Now this view is available since the Datograph Auf/Ab; the movement was improved and a power-reserve screen has been added. There’s also a variant with a perpetual calendar, the Datograph Perpetual.The Lange 31 has been named for its power book: an astounding 31 days. The watch includes in-house Caliber L034.1, with 406 components. These include two stacked barrels, each with a strong mainspring that’s 1.85 meters long, several times more than a typical mainspring. The barrels are 25 mm across and occupy three-quarters of this movement diameter.With a power reserve this longsprings and springs this powerful, the amplitude of this balance would diminish considerably over time if nothing had been done to maintain it. However, Lange has set an innovative constant-force device involving the twin mainspring barrels as well as the escapement. It guarantees a constant flow of force, independent of their tautness or slackness of the mainsprings. It achieves this with the assistance of a helical, pretensioned spring (a so-called remontoir spring), which is retightened every 10 seconds, and, over the following 10 seconds, provides energy to the escapement. There are minimal fluctuations in torque during the 10 seconds, however, the energy exerted stays nearly constant on average during the 31 days. When that interval has elapsed, an additional mechanism just stops the watch.
The Grande Complication is currently on loan to the Mathematics and Physics Salon, a museum in Dresden dedicated to historical timepieces and scientific instruments.In 1990, directly after German reunification, the German automotive firm VDO bought the name “A. Lange & Söhne” and established a brand new A. Lange & Söhne, based, such as the original firm, in Glashütte. One of the new company’s first watches, the Lange 1, launched in 1994, became Lange’s trademark style, what the company describes as its “face.” The Lange 1, that looks the same as it did 20 years back, has a distinctive, asymmetrical dial using a big-date display and “Auf/Ab” power-reserve indicator. (Before this year, the company replaced that caliber using a brand new one, additionally hand-wound.)
Let’s stick with the dial side and start with its most immediately apparent effort: its proudly exhibited tourbillon bridge and meeting. The bridge itself includes a curve on each end that’s visible from the smallest of viewing angles. Have a closer look and you will see what appears to be among the most challenging anglages ever: in the form of a “V” the edges are bevelled and polished by hand. Both prongs lead to a golden chaton with a diamond endstone interior — a long-forgotten element allowed for just the finest pocket sequences of old.The tourbillon’s cage itself features remarkably romantic curves and eye-wateringly mirror polished shirt surfaces. The next picture above reveals how that mirror end functions: it’s either silky-shiny white, or pitch black. Since the tourbillon sits so deep beneath the dial, light finds humorous ways to make it into just some bits and pieces of the tourbillon assembly — another, but brilliant light show on display.Lange say the tourbillon “overcomes the pull of gravity” and I am sorry, but I can’t help but cringe every time I hear or read that. Jedi and astronauts onboard the ISS may defeat the pull of gravity, but not many others — and also a tourbillon certainly can’t. It isn’t 2002 anymore, when the tourbillon is a mystical thing that’s impossible to explain. I might be nitpicking here, sure, but what can it be if not attention and comprehension of such details that we expect from the big guns such as Lange? The tourbillon, entirely exposed to the pull of gravity, over time averages out the speed errors of this watch’s timekeeping manhood, something largely and totally unnecessary at a wristwatch, unless we’re talking multi-axis tourbillons.
The initials “JAP,” for Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet, founders of Audemars Piguet, appear on the gong block. Audemars Piguet may in reality have made not only the gongs however, the whole movement: in those days, it was common for European watch companies to buy raw movements from Swiss businesses and complete them to their own specifications.The watch almost dropped into oblivion. Back in 2001, a married couple brought it to Lange’s headquarters in Glashütte to learn if it were worth repairing. A housekeeper they knew had obtained it as a gift over a half-century earlier. The answer wasn’t obvious. In a book about the watch that the company printed in 2010, Lange watchmaker Jan Silva described the watch’s state: “Where there could typically be a complex, delicate mesh of springs, bridges and wheels, there was nothing to be seen however a gray-brown, amorphous mass …. Just the larger components of this movement were still recognizable.” Silva led a team of four watchmakers that revived the motion to pristine state. It required five years; the dismantling procedure alone took three months.The see’s case was designed from the industrial designer Carl Ludwig Theodor Graff in the Louis XV style. Front bears an engraving of the goddess Minerva; the rear is adorned with the initials “G.S.” No one knows whose initials they are. Contrary to the motion, the case and the dial were in excellent condition once the watch resurfaced in 2001.
A special quality of Caliber L921, also called the Sax-0-Mat, is a zero-reset role for the seconds — hence the “0” at “Sax-0-Mat.” The small seconds hand automatically returns to the zero position when the crown is pulled out, for to-the-second time setting. “Sax-0-Mat” seems on the dial and rotor. The balance oscillates at 21,600 vph. A. Lange & Söhne offers the Langematik with or without a big-date display.The firm unveiled its in-house chronograph movement, Caliber L951.1, in the Basel Fair in 1999. The caliber, that was hand-wound, 30.6 mm in diameter and 7.5 mm thick, was four years in evolution, and comprised a flyback function.Its unconventional characteristics include another bridge to its fourth wheel, a chronograph operating lever mounted between 2 bearings, a flexible coupling lever positioned in the center of the fourth wheel, and a minute-counter-operating lever mounted between stones. There is also a stepped pinion for true minute-counter advances, an escape wheel with four jewels, a large Glucydur screw balance and a Breguet balance spring. The equilibrium oscillates in the timeless frequency of 18,000 vph. The grade also supports Lange’s familiar outsize date, to which the prefix “Dato” alludes.
On the front of the watch is really a regulator-style dial with moments in the large circle and hours and moments from both smaller circles. The date, day, and month are shown in apertures. The watch has twin barrels that provide a power book of 14 times; the power- reserve indicator is at 6 o’clock. Such as the Lange 31 and Zeitwerk, the Terraluna (more information here) is equipped with a constant-force escapement.Precision timekeeping in extraordinary settings compose the World renowned A Lange and Sohne timepieces . Marshall Pierce & Company are very proud, authorized retailers of A. Lange & Sohne timepieces in Chicago. These watches feature some of the most advanced movements, and luxury settings of any watchmaker in the world. Marshall Pierce & Company is pleased to carry a timepiece that holds true to the high standards over time.
Winding these gigantic mainsprings could be exceedingly laborious in case this watch were outfitted with a normal winding crown, therefore A. Lange & Söhne revived the winding key from the epoch of pocketwatches, modernizing the twisting mechanism with an advanced ratchet and torque limiter.When Lange established the Zeitwerk, it heralded the watch as its “new face.” In the time of this introduction, then-CEO Fabian Krone described the Zeitwerk as Lange’s most important new watch since the Lange 1. The view accomplished a very hard task: the motion was able to provide sufficient energy to rotate the three relatively heavy disks employed in its time screen, two to the minutes and one for your hours, and make sure that all 3 discs moved at exactly the same instant at the end of every hour. Achieving this required several complex mechanisms, such as a constant-force escapement using remontoir spring similar to that used in the Lange 31 (see Lange 31 item). The watch also has a fly vane, shaped like a tiny revolving doorway, which provides air resistance and thus ensures that the discs’ jumps aren’t too strong.
A special quality of Caliber L921, also known as the Sax-0-Mat, is a zero-reset role for the seconds — thus the “0” at “Sax-0-Mat.” The tiny seconds hand automatically returns to the zero position when the crown is pulled out, for to-the-second time setting. “Sax-0-Mat” seems on the Cable and dial. The caliber, that was hand-wound, 30.6 mm in diameter and 7.5 mm thick, was four years in development, and comprised a flyback function.Its unconventional features include a separate bridge for the fourth wheel, a chronograph functioning lever mounted between two bearings, a flexible coupling lever positioned in the center of the fourth wheel, plus a minute-counter-operating lever mounted between jewels. There’s also a stepped pinion for true minute-counter advances, an escape wheel with four jewels, a large Glucydur screw balance and a Breguet balance spring. The balance oscillates in the classic frequency of 18,000 vph. The caliber additionally supports Lange’s familiar outsize date, to which the prefix “Dato” alludes.
In the late 1990s Breitling produced a small number of split-second Navitimers (some with perpetual calendars) that were powered by the compact Frederic Piguet cal. 1186 movement. Those were the only split-second Navitimers ever made, until Baselworld 2017 when the Navitimer Rattrapante made its debut.
Originally designed for pilots in the 1960s, the Navitimer is characterised by the circular slide rule bezel that allows aviators to perform various calculations on the fly – no pun intended. While the slide rule is now an anachronism that is no longer useful thanks to electronics, the Navitimer has preserved its original look.
The Navitimer Rattrapante is a large, 45mm wristwatch with a split-seconds that’s activated via a pusher that’s co-axial with the crown, eliminating the extra button at 10 o’clock that split-seconds often have.
The Navitimer Rattrapante is available in steel or 18k red gold, the latter being a 250-piece limited edition. Both versions are fitted with a “Panamerican Bronze” dial that’s an appealingly shade of brown that has a radial brushed finish.
It has imposing wrist presence and a beautifully finished dial with fine and tidy printing despite the complexity of the slide rule. But the 45mm case will probably be too big for a significant number of people.
While both versions have the same dial colour and design, the hour markers, hands and Breitling colour match the colour of the case metal.
And the other difference between the two versions is the see-through sapphire back on the red gold limited edition, while the steel model has a solid back.
A notable but purely aesthetic feature of the watch are the different counterweights on the ends of each split-seconds hand. Each forms one half of the Breitling logo, a “B” and anchor respectively, combining to form the logo when the hands are reset to 12 o’clock.
Though the design is classic, slide rule and all, the movement inside the Navitimer Rattrapante is new. Automatic and COSC-certified, the Breitling B03 movement inside the Navitimer Rattrapante is built on the Breitling 01 movement, the in-house calibre that Breitling also recently starting supplying to Tudor. It’s a solid movement with all the features expected of a modern chronograph, namely a column wheel and vertical clutch.
While the split-seconds function of the B03 operates like conventional split-seconds, it has been constructed in a condensed, ingenious manner to improve reliability and ease of servicing. The entire split-seconds mechanism comprises just 28 parts, reducing the grandness of what is traditionally a grand complication, but making it significantly more affordable.
To start with, the split-seconds mechanism is modular – even though the chronograph base movement is integrated – sitting in between the dial and main plate of the base movement. Consequently, when seen from the back, the Breitling B03 movement looks almost identical to the basic B01 movement that’s a pure chronograph.
Also novel is the clamp for the split-seconds wheel. In conventional split-seconds movement the wheel is stopped by brakes that resemble a pair of tongs. This is a complex and occasionally unreliable system, which Breitling replaced with a rubber o-ring that’s pressed against the wheel by a clamp when the split-seconds is stopped. Having been patented by Breitling, the o-ring mechanism results in more precise halting of the split-seconds.
The second patented feature inside the B03 movement is the isolator mechanism, which uses a simpler, stamped lever to replace the traditional pin. While different, the isolator mechanism performs the same function as it always has in a split-seconds: preventing drag on the timekeeping mechanism, and the resulting deterioration in timekeeping, when the split-seconds hand is stopped.
With the isolator in the split-seconds and the vertical clutch in the chronograph mechanism, the B03 movement preserves much of its 70-hour power reserve, even while the chronograph is running.
The simplified split-seconds mechanism translates into a more affordable price, with the steel model priced at just over US$10,000, which is pretty good for an in-house split-seconds chronograph. That’s about 10% less than what IWC asks for its Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante that has inside a cleverly modified Valjoux 7750.
Price and availability
The Navitimer Rattrapante in 18k red gold is limited to 250 pieces and priced at US$32,895 or S$48,190 for the version on a rubber strap with 18k red gold folding clasp. There are also less expensive red gold versions fitted to simpler straps and buckles, starting at approximately US$28,000 or S$39,000.
In stainless steel it’s part of the regular collection, starting at US$10,840 or S$15,240 on a leather strap with tang buckle. And on a steel bracelet it’ll cost US$11,840 or S$17,180.