The most outstanding creation among A. Lange & Söhne’s SIHH 2018 novelties is TRIPLE SPLIT, the first mechanical split-seconds chronograph in the world that allows multi-hour comparative time measurements. Additional rattrapante hands on the minute and hour totalisers make it possible to stop lap and reference times of events that last as long as twelve hours.
The new TRIPLE SPLIT by A. Lange & Söhne has now broken the house record of the DOUBLE SPLIT, which in 2004 allowed the first comparative measurements with an aggregate duration of 30 minutes and since then has defended its unique position. With a precisely jumping rattrapante minute counter and a continuous rattrapante hour counter, the TRIPLE SPLIT multiplies the measuring range of the rattrapante function by a factor of 24.
The Triple Split chronograph is useful in many diversified and interesting applications such as motor racing, cycling, marathon, calculating time between long-haul flights etc. In the passive mode, the respective hand pairs – sweep seconds, minute- and hour-counter hands – are superposed. As soon as the measurement is started, they all begin to run simultaneously until the rattrapante pusher is pressed to freeze intermediate times.
The three blued-steel hands stop to display lap times while the seconds hand as well as the minute and hour-counter hands continue to run and measure the total time. A second actuation of the rattrapante pusher causes the three stopped hands to catch up and synchronise with the running hands that continue to measure the duration of the event.
The TRIPLE SPLIT – which comes in a limited edition of 100 pieces – is endowed with a fly- back function that involves all three hand pairs as well. Thus, the chronograph can be reset and instantly restarted by pressing the lower chronograph pusher even during an ongoing measurement. A power-reserve indicator based on Lange’s typical UP/DOWN display shows how much of the 55-hour reserve remains available.
The well-organized grey dial in solid silver is colour-coordinated with the 18-carat white-gold case that has a diameter is 43.2 millimetres. The three rattrapante hands in blued steel clearly set themselves apart from the rhodiumed chronograph hands. The hands that display the time and the applied baton hour markers are made of rhodiumed gold. The hour and minute hands are luminous.
The design of the movement assures that neither the measurement of lap times nor the progression of the precisely jumping minute counter has a negative effect on rate stability. The normally unavoidable loss of amplitude is prevented by a disengagement mechanism developed and patented by A. Lange & Söhne. Without this device, friction losses would occur when the rattrapante function is activated. Because it rotates slowly and continuously, the hour counter does not need such a mechanism.
The manufacture calibre L132.1 is a newly developed movement that significantly distinguishes itself from the calibre L001.1 of the DOUBLE SPLIT. The power-reserve indicator has been shifted down to provide more display space for the rattrapante hour counter in the upper part of the dial. Despite the extended functionality, the engineers succeeded in integrating the additional components in the movement so ingeniously that the case did not have to be enlarged in comparison with the DOUBLE SPLIT.
A glance through the sapphire-crystal caseback reveals the highly complex chronograph movement finished to the highest Lange standards as well as the painstakingly choreographed interaction of wheels, levers, springs, clutches and jumpers.