.9-millimetre white-gold case does not reveal any sign of the power hidden inside its manually wound calibre. Only the white 31 at the upper end of the large power-reserve indicator and the small inscription beneath the Lange outsize date modestly refer to the fact that when fully wound, the movement will run for an entire month. It is a formidable technical challenge to endow a mechanical watch with a power reserve of 744 hours – and so is assuring superb rate accuracy from the first to the last day. This is because the twin mainspring barrel with its two 185- centimetre-long springs delivers an enormous amount of torque at the beginning when fully wound, which then gradually declines toward the end of the power-reserve period. Thus, a separate technical device is needed to guarantee constant force delivery in the interest of maximised rate accuracy. The device is referred to as the constant-force escapement. In the Lange 31, this device between the twin mainspring barrel and the going train delivers a constant amount of energy to the escapement every ten seconds, so consequently, the balance always oscillates with the same ideal amplitude. The result is superior precision from the first to the thirty-first day when a limiter mechanism stops the movement.
The Lange 1 is limited to 100 watches.
The function of the constant-force escapement is readily observable. A look through the sapphire-crystal caseback reveals the triangular cam attached to the fourth-wheel arbor. It controls the mechanism with an ingeniously designed pivoting lever to recharge the remontoir spring with fresh energy every ten seconds. The powerful mainsprings are tensioned with a separate key that inserts in a square socket in a recess of the sapphire- crystal back. Its technical features include an integrated backstop ratchet for smooth and easy winding as well as a torque limiter that prevents unintentional overwinding of the springs. The artisanal finissage of the horological power pack lives up to all of the expectations that connoisseurs around the world associate with the A. Lange & Söhne brand.
Some Lange watches set me in actual pain, I need them so much. To make this problem sound more serious than it really is, I will call it Futile Unattainable Watch Acquisition Syndrome (FUWAS, for short). If a person has copyrighted that previously, have his lawyer contact mine. Weirdly, the heavyweight horological muscle-flexer A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual ‘Pour Le Mérite’ is not such a Lange, and I’ve even managed to finally figure out why.Why? Just as it’s a heavy weight horological muscle-flexer of a watch, a watch that’s so overdone, its doping has enabled but a few little segments in the Lange DNA to endure such intense treatment. In truth, we’ve seen the combination of a round instance, perpetual calendar and moon period in sub-dials, and a chronograph many times before. Many, many times, because that is how genuinely spoiled we are. The Tourbograph even reveals some skin (lovely skin, actually) at 6 o’clock to let you know not just using its font selection and ever-so-slightly unique lugs that it is a Lange.I fully understand the value and the awe-inspiring goodness at the bespoke, not-copied-from-anyone-else engineering that is under the hood of the Tourbograph Perpetual, however we aren’t talking about an uncased motion here, however a complete watch. On that note, anyone who does not tingle in the sight of the motion should seek medical care, quick! To take a more positive attitude to what unquestionably is a watchmaking masterpiece, we have to look at the myriads of fine details the Tourbograph offers.
The Lange manufacture calibre L034.1.