A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calender

L&S is according to myself one of the most interesting amongst many prominent horology houses. In a sense, L&S represents to the watch world what Porsche does to the car world, only a bit more exclusive. A bit more austere than its counterparts, yet in no way inferior but in many ways superior.

Originally founded by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in 1845 it was expropriated by the post-war Soviet administration, thus ceasing to exist in 1948. In 1990, however, the great-grandson of the founder revived the company with the intention of specializing in wrist watches.

The original Lange 1 was one of the first pieces presented by Lange & Söhne upon its revival. With its asymmetric, overlap-free displays and the characteristic outsize date, it probably won the most awards of any watch in the past decades and has become the icon of Saxon watchmaking as defined by A. Lange & Söhne.

19 years later L&S presented a new version of the Lange 1, the Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar. As some of you might remember from one of my earlier entries, a tourbillon is a complex invention designed to negate the impact gravity had on pocket-watch movements, since pocket watches almost always are kept in a stagnant upright position. In wrist watches, tourbillon holds more of a symbolic attribute. A perpetual calendar is one of the most useful complications; A plethora of gears lets the complication keep track of leap years while its demand for adjustments is comprised of a few turns of the crown once every century.


The Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calender displays the following: Time indicated in hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds. Perpetual calendar with outsize date, day of week, month, and leap year; day/night indication and moonphase display. 648 parts is required to build it, 68 of them jewels. The date numerals are hand painted in the distinct blue frequently used by Lange.
The case only comes in platinum and to acquire one for yourself or a loved one will set you back at least 350,000 dollars.

I guess some people prefer things complicated.