Hands-on A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

When "complicated" is a small world when used to describe it

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon
Reading Time: 8 minutes

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Ref. 740.056 was launched last year at SIHH 2019. Part of the Saxonia Collection, the watch is the second version of Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon. The first version, Ref. 740.036 in platinum was launched in 2016 and it was the most complicated Datograph to date. The new piece comes in a white gold case and with a solid pink gold dial.  The result: a breathtaking appearance that makes the word “complicated” to sound like a pale comparison. 

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

Review A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

I have to admit that the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon was my personal preference from the Lange watches at SIHH 2019. I was absolutely fascinated by its pink gold dial. It was a constant presence in my thoughts over the last year. Why? – It’s complicated… – flyback chrono with jumping minutes, perpetual calendar with an outsize date, day of the week, month, leap year; day/night indicator; moon-phase display; power-reserve indicator.

Before going into the presentation, please have a look at these two official videos of the Ref. 740.036. The details are the same except for the case material and dial colour:

  • the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

  • Anthony de Haas, A. Lange & Söhne director of product development, about the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

In the tumult of the SIHH 2019 and also pressured by the lack of time, I forgot to do my own videos.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

White gold precious case

The Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon comes in a Lange typical, three parts construction white gold case. Considering the number of complications packed in, the 41.5 mm diameter is a great size by any standards. At a height of only 14.6 mm, the watch is just a bit taller compared with the other Datograph pieces (only 1.1 mm more than the “simple” Perpetual).

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

For those familiar with the A. Lange & Söhne pieces, the case will have no surprises: a highly polished raised bezel, an horizontal-brushed case band and a circular brushed caseback bearing the brand’s typical engraving. The robust polished lugs with fading chamfering keep the design of the Lange watch sober and strictly functional.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

The Datograph is fitted with a classic crown decorated with the brand’s name. The setting and winding are amazing – facile and refined. Lange has one of the best feels when it comes the use of the functions. The brushed rectangular pushers present a subtle polished beveling.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

The watch is fitted with a solid deployant buckle with fine adjustment. The fine adjustment works like a charm and is a nice addition.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

The caseback is fixed with six screws, weighted on the lugs’ side. This arrangement leaves enough space to deeply engrave the name of the brand and its origin. A raised ring keeps a large sapphire crystal that generously reveals the fantastic calibre L952.2.

calibre L952.2

Solid pink gold precious dial

The reason why I fell in love with this particular Lange watch is the utmost beautiful dial. Manufactured in pink gold, the dial has an alluring appearance.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

The dial is constructed on a multi-level depth design highlighting the various function. The increase in complexity add ease in the readout. The legibility is simplified and enhanced.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

The amount of information available on a first look can be overwhelming. The functions are well delimited in raised or recessed surfaces.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

On an outer disk is black printed the name of the brand at 12 o’clock and a tachymetric scale. The left side presents an elongated aperture responsible for the power reserve display.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

The oversized date display is the well known Lange signature. The black on white print has excellent contrast. To note the windowed aperture. Each window has a slightly different depth to accommodate the date’s overlayed disks. (better visible in the fist date’s picture where the difference in level can be easily observed above the number 5).

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

The lower side of the dial is where the complication intensify. The moon-phase display governs the space at 6 o’clock. The polished white gold moon catches the light and creates a heavy point on that side of the dial. Note the gold applique hour markers. The three, six and nine o’clock and the double set at 12 o’clock present small luminescent dots for better low light visibility.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

On the left side, the first recessed level is used to display the running seconds with the help of a thermally blued steel hand. The second recessed level uses a gold hand to display the day of the week. Another level down displays through a semi-circular aperture the day/night indication. The indexes are printed in black on a circular guilloche background.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

The right subdial has the same construction and finishes. The blued steel hand is responsible with the chronograph’s jumping minutes display. The lower level uses a gold hand to point at the months. At the lowest level, the window exhibit in a logical manner the leap year.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

As mentioned before, the dial legibility is admirable for the amount of information presented. The hour and minute hands in rhodium-plated gold have a luminous insert that guarantees good visibility of the time display even in a darker environment.  The central blued chronograph’ seconds is manufactured in steel. The blue on pink gold contrast is lovely. The entire dial is well-executed to ensure that any information is fast in reach. Besides that, the look is outstanding.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

It worth its weight in gold

There was a saying that a beautiful thing worths its weight in gold. But in the case of A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon, the calibre L952.2 values exceeds its value in any precious metal.

calibre L952.2

The calibre L952.2 was based on the Datograph’s Up/Down movement. The base calibre was modified to adapt the large tourbillon. The perpetual calendar module was a completely new development. calibre L952.2

On the second video, at the top of the article, Anthony de Haas presents not only the watch but also how the calibre behaves in action.

calibre L952.2

At the lower side of the pictures, the column wheel flyback chronograph can be observed. The chrono presents the particularity of instantaneous jumping minutes. The chrono legibility is in this way very precise.

calibre L952.2

The large tourbillon is mounted in a gorgeous three-arms cage. The tourbillon’s bridge accommodates a diamond endstone fixed with a gold chaton and blued screws.

calibre L952.2

Calibre L952.2 is manufactured in the signature untreated German silver that will gain an original patina in time. The finishes are at the high-end level. The traditional Glashütte ribbing is interrupted from place to place by a multitude of gold chatons and hand-polished thermally blued steel screws. The edge of the bridges present polished bevels. The base plate was adorned with a subtle perlage.

calibre L952.2

Distinctive and desirable

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is, by all means, a gorgeous timepiece. Its horological complexity is surpassed only by its beauty. Exceptional finishes are a trademark of A. Lange & Söhne but at this multi-complication timepiece, the high level of decoration worth the biggest loupe you can find.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

The watch has an increased weight due to size, material and complex mechanism. But will be this a reason not to wear it? I don’t think so… The Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is easy to use and set. The recessed buttons need a tool to be set, but the functions accessed are not from the ones you need every day. The watch offers almost all the complication one might desire. A GMT or second timezone would be a nice addition for a traveller but is not a must. At this beauty, you can do the effort to set the time according to the geographical position you are present in.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

By its size and function, referring to the chronograph with tachymeter, the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon should be included on the sports watch category. But its sober and elegant look makes it more into the elegant/business side. This watch is so complete in look and function that can be used in any conditions as a daily piece, inclusive as a dress watch. Nobody will give you a frown for wearing this at a black-tie event. Guaranteed!

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Technical Specifications and Price

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Ref. 740.056

Movement

  • Lange manufacture calibre L952.2, manually wound;
  • Crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand;
  • Precision-adjusted in five positions;
  • Plates and bridges made of untreated German silver;
  • Intermediate wheel cock and tourbillon bar engraved by hand

Movement parts

  • 729

No. of jewels

  • 59, including one diamond endstone

Screwed gold chatons

  • 5, including one diamond endstone

Escapement

  • Lever escapement

Oscillation system

  • Shock-resistant cam-poised balance wheel;
  • Balance spring manufactured in-house, frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour

Power reserve

  • 50 hours when fully wound

Functions

  • The time indicated in hours, minutes and seconds, tourbillon with patented stop-seconds;
  • Flyback chronograph with a precisely jumping minute counter;
  • Tachymeter scale;
  • A perpetual calendar with outsize date, day of the week, month, leap year;
  • Day/night indicator;
  • Moon-phase display;
  • Power-reserve indicator

Operating elements

  • Crown for winding the watch and setting the time,
  • Two buttons for operating the chronograph,
  • Rapid-correction button for collectively advancing all calendar displays,
  • One recessed corrector each for adjusting the day of the week, the month and the moon phases

Case dimensions

  • Diameter: 41.5 millimetres;
  • Height: 14.6 millimetres

Movement dimensions

  • Diameter: 32.6 millimetres;
  • Height: 9.0 millimetres

Glass and caseback

  • Sapphire crystal (Mohs hardness 9)

Case

  • White gold

Dial

  • Solid pink gold

Hands

  • The hour and minute hands in rhodium gold, luminous;
  • Day, month, and four-year hands in rhodium gold;
  • Seconds hand, minute counter hand and chronograph hand in blued steel

Strap

  • Hand-stitched alligator leather, dark brown

Buckle

  • Deployant buckle in white gold

Limited edition

  • 100 watches

Price

  • 285.000 €*
    *Recommended retail price in Germany including VAT. Non-binding quotation, prices subject to change

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Gallery

2 Comments

  1. Fantastic article thank you, this is my absolute grail watch.. Your articles really brighten my day and enlighten me… Its great to read about a true thing of beauty… Keep up the excellent work

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