At the Geneva Salon in January, A. Lange & Söhne presented the fifth watch with the appellation “Pour le Mérite”, uniting five complications and paying tribute to classic watchmaking.
Given the numerous complex mechanisms, the assembly of the 684-part manufacture calibre is a formidable challenge, and only the best watchmakers can put together the individual subsystems with the precision required for them to interact flawlessly in the end.
“The harmonious interaction of the five complications does not even begin to do justice to the amount of work involved. “On the part of the watchmakers, this calls for the utmost of technical comprehension, experience-based knowledge, manual virtuosity and virtually infinite patience.” – Anthony de Haas, A. Lange & Söhne Director of Product Development.
Crafting such a complex mechanical system can only be entrusted to a small team of specialists who have spent years perfecting their skills.
The chronograph consists of a total of 136 parts. During the assembly phase, all of the individual parts of the elaborate column-wheel ensemble are manually tweaked and adjusted.
This is because the wheels, levers, arbors and springs involved in the complex switching sequences must interact in a precisely defined order within fractions of a second to prevent mechanical conflicts.
The perpetual calendar correctly displays the different durations of the months in the 100-year cycle of the Gregorian calendar. In other words, it only needs to be corrected by one day in the year 2100, and the seven-stage transmission for the moon phases is calculated so precisely that it only needs a one-day correction after 122.6 years of uninterrupted operation.
Today, A. Lange & Söhne crafts only a few thousand wristwatches in gold or platinum per year. They are endowed exclusively with proprietary movements that are lavishly decorated and assembled by hand.
With 59 manufacture calibres developed since 1994, A. Lange & Söhne has secured a top-tier position among the world’s finest watch brands.
Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite”, by A. Lange & Söhne