A. Lange & Sohne A Dual Accomplishment

20 years since A. Lange & Sohne’s rebirth, the Saxon Manufacture has crafted remarkable watches of great design and finishing with practicality. This year, they develop a tourbillon watch coupling hacking with zero-reset functions, allowing the most precise time setting and showcasing the highest degree of precision.

20 years since A. Lange & Sohne’s rebirth, the Saxon Manufacture has crafted remarkable watches of great design and finishing with practicality. This year, they develop a tourbillon watch coupling hacking with zero-reset functions, allowing the most precise time setting and showcasing the highest degree of precision.

1815 Tourbillon

A. Lange & Sohne is no stranger when it comes to making tourbillon watches. Yet, the new 1815 Tourbillon is a record-breaking one to them. The Saxon Manufacture never makes any ‘just tourbillon’ watches. Indeed, their tourbillon watches usually come with additional functions. The 1815 Tourbillon, however, is the brand’s very first ‘pure tourbillon’ watch without any additional functions like the signature oversized date window. To highlight the captivating tourbillon, the diameter of the tourbillon is enlarged 1mm to 13.2mm, looking downright magnificent in the 39.5mm case. What’s more, it is also the first A. Lange & Sohne tourbillon watch uniting both stop-seconds and zero-reset functions.


Lots of wristwatches feature the stop-seconds function today. When the crown is pulled out to the time-setting position, it presses a lever onto the balance wheel and instantaneously halts the balance and so does the seconds hand. The purpose of this feature is to allow for a more precise setting of time. After pushing the crown back in, the lever leaves the balance wheel and thus the movement and seconds hand run again. It is just a very practical function yet has never been seen in a tourbillon until A Lange. & Sohne developed it in 2008. Over the course of the last decade, tourbillon has become more widely available; yet it never meets the stop-seconds functions. Perhaps this function is considered not complicated and majestic enough. And it is almost impossible to make it work in a tourbillon because the balance-wheel is housed inside the tourbillon cage whose posts are in the way of the lever. It means a tourbillon equipped with stop-seconds is a dilemma of cost-effectiveness. Yet, A. Lange & Sohne is always committed to the pursuit of perfect timekeeping. They originally dug out the age-old and complex fusee chain mechanism and applied it in a wristwatch to resolve the problem of unequal torque. They also successfully created a V-shaped braking spring to halt the tourbillon that no one has done before.

The Manufacture stops the balance-wheel by installing a V-shaped braking spring instead of a traditional straight lever. When the crown is pulled out to the position of setting time, the lever arm presses down and brings the V-shape spring to depress the balance-wheel. As the V-shape spring is two-armed, even if one arm is resting against the cage post, the other one will still advance to the balance wheel rim and stop it. The technical feat behind is of course meticulously calculated. For instance, the ends of the arms of V-shape spring are bent and shaped like the Chinese numeral ‘八’, which ensures that the spring could halt the balance-wheel without damaging and engaging it when the balance wheel is arrested and released. Tiny and thin, the spring clearly shows the sheer mastery of A. Lange & Sohne.


A zero-reset function (which allows the seconds hand automatically to jump to zero when pulling out the crown) helps set the time more precisely and conveniently. Back in 1997, A. Lange & Sohne applied a patented zero-reset mechanism. After bringing a plus on the watchmaking history by halting the toubillon, the Manufacture goes a step further today and adds a zero-reset mechanism into the 1815 tourbillon. The mechanism of zero-reset is similar to that of chronograph. The seconds hand jumping to zero is performed by the heart-shaped cam disc and levers. With a closer look on the tourbillon, you can see a lateral lever at 12 o’clock. When the crown is pulled out, the lever presses against the heart-shaped cam where the seconds hand is located on the same arbor. Thus, the seconds hand simultaneously snaps back to zero.

Zero-reset marrying tourbillon is in fact an apt combination, for tourbillon is invented to enhance the accuracy of a watch. With zero-reset function, we can simply measure the accuracy to the precise second. In other words, it implies the Manufacture has the utmost confidence in its horological expertise. Besides its useful function, the level of craftsmanship and finishing are truly top notch throughout. The three-quarter plate, gold chatons, blue screws and the hand-engraved balance bridge are all nicely polished, a typical decoration on every A. Lange & Sohne’s piece. You can admire how remarkable it is by the photos here. (Price around $1,500,000 for platinum case, $1,200,000 for pink gold case)


Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna

Calibre L096.1 is made up of over 700 parts and 80 jewels.

A. Lange & Sohne has introduced scores of perpetual calendar watches. To examine the dial, you’ll soon notice it is an extraordinary one like no others. It uses a regulator-style dial layout in a way different from the traditional style. A normal regulator watch has its hour, minute, seconds hand all standing vertically on the dial. As for the Terraluna, the 3 circles for time are mutually overlapped: the largest minute dial is the most eye-catching one, the hour and seconds dial sit at the right and left on the dial. Up at 12 o’clock is the panoramic big date, while the day of week and month indicators are located at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock respectively, forming an exceptional visual display of three circles with three windows. Other indicators are subtly shown on the dial, for instance the leap year indicator is placed in a small window at 3 o’clock and down at 6 o’clock is the power reserve indicator. The piece offers 14-day of power reserve by the twin barrels. In terms of a perpetual calendar watch, it has the longest power reserve among its kind. With a spring barrel storing so much energy, the problem of uneven torque may occur. Hence, the movement is equipped with a constant force mechanism providing steady power for the entire two week duration, ensuring precision timekeeping.

As if the dial isn’t impressive enough, another stand-out feature is revealed when turning the watch over: a sublime moonphase. Strictly speaking, it includes not only the moon’s orbit but also the earth. The balance-wheel represents the sun. There are also three discs representing the earth, sky, and moon, while the current phase of the moon is observed through the aperture in the sky disc. During your entire life, you don’t need to worry about its performance. Because the mechanism is so precise that it takes 1,058 years before the display needs to be adjusted by one day. You can just admire this beautiful scene created by the three solid white gold discs which have been undergone a special coating process. By doing so, the disc forms a deep-blue surface studded with 2,000 sparkling stars. (Price around $1,700,000)


Grand Lange 1Moon Phase


The new Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase not only offers a larger moonphase but also gives the display a brand new home. The brand has relocated the moonphase aperture into the hour and minute sub-dial from the small seconds sub-dial, allowing the lunar display to be made bigger within a more spacious stage. By examining where the moonphase is situated, one could readily tell whether the piece belongs to the 38.5mm Lange 1 family or the 41mm Grand Lange 1 collection. The moonphase now looks prominent in the hour and minute sub-dial. It is also connected with the hour-wheel continuum so that the moonphase display closely tracks the actual orbit of the moon. In addition, it is equipped with the precisely calculated seven-gear transmission. As a result, the moonphase indicator represents the lunar month with an accuracy of 99.9978 percent. So much so that, the display needs to be corrected by one day every 122.6 years. Apart from the admirable precision, the Manufacture spares no effort in depicting of the nocturnal sky. A patented method of coating the solid gold moon’s disk gives this astronomical display a highly detailed appearance with more than 300 stars of different size cut so sharply by a laser, shaping a stunning galaxy in the aperture. (Price around $490,000 for platinum case, $370,000 for gold and pink gold case)


The art of watchmaking is no doubt an intricate skills and craftsmanship, from the shape of hands, size of hour markers, to position of sub-dial. A subtle difference is enough to alter the proportion and appearance of dial. The diameter of case is just another vital factor; a same design with a bigger or smaller case size may look different on your wrist. This year, A. Lange & Sohne unveils a new model of the minimalist yet elegant 1815 in a 38.5mm case, slightly smaller than the 40mm version. The piece retains a hand-wound movement with fine polishing as always, a style you can only find on German soil. (Price around $190,000 to $200,000) 


Walter Lange, together with Gunter Blumlein, revived the A. Lange & Sohne brand 20 years ago. This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of the first collection as well as Mr. Walter Lange’s 90th birthday. What the brand has achieved so far is, perhaps, the best birthday gift to Mr. Walter Lange. Now please listen to what he said on such a special occasion. 

“Gunter Blumlein once said that a Lange watch is a fusion of the arts, consisting of a proud legacy, the passion of our staff for fine timepieces, the style of the company, a responsibility for its traditions, and finally the unique technology and artisanship to which we are committed. I can only agree. I am no longer involved in the daily business. But I still attend important events. As long as our watchmakers strive to craft the world’s best watches, the brand will be heading in the right direction. We cannot lower our in-house standards: quality is what makes Lange. It must stay that way. 

“My watch collection is a manageable number. Being a watchmaker, I have a weakness for technical complications. That’s why I like to wear the Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” from the first collection, also because this watch is a reminder of the revival of the A. Lange & Söhne brand.”

Back in 1994, Walter Lange, the great grandson of Adolf Lange who is the founder of A. Lange & Sohne, revived the brand and launched 4 new timepieces in Dresden Castle. Having experienced the factory being destroyed and expropriated then, Mr. Walter Lange couldn’t be more pleased to see the name A. Lange & Sohne engraved once again on the dial after tens of years. Since then, we – as watch aficionados – have been mesmerised by its patented oversized date window, fusee chain transmission the first time on wristwatch, exquisite polishes and finishes, and German fine watchmaking. Over the past two decades, with its so many coveted masterpieces, the Saxon Manufacture has become a player of significance in the haute horlogerie world today. Once you look at the pieces closer, you’ll soon discover their dedication to engineering perfection and artistry.

Lange 1

The Lange 1 is one of the timepieces that were first presented after the re-establishment of A. Lange & Sohne in 1994. The off-centre dial and oversized date window has earned it one of the most iconic models of the brand. For 20 years, the classic design simply never fades.  

Lange 31

This is the world’s first mechanical watch with a 31-day power reserve in 2007, paired with big date indication. The piece is also equipped with the constant force mechanism ensuring that a constant amount of power is delivered throughout the 31-day period.

Tourbillon “Pour le Merite”

Limited to 200 pieces, the Tourbillon “Pour le Merite” is the world’s first wristwatch equipped with the fusee chain transmission mechanism. This mechanism is used for providing constant torque for the clocks ages ago. It is absolutely a challenge for watchmakers to put such mechanism in a tiny wristwatch. The Manufacture later created the Tourbograph “Pour le Merite”endowed with the fusee chain transmission and double split function.

Lange Zeitwerk

In 2009, the brand released the Lange Zeitwerk and presented the world a novel way of displaying time: the hour and minute are indicated by jumping numerals. As an enormous amount of energy is required to advance one disc every minute and three discs every hour, the movement features a constant force mechanism to govern the torque delivery.

Double Split

A general split second function can record only 60 seconds of two separate events. Only can the Doube Split last up to 30 minutes. The piece features two pairs of stopwatch hands and is still the only chronograph that can time two events in seconds and minutes. 

Grand Complication

For a total of 7 years of work, the brand created its most complex timepiece ever. The piece is armed with various complicated functions including a grande and petite sonnerie, perpetual calendar, split-seconds chronograph and 1/5 of one second measurement. This long-awaited intricate complication is limited to only 6 pieces.