The num­bers be­hind A Lange & Söhne’s Tour­bo­graph Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar “Pour Le Mérite”

Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time - - Contents - Text Ter­ence Lim

A Lange & Söhne’s lat­est “Pour Le Mérite” is one com­plex beast

Tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from the King­dom of Prus­sia’s high­est mil­i­tary or­der, A Lange & Söhne rolled out its “Pour le Mérite” col­lec­tion in 1994. It boasts watches en­dowed with the most com­pli­cated of tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tions. Also, the col­lec­tion fea­tures the fusée-and-chain trans­mis­sion, an age-old com­pli­ca­tion that in­creases the rate ac­cu­racy of a me­chan­i­cal time­piece. This year, it launches the Tour­bo­graph Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar “Pour Le Mérite”, which com­bines the fusée-and-chain with four other com­pli­ca­tions.


Only pieces of the Tour­bo­graph Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar “Pour Le Mérite” will be pro­duced.


The Cal­i­bre L133.1, which pow­ers the watch, con­tains 684 com­po­nents, of which 206 are ded­i­cated to the per­pet­ual cal­en­dar alone. This shows how sig­nif­i­cant a role the per­pet­ual cal­en­dar plays in this piece.


The fusée-and-chain trans­mis­sion was in­te­grated into a Lange watch for the first time in 1994, giv­ing birth to the “Pour le Mérite” col­lec­tion. By con­nect­ing a fusée (a cone­shaped pul­ley) to the spring bar­rel with a chain, the force of the main­spring is de­liv­ered to the move­ment in con­stant in­cre­ments. This en­sures a con­tin­u­ous and con­stant sup­ply of en­ergy, main­tain­ing the watch’s ac­cu­racy and pre­ci­sion. All five “Pour le Mérite” watches are equipped with the fusée-and-chain trans­mis­sion.


At A Lange & Söhne, there are only 10 watch mod­els fit­ted with the one-minute tour­bil­lon. The watch­maker pushes its lim­its with this Tour­bo­graph Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar by fin­ish­ing the wave-shaped tour­bil­lon bridge with tra­di­tional black pol­ish. It’s a com­pli­cated fin­ish­ing technique that has never been done on a curved sur­face. Time and ef­fort are in­vested into per­fect­ing the technique by the finis­seurs.


There are five high-end com­pli­ca­tions in the Tour­bo­graph Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar “Pour Le Mérite”. It’s fit­ted with a chrono­graph, a rat­tra­pante func­tion, a fusée-and-chain trans­mis­sion, a one-minute tour­bil­lon and a per­pet­ual cal­en­dar. This is also the fifth “Pour Le Mérite” watch that the man­u­fac­ture has pro­duced.


Good things come in a pair for the watch. First, the chrono­graph is com­bined with a rat­tra­pante func­tion, which al­lows the tim­ing of in­ter­vals. Be­cause of this com­bi­na­tion, the move­ment boasts not one but two col­umn wheels to man­age the chrono­graph hand and rat­tra­pante hand. Also, the split-sec­onds chrono­graph is paired with a per­pet­ual cal­en­dar. This pair­ing is a test of the watch­mak­ers—both re­quire a huge amount of en­ergy to op­er­ate so the watch­mak­ers need to en­sure that there is still sufficient power left for the move­ment.

The A Lange & Söhne Tour­bo­graph Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar “Pour Le Mérite” is a work of me­chan­i­cal art.

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