When high-end German watch maker A. Lange & Sohne
releases a new watch, I often do a double take. Their beautiful designs remain so consistent, it simply isn't obvious what is new in each release. The most recent addition to the A. Lange & Sohne collection is the Richard Lange Pour le Merite. A provocative sounding watch bearing the name of the almost century old "Pour le Merite" (for Merit) award - that is still occasionally awarded in Germany and parts of Europe.
The Richard Lange Pour le Merite has a special complex feature in the movement called a fusee chain (constructed like a very small bicycle chain). The chain connects to the mainspring barrel and assists in providing a balanced, consistent level of power release from the mainspring (that delivers a uneven power release by default). Power release consistency is compensated due to the fact that the fusee chain is wound around a cone shaped cylinder that unravels or winds at an different rate. The fusee chain also assists with safe winding of the main spring. These complications are reserved for only the most complex watches in the world, and it is a testament to the engineering prowess of A. Lange & Sohne that it is able to produce such movements. As such, the fusee chain (constructed of 636 parts) is included in the in-house developed and manufactured L044.1 manually-wound, hand built and decorated movement.
The watch itself is 40.5mm wide and available in either 18k rose gold or platinum with a pristine white enamel face and painted dial. The hands are blued steel, and the design is traditional A. Lange & Sohne that places an emphasis on legibility. The Richard Lange Pour le Merite is a meticulously designed and constructed luxury watch that succeeds in epitomizing the spirit of high-end German watch making with its subtle handsome looks and intriguing mechanics.
Ariel Adams publishes the watch review site aBlogtoRead.com