In the morning of October 1994, Mr. Walter Lange, who had just passed his 70th birthday, entered the Dresden Palace with excitement and anxiety, because here, The first watch release conferences following the revival of the Lange brand will be held. They announce that the Lange brand, which has gone through the ravages of war, will return to the hall of fine watchmaking. To this end, Walter Lange and his team spent a lot of money and energy, preparing for a full four years. The first four watches released were all so bold and distinctive that Mr. Walter Lange’s optimism still flashed a little doubt. Could they open up Lange’s situation? Will the Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” watch with the highest watchmaking standard of Lange make Lange win the market?
The Lange ‘Pour le Mérite’ series was first released in 1994
It turned out that Lange’s first watches were successful at the time, and Mr. Walter Lange recalled that ‘when we saw the participating agents quietly placing orders, it was like a businessman did not want to be seen by his competitors. We were happy with what he bought, but we only had 123 watches for sale at that time. ‘ Since 1994, Lange watches have consistently followed its watchmaking principles: continuous innovation, integration of mechanical science, the use of cutting-edge technology, heritage of watchmaking, uniqueness and tradition. Therefore, for more than two decades, Lange has not only formed quality control concepts such as secondary assembly, but also each watch will be equipped with a redesigned movement.
Pour le Mérite represents outstanding achievement
As the flagship product of the Lange brand, the ‘Pour le Mérite’ watch represents the most outstanding watchmaking standard of Lange. Since its launch, it has been a hidden nobleman of Lange. Only some senior collectors can treasure it. So what is ‘Pour le Mérite’? Why does Lange’s most unique watch name it? This probably dates back to the 18th century King Frederick II of Prussia. Pour le Mérite is a very famous medal in German history. It represents noble glory and achievement. Founded by Frederick II in 1740, the military system and civilians can be awarded by the king. It is an individual excellence. Affirmation of achievement.
German Pour le Mérite Cross
In 1842, the famous explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt proposed to the then King of Prussia the Pour le Mérite medal for an independent citizenship system to reward those who made outstanding contributions to science and art. People, and divided this into three categories, this proposal was approved by the king. Alexander Humboldt was not only one of the initiators of this medal, but he was also the first German citizen of the world. His exploration and erudition made outstanding contributions in the fields of natural science and humanities. Therefore, he was also the first in 1842. One of the recipients of the Citizenship Pour le Mérite Medal.
The timepiece made by Seyffert is also the blueprint for the design of the Lange Richard Lange series.
For the needs of adventure, Alexander Humboldt needed precise timepieces to provide accurate data measurement and time reading, so he became one of the few patrons of German precision timepiece manufacturer Johann Heinrich Seyffert He also went to Dresden to learn navigation techniques such as sextant and barometer. Seyffert is one of the most important promoters of the German precision watchmaking industry. The timepiece made in 1807 is not only equipped with a sesame chain drive system, but also the dial is equipped with three intersecting circles to display the time. As a time reference standard, the second and second design are widely used in watchmaking workshops to adjust new timepieces.
Walter Lange wins first prize of Merit
Therefore, the Lange ‘Pour le Mérite’ watch is actually full of profound meanings. It not only represents Lange’s unremitting pursuit of the supreme achievements of mechanical watchmaking, but also the outstanding creativity of the watchmakers during the enlightenment of Saxony’s precision watchmaking industry Tribute to mechanical structure. In 2015, in recognition of Mr. Walter Lange’s outstanding contribution to the reconstruction of Saxony’s precision watchmaking industry, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany Joachim Gauck awarded him the first prize of merit.
Lange ‘Pour le Mérite’ watch based on sesame chain drive
Since the Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” watch was first introduced in 1994, today Lange has launched a total of four “Pour le Mérite” watches, equipped with different craftsmanship and materials, which has greatly enriched this unique collection. But it has kept its rarity. In 2005, based on the 1994 Tourbillon ‘Pour le Mérite’ watch, the brand was loaded with one of Lange’s important functions-timing, and introduced the advanced and complex Tourbograph ‘Pour le Mérite’ watch. Eleven years later, the second ‘Pour le Mérite’ watch was launched, pushing Lange again to the highest realm of mechanical watchmaking with extreme simplicity and mechanical precision.
Four Lange ‘Pour le Mérite’ watches
In 2009, Lange rendered magical colors to the ‘Pour le Mérite’ watch series. For the first time, Richard Lange ‘Pour le Mérite’ was added to the series in tribute to Mr. Richard Lange, the outstanding watchmaker in the history of the Lange brand. Watch. This watch is designed with the extremely simple small three-pin design, which hides its most unique side in the movement, and you can only see its true appearance by turning over the case back. In 2011, Lange’s fourth ‘Pour le Mérite’ watch was launched, and the Richard Lange Tourbillon ‘Pour le Mérite’ watch was equipped with Lange’s patented stop-second tourbillon and Richard Lange’s three-needle original design.
Clockwork energy release curve
In fact, the birth of the first “Pour le Mérite” watch has set a unique standard for the Lange “Pour le Mérite” series. It is distinguished by its sesame-chain power transmission system (fusée-and-chain mechanism). All the classic Lange models are also different from most masterpieces in the world’s fine watchmaking halls, so it naturally became the darling of collectors at various auctions. The sesame chain transmission system is a treasure in the history of mechanical watches for hundreds of years. The wise predecessors of watchmaking, in order to solve the problem of unstable power transmission in mechanical watches, ) Changes in torque, a set of matching pagoda wheels and miniature chains are designed to balance torque changes at full power and weak power to ensure constant power output. Although the sesame chain transmission system has a complex structure, it has excellent performance. Therefore, no matter how the world’s mainstream timepiece format has changed for hundreds of years, sesame chain has never withdrawn from the historical stage.
Lange sesame chain drive system
However, the extremely small space of mechanical watches requires more complex structures and must be miniaturized, which is the biggest problem of the sesame chain drive system in watches. Miniaturization not only requires the support of cutting-edge micro-electromechanical science, but also needs to consider the multiple balances of power, structure and aesthetics in micro-mechanical watchmaking. A watchmaker can do this job.
The thoughtful design of the Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” watch
In 2011, Lange launched the fourth ‘Pour le Mérite’ series watch-Richard Lange Tourbillon ‘Pour le Mérite’, available in 18K rose gold (760.032) and platinum (760.025), of which platinum is limited to 100 pieces . In 2014, Lange introduced the Richard Lange Tourbillon ‘Pour le Mérite’ watch in white 18K white gold, model 760.026 during the ‘Clocks and Miracles’ exhibition. The three materials of the Richard Lange Tourbillon ‘Pour le Mérite’ are derived from a watch, that is, a timepiece made 200 years ago by Dresden watchmaker Johann Heinrich Seyffert, not only with its three hands The separated design is based on the model, and it also inherits the sophisticated mechanical structure of this pocket watch, the sesame chain transmission system, which can provide constant power for the watch.
In 2011, when Lange launched the fourth ‘Pour le Mérite’ series watch, the famous collector Peter Chong released a limited edition book, which recorded four Lange ‘Pour le Mérite’ watches. And the history and internal collaboration of the Lange Manufacture, in this book A. Lange & Sohne: The Pour le Mérite Collection, Peter Chong showcases the ultimate in Lange ‘Pour le Mérite’ watches Details and operating principles, as well as the key problem of the sesame chain transmission system: how to ensure that each chain link is sensitive but not loose.
A. Lange & Sohne: The Pour le Mérite Collection and the 2011 Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” watch
In addition to this complex transmission mechanism representing Lange’s mechanical achievements, the Lange Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” watch also uses many patented designs at the same time. The stop-second tourbillon is a complex structure with a special meaning of Lange. Although the stop-second balance is no longer a problem, the design of the tourbillon can be precisely stopped. The delay has not appeared. Lange solved this problem very cleverly. Through a metal ‘clip’, when the crown is pulled out, the metal ‘clip’ will be tightened, thereby stopping the balance wheel inside the tourbillon to realize the stop-second function of the tourbillon. At this time, in order not to damage the balance wheel due to long-term use, the material, elasticity and surface of the metal ‘clip’ need to be carefully treated to ensure moderate force.
Lange L072.1 manual movement
In addition, because the hours, minutes, and seconds dials overlap each other, there is an objective contradiction between fully displaying the tourbillon and the hour dial. To this end, the Lange designer ingeniously designed a special design at the bottom of the hour dial that only marked Ⅷ Ⅸ XX ‘three Roman numerals. When the hand was between 12 and 6 o’clock, the vacant area of the disc was in the position of the tourbillon. In this way, the Lange patented tourbillon could be fully displayed. When the hands were between 6 and 12 o’clock, the Roman numerals of the disc appeared in the tourbillon area, blocking part of the tourbillon, but it could clearly indicate the hour. In order that the disc does not affect the simplicity of the disc during the switching process, this disc will appear in the form of a jump. This operation is driven by a precise switching device, and the disc will instantly rotate 90 degrees every 6 hours.
Hidden dial jumps 90 degrees every 6 hours
As the Lange flagship model, the Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” watch also features Lange’s signature wide 3/4 splint, made of untreated German silver, the surface is carefully polished, and it is equipped with a gold sleeve , Blue steel screws, tourbillon frame with black polishing and other elements, and hand-carved balance wheel plywood. This extremely complex L072.1 movement has a total of 987 parts, including 351 movement parts and 636 sesame chain drive train components. The thickness of the sesame chain drive chain is only 0.25 mm.
Diamond-embedded tourbillon bearing L072.1 movement pays tribute to the quality mark of the ‘1A’ Lange premium pocket watch
Summary: The revival of mechanical watches has allowed many previously silent functions and mechanical structures to regain vitality. Lange has unprecedentedly reduced the complex and ‘huge’ structure of sesame chain to the case between square inches. It was the pinnacle of Lange at the time, and it is still a rare collection of Lange to this day. The Lange Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” watch is full of historical sentiment, adhering to the brand’s innovative spirit, the sophisticated mechanism is presented with precise time indication, making it a watch that many collectors aspire to.