Richard Lange “Pour le Mérite” Ref 260.032 Rose Gold Fusée-and-Chain Transmission
I was instantly fascinated by this reference and bought it new as soon as it was first issued in 2015. It is incredibly complicated for a watch that only tells time (not even the date), but the experience and pleasure of owning it can hardly be described in words. The first thing that hits you when pick it up is the heft: it’s not heavy like the double split chronograph or the 31-day power reserve, but somehow the weight leaves an impression for a watch that is slightly above-average size for a contemporary dress watch measuring 40.5 mm.
The subsequent impression comes from the dial: the stepped kiln-fired porcelain enamel is luscious and creamy, with hints of red on the quarter-hour outer scale. I am not a fan of Roman numerals, but the thin and elongated numerals on this watch make it look like a Renaissance work of art. The rest of the dial is minimal without any hint whatsoever of the magic that lies within; but the way the simple rose gold case hugs the dial and the blued steel hour and second hands convey a sense of Teutonic tradition and quality. The final impression comes from setting the watch: you pull the crown and the hacking seconds stop dead to allow for an exact setting of time; there is no jump or slippage of gears when you pull or push the crown. Then, when you wind the watch, the crunch of the gears as they engage the chain transmission is positively unlike anything you’ve experienced with the highest quality Patek Philippe, Breguet or Vacheron movements. It is a totally unique sensation.
I traded my first Richard Lange Pour le Mérite to pay for a Patek minute repeater, and I can honestly say that I looked to buy back this piece the moment the first one left my wrist. I hope this watch sells to a good collector once I am ready to let it go. This one is number 176 of 200.
Movement Caliber L044.1
What makes this timepiece special is the fusée-and-chain transmission. With all watches, the power generated by the mainspring is higher when the watch is fully wound and weaker as it is unwound. This causes fluctuations in rate accuracy. The fusée-and-chain transmission, developed by Leonardo Da Vinci, works like an infinite variable gearbox, ensuring constant energy transmission from the mainspring to the movement. This feature increases rate accuracy tremendously.
Number of moving parts: 279
Number of Rubies: 33
Screwed Gold Chatons: 2
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 HZ)
Power Reserve: 36 hours
The Fusée-and-Chain: 636 parts, 0.6 mm X 0.3 mm
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