IN CONTROL OF A WHIRLWIND
Connoisseurs of Lange timepieces will be aware that it’s not just its dials that are worth admiring – its movements are pure works of art. As Schmid shares: “Sometimes, people ask me how to spot a counterfeit Lange. Turn the watch over. If you’re not amazed by what you see, it’s a fake.” The movement of the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon has the striking depth distinctive of the Datograph and – as mentioned at the start of this story – includes a tourbillon visible only through the sapphire caseback.
Viewing this regulating mechanism, which gets its name from the French term for whirlwind, will certainly be a treat for owners of this watch (only 100 pieces will be made in platinum). The tourbillon cage is openwork to allow a good look at the escapement as it completes a full rotation every minute. Together with the in-house free-sprung balance spring, the mechanism offers consistent rate accuracy across the watch’s 50-hour power reserve period.
For greater accuracy not just when the watch is running but also when it is being set, the motion of the tourbillon is stopped when the crown is pulled, courtesy of A. Lange & Sohne’s stop-seconds function (see sidebar, Pull Out The Stops).
This, of course, is another of the watch’s many technical features, which are designed for optimal accuracy and ease of use. This philosophy is also reflected in its face: Aside from the neat organisation of its wealth of information, the dial’s aesthetics also up its legibility. A black dial, crafted from solid silver, forms a striking contrast with hands and hour markers in rhodiumed gold. Some exceptional timepieces seem designed to be locked away and admired ever so often – the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is clearly, and happily, designed to be used to the full extent of its capabilities.