Hands-on with the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar in platinum (with live photos and pricing)

Though it was the new Datograph Up and Down that got most of the attention at SIHH 2012, Lange's flagship complication for the year was actually the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar in platinum. 

This is a brilliant execution of the perpetual calendar; unlike the other Lange perpetuals all the displays here are arranged unconventionally but legibly and sensibly.

The months are indicated on the perimeter of the dial by the arrow at six o’clock. Just above the arrow is the leap year indicator window.

The days are on the left, on a fan-shaped display. Above that is the trademark Lange framed date window. And there is also a moon phase display, as well as a small day and night at the bottom of the time sub-dial.

With a diameter of 41.9 mm this watch is well sized, not too large but big enough for all the calendar information to be easily readable. This watch has several notable features beyond what is obvious. It is an instantaneous perpetual, meaning all the calendar indications, including the oversized date, jump instantaneously at midnight.

And the tourbillon is no ordinary tourbillon, instead it has Lange’s patented stop seconds mechanism which means the tourbillon cage is stopped when the crown is pulled to enable more accurate time setting.  That being said the tourbillon is a superfluous (and overly expensive) feature in my opinion. The perpetual calendar is more than enough. And the tourbillon itself is not particularly attractive as the cage is mostly hidden.

Shown here in a limited edition of 100 pieces in platinum (ref .720.025) with a retail price of EUR270,000 or SGD462,000. A regular production rose gold version will be launched later on, probably in 2013. – SJX

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