Lange carefully produced 218 limited edition RICHARD LANGE ‘Pour le Mérite’, realizing the concept of precision watchmaking with meticulous spirit. The new white 18K gold model with black dial debuted at Lange’s International Dealer Conference in Dresden on September 22, 2016. The watch’s built-in sesame chain drive system provides stable torque and precise speed.
RICHARD LANGE ‘Pour le Mérite’ debuts in 18K white gold
The first new era watch series came out in the fall of 1994, and since then Lange watches, which have been named ‘Pour le Mérite’, are the symbol of top technology. The four models launched so far are all equipped with sesame chain transmission. RICHARD LANGE ‘Pour le Mérite’, introduced in 2009, pays tribute to precision watchmaking in the simplest and purest form: the only design goal of a complex device assembled on the side of the movement is to improve the accuracy of the speed. The 18K rose gold and platinum 950 models made in the early years have all been sold. A limited edition white 18K gold model with a black dial is now available.
The case of the new model is made of solid white 18K gold with a diameter of 40.5 mm. White Roman numerals and 18K yellow gold rhodium-plated hands contrast with the black solid silver dial. Small red Arabic numerals at 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes subtly add color to the design of black and white backgrounds. A hand-stitched black alligator leather strap with a white 18K gold buckle highlights the unique style of RICHARD LANGE ‘Pour le Mérite’.
Complicated technology, pursue the ultimate
Since 1994, RICHARD LANGE ‘Pour le Mérite’ and all ‘Pour le Mérite’ models are equipped with sesame chain drive system. This important technical mark sets a new benchmark for precision watchmaking. The sesame chain transmission system is derived from the historical pocket watch and first integrated into the watch by Lange. This system provides stable torque, which keeps the balance wheel at a constant amplitude throughout the power reserve. The sesame chain around the mainspring box transmits the power of the mainspring to the travelling wheel train via the conical pagoda wheel, so that the torque can be maintained. When the watch is fully wound, the sesame chain will pull the pagoda wheel with a smaller edge, which is a shorter lever. Conversely, when the tension of the mainspring is almost exhausted, the sesame chain will pull the pagoda wheel with a larger edge, which is a longer lever. The operating principle of this system is like the transmission of a bicycle. The difference is that the transmission ratio of this system is not fixed but continuously changes.
A sesame chain consisting of 636 parts can withstand more than two kilograms. In order to make the sesame chain transmission system fully play its role, the watchmaker added an additional technical detail: each time before entering the fully wound or fully relaxed state, two independent devices will stop the winder, in Sesame chains of 0.25 mm and 156 mm in length are overstressed.
The sesame chain drive system drives the pagoda wheel to rotate in the opposite direction during winding and watch operation. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the watch continues to run when winding it. The fine planetary gear system in the pagoda wheel maintains the power transmission between the pagoda wheel and the movement during the winding phase. This planetary gear system consists of 38 tiny parts, which the watchmaker must fit into a pagoda wheel with a diameter of less than 8.6 mm.
It’s all hidden under the black dial. However, the important part of the sesame chain transmission system is exposed in the sapphire crystal case back. The large size opening on the German silver 3/4 splint makes the sesame chain transmission system clearly visible.
Lange’s own L044.1 movement
Perfect design, meticulous
The watchmaker’s self-made L044.1 movement is manufactured to meet Lange’s strictest quality standards and is carefully modified by hand. Its built-in Lange hairspring powers large screw balances with a vibration frequency of 21,600 times per hour. Four solid 18K gold balance screws can precisely adjust the moment of inertia according to the torque transmitted by the pagoda wheel. In addition, the magnificent modification of all movement components is done by the watch factory itself, including the straight lines above the sesame chain. The balance plywood, escapement wheel and quadruple plywood also show outstanding carving techniques, making each of the 218 watches unique art treasures. The number of this limited edition model is even more significant: 218 is currently representing the number of Lange sales points around the world.