Lange have a habit of making some exceptional wristwatches but one that perhaps goes unnoticed is the Langematik and this year they’ve decided to make sure people don’t forget about it by casing it in something a little different. While everybody has their favourites among the Lange collection not often does the Langematik come to mind. That said, while Lange are perhaps more revered when it comes to chronographs, they’re just as masterful at creating perpetual calendars.
The Langematik Perpetual is the timepiece for collectors and aficionados alike that expect nothing less than perfection from their perpetual calendar timepiece. A piece that is as much about German efficiency and precision as it is about balance and elegance. As you’ve likely hear me mention before, most watch manufacturers round two moon phases, giving them an easier number to work with but not Lange, oh no. The Langematik uses the moon phase down to a couple of seconds and has a continuously moving moon phase disk, which naturally requires additional gears. So instead of using a jumping disk that is cheaper to make and conveniently covers up the inaccuracies Lange have gone the whole nine yards – so to speak.
A moon phase is usually 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.9 seconds. Most manufacturers round it down to 29 ½ days and some actually round it up to 59 days for two phases, which can then be neatly subdivided into 24 hour intervals but this means you miss 1 hour, 28 minutes, 5.8 seconds. But Lange’s construction, which is driven directly via several gears off the hour wheel, means it’s only out by 1.9 seconds per day, which equals to only 59 seconds per moon phase – this is German precision at its finest!
When introduced the Langematik was the world’s first wristwatch with a self-winding movement to incorporate a perpetual calendar with the signature Lange outsized date window at 12 o’clock. The perpetual calendar function is sophisticatedly displayed via three subsidiary dials. At 3 o’clock is the month display with each month fully represented and at 6 o’clock within the same month sub dial is the leap year indicator. On the opposite side at 9 o’clock is the day and day/night display, indicated via two concentric circles.
Down the bottom at 6 o’clock is the moon phase and running seconds subsidiary dial. Once correctly set, the date display only requires correction by one day every hundred years. The moon-phase display is the epitome of precision as mentioned above. It deviates from the true position of the moon by merely one day every 122.6 years, this is assuming the watch runs without interruption but in any case you need to set the Langematik, the calendar displays can be advanced collectively or individually, via recessed pushers on the side of the case between 3 and 4, 8, 9 and 10 o’clock.
The Langematik is a very elegant timepiece and this gentlemanly elegance is continued with the use of applied roman numerals (with the exception of 4, 6 and 8 that feature batons), with outer train track minute scale that at hour intervals has discreet luminous dot markers. The laced hands also sport a matching luminous inlay. The dial is given some contrast with a layered concentric circle effect and circular graining on the sub dials. The case measures a very comfortable 38.5mm and is only 10.5mm thick that features highly polished bezel and lugs, with a brushed case band. This will all be nicely affixed to your wrist via a hand-stitched leather crocodile strap with matching metal pin buckle.
The Langematik is the quintessence of precision and is in my opinion arguably the finest perpetual calendar timepiece on the market today. Previously, the Langematik was only available in platinum, pink-gold and white-gold variant with a black dial that was released a few years ago as an exclusive release for the first Lange boutique opened in Moscow. This year at SIHH, Lange added a limited edition honey-gold version to the line-up. The new honey-gold Langematik is limited to 100-pieces and is priced at €85,000. For more information, visit the official A. Lange & Söhne website.