For watch geeks like myself, SIHH is an annual pilgrimage on a par with Mecca, Bethlehem or Jerusalem. 17 brands — 5 days andmore wrist shots any man should have to witness. It doesn’t get better. One stand that I tend to gravitate towards is that of A. Lange & Söhne’s. When it comes to modern watchmaking, A. Lange & Söhne are right at the very top. And I’m excited to share their new launches for 2017 with you:

The first is the 1815 annual calendar. With a manually wound movement, analogue date, day and month indications as well as a moon-phase display, the 1815 annual calendar is deeply satisfying on every level.

The 1815 annual calendar is only the second A. Lange & Söhne with a calendar function (the first was a self-winding Saxonia Annual Calendar from 2010). The new 1815 features a manually wound movement and an analogue date. The manual winder is also a subtle homage to Ferdinand Adolph Lange. In 1866, he obtained a patent in the USA for his development of a crown winder that would replace the hitherto commonplace key-operated winding works, referring to it as “a useful mechanism for winding and setting watches”.

Looking at the dial, it’s  argenté-coloured with blued-steel hands offset by the contrasting rich black Arabic numerals and peripheral railway-track minute scale. Calculated to remain accurate for 122.6 years, the moon-phase display is integrated into the subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock. The calendar indications are easily legible thanks to the golden hands of the two subdials that are precisely aligned with the horizontal centre axis. On the left, they display the day and on the right the month. From March to January, all month durations are correctly indicated. A button at 2 o’clock makes it possible to collectively advance all indications, for instance if the watch has stood still for a longer period of time. Additionally, three recessed push pieces allow separate corrections of the day, month and moon phase. For the first time in a Lange calendar model, the date can also be separately advanced with an additional recessed push piece.

Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L051.3, manually wound, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; plates made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand

Power reserve: 72 hours when fully wound 

Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds with stop seconds; annual calendar with analogue date, day, month; moon-phase display

Case dimensions: Diameter: 40.0 millimetres; height: 10.1 millimetres

Strap:  Hand-stitched alligator leather strap, black / Hand-stitched alligator leather strap, red brown

Next up:  The Lange 31 in white gold and grey. Oh boy. Possibly my pick of this year’s launches from Lange. Limited to 100 watches this guy is pure power! For nearly a decade, the LANGE 31 has been the first and only mechanical wristwatch with a power reserve of 31 days and a patented constant-force escapement.

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.

Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L034.1, manually wound; crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; twin mainspring barrel; constant-force escapement with remontoir spring produced in-house; plates and bridges made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand

Power reserve: 31 days (744 hours) when fully wound

Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds with stop seconds; outsize date; power-reserve indicator  

Case dimensions: Diameter: 45.9 millimetres; height: 15.9 millimetres

Strap:  Hand-stitched alligator leather strap, dark brown

One of the most understated, elegant dress watch families in the world of horology is that of the Saxonia Collection which has two new additions this year. In both new Saxonia models, we see mother-of-pearl dials and manufacture calibres. Both come in 35-millimetre cases crafted from white or pink gold.

The white dial made of solid silver is covered with a very thin layer of iridescent mother of pearl. The slender hands and baton-style hour markers are in solid gold and sign off what is a delightful women’s dress watch.

Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L941.1, manually wound, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand

Power reserve: 45 hours when fully wound

Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds with stop seconds

Case dimensions:Diameter: 35.0 millimetres; height: 7.3 millimetres

Strap: Hand-stitched white alligator leather strap

This is the big one. If you’re into complications, The Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite” is a watch that exhibits the very finest technical execution one would hope to see in a high end watch.

The fifth masterpiece in A. Lange & Söhne’s “Pour le Mérite” series combines the fusée-and-chain transmission with a tourbillon, a chronograph, a rattrapante function and a perpetual calendar. In October 1994, A. Lange & Söhne presented the first collection of the new era, including the tourbillon “Pour le Mérite”, the first wristwatch with a tourbillon and a fusée-and-chain transmission. It was followed in 2005 with a further model in which these two elaborate constructions were united: the Tourbograph “Pour le Mérite”. And finally, a chronograph with the rattrapante function made it the manufactory’s most complicated watch at the time.

Now, the movement has a fifth complication: a perpetual calendar in the Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite”, presented the engineers of the Saxon manufactory with a formidable challenge. In this project, the perpetual calendar mechanism had to be built around the tourbillon. Consequently,  about two thirds of the movement surface were available, and this necessitated a redesign of the basic calibre. At the same time, the developers did not want to noticeably increase the height of the movement. A magnificent piece of engineering.

Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L133.1, manually wound, fusée- and-chain transmission, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; preci- sion-adjusted in five positions; plates and bridges made of un- treated German silver; chronograph bridge engraved by hand

Power reserve: 36 hours when fully wound

Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes; tourbillon; chronograph with rattrapante function; perpetual calendar with date, day, month, leap year; moon-phase display

Operating elements:Crown for winding the watch and setting the time, two pushers for operating the chronograph at 2 and 4 o’clock, Rattrapante button at 10 o’clock; separate recessed push pieces for advancing the date, day, month, and moon phase

Case dimensions: Diameter: 43.0 millimetres; height: 16.6 millimetres

Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather strap, black

Limited edition: 50 watches

I’m a sucker for the Lange 1. Its almost perfect in every way. And it’s the sort of watch you can spotfrom a country mile off! The Little Lange 1 Moon Phase is a new addition this year. Featuring a new movement, the elegant model features a guilloched, argenté-coloured dial accommodated in a 36.8-millimetre pink-gold case.

Compared to the Lange 1 Moon Phase, this latest version of the classic timepiece is 1.7 millimetres smaller. The warm gloss of the polished pink-gold case contrasts with the exquisitely guilloched, argenté-coloured gold dial of the Little Lange 1 Moon Phase. Featuring two golden moons, the lunar disc of this model is also argenté-coloured. The astronomical complication emulates the synodic orbit of the earth’s companion so accurately that it only needs to be corrected by one day every 122.6 years. Shiny pink-gold hands and appliques accentuate the asymmetric dial with its precisely jumping outsize date display.

Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L121.2, manually wound, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; plates made of untreated German silver; balance cock en- graved by hand

Power reserve: 72 hours

Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds with stop seconds; power-reserve indicator; Lange outsize date; moon-phase display

Case dimensions: Diameter: 36.8 millimetres; height: 9.5 millimetres

Strap:Alligator leather strap, white

Last, but certainly not least — let me introduce the Zeitwerk Decimal Strike. This is a honey gold Zeitwerk (the third Zeitwerk in the family featuring an acoustic time indication), limited to 100 pieces, that now strikes every ten minutes.

Introduced in 2009, the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk gave time a new face with a mechanical jumping numerals display.  In the new model, it relies on two differently tuned gongs to indicate the full hours as well as the ten-minute intervals between the start of one hour and the next. The two hammers that are visible on the dial side consist of polished steel and, like the hammer bridge, are decorated with a tremblage engraving. The hammer on the left strikes the low-pitched gong once every full hour. The right-hand hammer sounds a higher-pitched tone every ten minutes, or in other words, every time a new ten-minute interval begins.

Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L043.7, manually wound, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; three- quarter plate made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand; jumping minutes; constant-force escapement

Power reserve: 36 hours when fully wound 

Functions: Time indicated in hours and minutes as jumping numerals, subsidiary seconds with stop seconds, power-reserve indicator, acoustic signal every ten minutes and at the start of each hour

Case dimensions: Diameter: 44.2 millimetres; height: 13.1 millimetres

Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather strap, dark brown

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