In 2017, the fifth masterpiece – TOURBOGRAPH PERPETUAL “Pour le Mérite” – joins in A. Lange & Söhne’s “Pour le Mérite” series. Unveiled at SIHH 2017, this high end horology creation combines the fusée-and-chain transmission with a tourbillon, a chronograph, a rattrapante function and a perpetual calendar.
In October 1994, A. Lange & Söhne presented the first collection of the new era, including the legendary TOURBILLON “Pour le Mérite”, the first wristwatch with a tourbillon and a fusée-and-chain transmission. It was followed in 2005 with a further model in which these two elaborate constructions were united: the TOURBOGRAPH “Pour le Mérite”. But there was more: a chronograph with the rattrapante function made it the manufactory’s most complicated watch at the time.
Now, the movement has been endowed with a fifth complication. In the development phase, the integration of a perpetual calendar in the TOURBOGRAPH PERPETUAL “Pour le Mérite” presented the engineers of the Saxon manufactory with a formidable challenge: to orchestrate the interaction of the complex mechanisms in such a way that mechanical conflicts or unwanted energy losses could be prevented.
In this project, the perpetual calendar mechanism had to be built around the tourbillon. Consequently, only about two thirds of the movement surface were available, and this necessitated a redesign of the basic calibre. At the same time, the developers did not want to noticeably increase the height of the movement.
The TOURBOGRAPH PERPETUAL “Pour le Mérite” is the epitome of classic watchmaking: its hallmarks permeate all domains from design and engineering to consummate, flawless artisanship. The dial itself reflects the traditional approach in timekeeping.
Arabic numerals, a railway-track minute scale, blued steel hands for the time and rhodiumed gold hands for the calendar as well as the cloverleaf arrangement of the subsidiary dials pay tribute to the famous A. Lange & Söhne pocket watches.
Tradition also governs technical details such as column-wheel control for the chronograph and rattrapante mechanisms as well as the screw balance. Finally, it manifests itself in typical quality elements such as the two diamond endstones that suspend the tourbillon cage or the black-polished tourbillon bridge. The stately platinum case with a diameter of 43 millimetres is a fitting stage for this horological masterpiece.