Introducing the Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” Handwerkskunst

Lange has just unveiled the Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” Handwerkskunst, a 15 piece limited edition for Lange boutiques. Like the 165th anniversary Homage set launched last year, this tourbillon is cased in honey gold. Notably, the RL Tourbillon PLM was launched only at SIHH 2011, several months ago.

Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” Handwerkskunst

“Handwerkskunst” means craftsmanship, consequently this limited edition has several features that represent artisan skill.  The dial, made of solid honey gold, is decorated with tremblage, a grained finish. This is applied by hand with a burin that digs into the metal from different directions. 

The dial in solid honey gold
A lining burin is guided over the dial with an orbital motion in eight different directions

The movement is decorated with a subtle radial solarisation but the fourth wheel bridge is decorated with relief engraving for an extravagant touch.

Fourth wheel bridge with relief engraving

While my initial reaction of the idea of a limited edition variant on a newly launched complication is not positive, I see it as gimmicky, I do like the look and finishing on this watch a lot. It has a lot more character than the first edition which is fairly plain. For comparison here are some shots of the Richard Lange Tourbillon taken at SIHH 2011.

I definitely look forward to seeing the Handwerkskunst in the metal. – SJX

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Photo essay: Lange 165th Anniversary Homage three piece set in honey gold

Last year to celebrate the 165th anniversary of Lange, the firm unveiled the Homage to F. A. Lange trio comprising the Tourbograph Pour le Merite, Lange 1 Tourbillon and 1815 Moon Phase, each cased in honey gold, an alloy harder than regular yellow gold and also paler in colour. 

The Tourbograph Pour le Merite in honey gold

The three watches are also distinguished by their guilloche dials and pocket watch-inspired movement decoration. 

Some may find the decoration overly elaborate and contrary to Lange convention. I agree, but like the resulting look.  The Tourbograph in particular is a magnificent, impressive timepiece, while the 1815 is a charming timepiece. The Lange 1 Tourbillon is less appealing because of the small tourbillon. Enjoy the photos. – SJX

1815 Moon Phase

Lange 1 Tourbillon

Tourbograph Pour le Merite

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