Rejoice A. Lange & Söhne aficionados! The Saxon brand has just revived the Richard Lange ‘Pour le Mérite’ in a limited edition of 218 watches. Each will boast a white-gold case, black dial and a black alligator strap. The watch was announced at the brand’s dealer conference in Dresden, though we have a suspicion that this watch was originally intended to be unveiled at the formerly annual Watches & Wonders (now biennial).
A. Lange & Söhne first introduced the Richard Lange Pour le Mérite in 2009, with two limited production runs – 200 in white gold and 50 in platinum. We were wondering when the white-gold reference would make its appearance when the previous two editions were discontinued, and now, we’ve had our question answered.
In Lange nomenclature Pour le Mérite stands for technological prowess, and indeed every watch that has received the ‘Pour le Mérite’ stamp, has been equipped with a accuracy-enhancing fusée-and-chain transmission system. To date there have only been four Pour le Mérite models, and with each, Lange has said that the complication is actually the transmission system itself, rather than something you can see on the dial or use as a function/complication.
The idea is that these watches offer the utmost accuracy but in true Lange style, you’d only know a fusée-and-chain system was involved if you looked at the caseback. These are perhaps the ultimate sleeper watches ;). This transmission system was inspired by vintage pocket watches, and Lange made horological history by being the first to adapt this transmission into a wristwatch calibre.
The Richard Lange ‘Pour le Mérite’ features a 40.5mm white-gold case, and rhodium-gold hands. The black dial is adorned with contrasting white Roman numerals for hour indications, and you’ll find small Arabic numerals in red demarking the 15, 30, 45 and 60 minute positions. There’s also a seconds sub-dial at six o’clock.
The movement, calibre L044.1, is handwound and beats at 3Hz but, really, as beautiful as Lange’s calibres are to look at, it’s the fusée-and-chain system that is the star of this show. The chain itself is made up of 636-parts, is just 0.25mm thick and measures 156mm long – Lange says this chain can support a weight of two kilograms but, of course, it’s present in the movement for constant torque rather than heavy lifting.
We reckon these watches will start hitting boutiques in the region closer to the end of 2016, and we’ll update the story once we have pricing. Oh, and if you’re wondering why this watch is limited to 218 pieces, it’s because that’s the total number of points-of-sale that Lange currently has worldwide.
To learn more about A. Lange & Söhne, click here.