HANDS-ON: The A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual TourbillonFelix Scholz
A. Lange & Söhne is one of the indisputable heavy-weights of the watch industry, with a credibility and cachet rivalling that of Patek Philippe. And this year at SIHH the German brand unveiled their new champion – the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon.
This watch is essentially a greatest hits compilation – their iconic Datograph chronograph, a perpetual calendar and a tourbillon, all in one awe-inspiring, platinum package. Lange already had a Datograph perpetual on the books, first released 10 years ago, which they updated last year, so you might think it would be a relatively simple feat of mechanical engineering to take the already stunning L952.1 movement and throw in a tourbillon. But no. This is Lange, remember? The only thing that remains unchanged is the almost sacred mechanism that is the Datograph chronograph. Everything else has been comprehensively upgraded.
So what do you get? The 792-part movement features a flyback chronograph with a jumping minute counter – along with a perpetual calendar in which every indicator jumps instantaneously at midnight, including Lange’s hallmark big date. Then there’s the day/night indicator and leap year indicator, which have been redesigned for better readability.
You also get a discreet power reserve indicator on the outer edge of the dial between the nine and 10 o’clock positions. And of course there’s the stunning tourbillon visible on the rear, featuring Lange’s patented hacking mechanism, allowing for down-to-the-second precision in time setting.
This hand-wound watch has 50 hours of power reserve, which may not seem like much in an era when 72 hours is becoming the new norm for simple automatics, though for a watch with this many power-hungry features, it’s an impressive feat. But the neatest and most user-friendly feature is the pusher at 10. It’s a rapid-correction pusher that advances all the calendar features simultaneously by one day – a smart time-saving feature, and don’t panic, it’s not one that can be accidentally activated as the crown needs to be pulled out for this button to work.
It’s hard to describe how impressive this watch is. It possesses a weight and a presence far beyond what you’d expect from the 41.5mm case. It’s a watch that embodies the best of A. Lange & Söhne’s formidable watchmaking expertise – innovative high complication and exceptional hand-finishing all in one awe-inspiring package.
A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon pricing and availability
The Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is limited to 100 pieces in platinum and has a price of $295,000 Euros.