Touted by Anthony de Haas, director of product improvement at A. Lange & Söhne, because the “absolute technical spotlight” of Watches & Wonders 2022, the Richard Lange Minute Repeater is a case research in classicism and understatement. A far cry from the extravagance of Lange’s Grand Complication of 2013 with its profusion of problems and from the 2015 Zeitwerk (decimal) Minute Repeater with leaping digital hours and minutes, the model’s newest chiming watch is a pure minute repeater sans the distraction of any extra problems. In response to de Haas, the Richard Lange Minute Repeater is “a classical minute repeater however (made) to at this time’s requirements.” The classical persona of the watch is consolidated by the elegantly proportioned white enamel dial and the modest 39mm diameter of the platinum case; the modernity is conferred by a number of upgrades to guard and improve the minute repeater mechanism built-in into the model’s new calibre L122.1. The 50-piece restricted version writes a brand new chapter in Lange’s trajectory of chiming mechanisms in strictly classical prose.
Richard Lange Aesthetics
If the left facet of the case have been hidden below a shirt cuff, you can be forgiven for mistaking this as a Richard Lange “Pour Le Mérite” time-only mannequin. Made in platinum, the case dimensions – 39mm diameter x 9.7mm top – are nearer to these of a gown watch. Surprisingly, the scale of the Minute Repeater are extra restrained than the “Pour Le Mérite” (40.5mm x 10.7mm), though the dial structure and case form are virtually an identical, give or take just a few millimetres. Regardless of being one of many smallest watches at Lange, the heft of platinum is simple to understand when dealing with the watch. Like different fashions within the Richard Lange household, the case has brief domed lugs and a mix of polished and satin-brushed surfaces.
The general sobriety and restraint of the Minute Repeater replicate its standing as a Richard Lange mannequin. Launched in 2006 and named after F. A. Lange’s son Richard, the Richard Lange assortment is imbued with the austere aesthetics, impeccable precision and the superb legibility related to scientific remark watches. Richard Lange inherited his father’s scientific bent (he improved the elasticity of the stability spring by including a small quantity of beryllium to the combination of his patented alloy) and developed rugged scientific pocket chronometers with fusée-and-chain escapements, and precision remark watches with glorious legibility for main scientists, explorers and researchers of the day.
white Enamel Dial
It may appear plain at first look, however this enamel dial is price learning with a magnifying glass. Its classical options – Roman numerals, blued arms and railway-style minute and seconds tracks – are hallmark Richard Lange. Crafted in-house, the white enamel dial has a strong gold core and is fabricated from three separate components: the upper outer ring with the minutes observe and Roman numerals; the decrease central space with the model identify and the intersecting small seconds sub-dial. Every half is hand made individually earlier than being soldered collectively.
The lustrous white enamel offers a pristine background for the slender inky black Roman numerals, the inscriptions and the Arabic numerals and railway tracks for the minutes and seconds. As an alternative of being printed with ink, the black particulars on the dial are burned into the dial. The flame-blued arms add a contact of color to the sharp black and white contrasts of the dial together with the pleasant sprint of purple at XII. Though I’m not normally eager on truncated numerals, the best way the small seconds sub-dial form of drops down from the central circle may be very swish certainly.
A CLASSICAL MINUTE REPEATER FOR TODAY
Like many conventional minute repeaters, the Richard Lange Minute Repeaters makes use of a slider on the left case flank to activate the chiming mechanism following a mechanical programme with two otherwise tuned gongs that may strike 720 completely different sequences. Hours are chimed at a decrease pitch, quarters with a double tone and the minutes elapsed for the reason that final quarter with a higher-pitched tone. Nothing uncommon right here. And despite the fact that the motion is adorned with Lange’s signature finishings, the development of the 191-part built-in minute repeater mechanism is classical, just like Swiss minute repeater actions. Nevertheless, echoing de Haas’s phrases, Lange has added its distinctive contact to guard and enhance the motion.
For one, Lange has designed a foolproof security mechanism for the chiming mechanism in order that the minute repeater can’t be activated when the crown is pulled out and vice versa – you may’t pull out the crown when the chiming mechanism is activated. The second technical improve is the pause elimination characteristic, which skips the pause between the hour and minute strike when there aren’t any quarters to be sounded, for instance, within the first 14 minutes after the hour. The third Lange contact is the patented hammer blocker that retains the hammers tucked into their house place for fractions of a second after placing the gongs. This prevents the hammers from bouncing and placing the gongs unintentionally.
Like the primary Zeitwerk Minute Repeater that was produced in platinum, the Richard Lange can also be made in platinum. Given its density, it’s not probably the most resonant metallic though increasingly more minute repeaters are showing in platinum. In case you are within the newest options to optimise minute repeaters, don’t miss Xavier’s Technical Perspective. Beneath, we’ve included a soundtrack of the minute repeater in motion (as of 00:35) so that you can gauge the quantity, pitch, tone and concord of the chimes.
HAND-WOUND CALIBRE L122.1
In a departure from some minute repeaters in the marketplace at this time eager to disclose the gongs and hammers on the dial, the Richard Lange Minute Repeater levels the spectacle on the caseback. When the repeater is activated, the black-polished gong hammers strike the 2 hand-tuned gongs coiled across the motion. All of the bridges of the chiming mechanism are embellished with solarisation and the bridge above the centrifugal governor is skeletonised. The view from the caseback is attractive; have a look at the gleaming mirror-polished gold counterweights of the governor and the elegant ‘S’ construction held in place by a ruby. Rotating at greater than 2,000 revolutions per minute when the placing mechanism is activated, the centrifugal governor ensures a constant cadence of the strikes.
The calibre L122.1 is Lange’s new manual-winding motion – the model’s 69th calibre – and shows signature ornamental thrives such because the hand-engraved stability cock, the untreated German silver three-quarter plate with Glashütte ribbing, polished gold jewel-bearing chatons and thermally blued screws. The escapement beats at 21,600vph, and the mainspring barrel delivers a 72-hour energy reserve.
There’s something very Saxon in regards to the frugality and discretion of this minute repeater. The Richard Lange Minute Repeater shouldn’t be a conspicuous watch; slightly, it hides its surprises below a critical but superbly crafted white enamel dial. The size of this watch are wrist excellent. Mixed with the in-built security options and upgrades, that is really a minute repeater that may be worn day by day – you probably have near half 1,000,000 euros to spare!
Availability & Value
The Richard Lange Minute Repeater comes on a hand-stitched black leather-based strap with a platinum deployant buckle. It’s a boutique unique restricted version of fifty watches and retails for EUR 409,000 (incl. tax).
For extra data, please go to A. Lange & Söhne.com.