The first Datograph Perpetual was launched in 2006 and with this year’s astounding Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon, it might have seemed almost a no-brainer to use the original movement, stuff a tourbillon inside and create a brand new watch.
You would be wrong.
Indeed, anyone who knows the Datograph knows that there are certain things you keep sacred, and every variation of this fabled watch has kept the same vital ingredient that has secured its status as an icon: the sublime view of the movement complete with its almost unearthly level of finishing.
This was the challenge, and the parts that related to the chronograph functions were kept intact. Indeed with the functions of the perpetual calendar on the dial side, the main challenge then was to place a tourbillon where a normal escapement would be, yet it could not be done due to the positions of the components. So, some complex re-arrangement had to be done, which required a four-year development period to make it all work.
What has resulted is a brand-new movement that retains everything we love about the Datograph, including its very wearable size, into the magnificent centerpiece we have this year for the brand at SIHH.
A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon
Movement: Lange cal. L952.2 manual-winding movement; hours, minutes and seconds; flyback chronograph, tourbillon; perpetual
Case: 41.5mm; platinum
Strap: Alligator leather
No less soul-stirring as well, the second highlight was the Richard Lange Jumping Seconds with its regulator-style dial, placing the jumping seconds in pride of place at the center. With the hours and minutes arranged from left to right in a logical way, the watch remains easy to read. The constant-force mechanism is its main technical highlight, recharging itself every second, and interacting with a second gear train to incite the jumping seconds via a fivepoint star that is captured and released by a flirt.
Technically a very interesting watch, the emotional strength of its capability is best exemplified when one pulls the crown, and sees the large seconds hand jumping to zero via the zeroreset mechanism.
Other additions to the range include a new Saxonia with moonphase and outsized date, a white-gold-cased and white-dial version of the new Lange 1 first seen last year, and the third version of the “Lumen” watches, the Grand Lange 1 Moonphase “Lumen”. This new version of the “Lumen” with its large moonphase display within the hour and minute subdial, like the big date, markers, and all indications, also glows in the dark. Truly a magical display that highlights the best of the iconic Lange 1 design, and best appreciated when the lights are off.
A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds
Movement: Caliber L094.1 manual-winding movement; hours, minutes and jumping seconds with end-of-power indication; 42-hour power reserve
Case: 39.9mm; platinum
Strap: Alligator leather