Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon: Lange have a habit of creating timepieces that just somehow become instant grails. At this year’s SIHH they’ve flexed their technical watchmaking muscles once again and this time in the form of probably one of their most treasured timepieces; the Datograph Perpetual. Last year they introduced the Datograph Perpetual with a grey dial, however this year, it would seem they’ve gone a few steps further. This is the all new Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon.
This latest masterpiece from Saxony’s finest pairs three complications in an altogether smart package. While the combination of these three complications is technically a brilliant idea, the real art is actually making them interact in a beneficiary manner. Naturally you’d be mistaken for thinking that these complications would make the dial a pretty cluttered affair but it is quite the opposite. The dial is an all-black solid silver affair, which nicely contrasts against the 41.5-millimetre platinum case as well as the hands and hour markers in rhodiumed gold.
There is no denying the Datograph is one of my grail timepieces and just last year we had some extensive hands-on time with one of its siblings; the Double Split Flyback. This Datograph makes use of a column-wheel chronograph with a precisely jumping minute counter, a flyback function and the all essential Lange outsize date window. However, this new generation of chronograph employs three major technical advances in chronograph design into one: the column-wheel mechanism assures that all chronograph functions are reliably controlled. The jumping minute counter crisply displays the stopped times with the added bonus of the flyback function.
Then there’s the all-important perpetual function with moon phase display. All indications of the perpetual calendar – including the outsize date as well as the day-of-week, month and leap-year displays in subsidiary dials – switch instantaneously and thus give precise and clear readings at all times. A first correction of the mechanism by one day can wait until the first day of March in the secular year 2100. And because of its stunning mechanical precision, the moon phase display will only deviate from the true lunation by a single day after 122.6 years, which we have spoken about before right here. Three correctors allow the separate adjustment of the moon-phase display, the day of the week and the combined advance of the month and leap-year indications. The rapid-correction pusher at ten o’clock can be used to conveniently update all displays at the same time.
Lastly, the hidden gem that is the tourbillon. Showing off a tourbillon is common practice nowadays but originally this was something mostly hidden and this isn’t the only piece Lange make where the tourbillon isn’t framed in a beautiful cage dial side. Alternatively, the tourbillon mechanism is exposed by the sapphire-crystal caseback and the open tourbillon bridge, which makes use of a free-sprung balance spring crafted in-house, it assures an excellent rate of accuracy across the entire 50-hour power reserve. Undoubtedly this Lange tourbillon incorporates their patented stop-seconds mechanism, allowing the wearer to set the watch to one second accuracy. This ingenuous new calibre L952.2 movement consists of 729 parts that, as already mentioned, harmoniously work together.
The Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is limited to 100 pieces and will cost, when available, €295,000 (approx. £225,000). For more details, visit the Lange website.