Last year at the SIHH 2016, German watch manufacturer, A. Lange & Söhne, debuted the deliciously complex Richard Lange Jumping Seconds. Offered in a platinum case and produced in a limited series of just 100 pieces, it was an instant hit with collectors. Following on from this success, this minimalist timepiece is now being made available in an attractive pink gold case, complete with matching accents on the dial and buckle. As with the platinum model, this series will be limited to just 100 pieces, preserving the exclusivity of this exceptional mechanical machine.
A Quick Recap
The Richard Lange Jumping Seconds is a timepiece that we’ve previously written about extensively here on Monochrome. If you haven’t done so already, I would recommend reading this excellent in-depth article by Xavier, which really does a great job of explaining the jumping seconds (or dead second) complication, as well as the constant force mechanism and the zero-reset mechanism. Also, be sure to check out our early hands-on with the platinum version. For those of you who are too time-poor to click on the links, however, I will try and provide a quick summary here.
The 2016 Platinum version of the A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds (ref. 252.025)
As you know, the second hand in a mechanical watch moves forward in increments of a fraction of a second, which are determined by the frequency of its balance. For example, in a watch beating at the standard rate of 28,800vph or 4Hz (the frequency of many modern watches), the second’s hand will move eight times per second. As you can imagine, this process happens very quickly and so us it appears like a relatively smooth sweeping motion, although if you look closely you will notice it’s not quite as smooth as your brain would initially have you believe.
Jumping second watches, however, do away with the sweeping motion altogether and instead make distinct jumps from one second to the next, much like the way the second’s hand on a quartz watch ticks – but in a complex, mechanical way. This makes it easier to more accurately read elapsed time and is particularly useful when you are trying to time a specific event with precision, such as a doctor measuring a patient’s heartbeat over a given number of seconds. I’m not going to go into the detail of how it exactly works here, however. You’ll just have to read Xavier’s in-depth article for yourself (you really won’t regret it, I promise).
The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds, now in Pink Gold
The Richard Lange Jumping Seconds is an interesting and appealing piece for a number of reasons, not least of which is its minimalist aesthetic. Although the movement is exceptionally complex, the solid silver dial is anything but, with the hours shown at 8 o’clock on transferred Roman numerals and minutes at 4 o’clock with red Arabic numerals for the quarter hours – a sort of stylized regulator display. At the bottom of where these two circles overlap is a clever little end of power reserve indication: this tiny triangular cut-out in the dial turns red 10 hours before the power reserve is exhausted, reminding the owner to rewind the watch.
As you might expect, however, the primary focus is the large seconds counter, which occupies the central part of the dial. Clean and easy to read, the second’s hand in blue steel indicates the jumping second, while the hour and minutes hands are pink gold. Bringing it all together is the 39.9mm x 10.6mm 18k pink gold case, which is just about the perfect size for a dress watch with quite some complications running on the dial.
If you ever tire of the minimalist aesthetic of the dial, simply turn the piece over and your brain will be flooded with stimulation. Visible through the sapphire caseback is the exceptionally-finished calibre Lange L094.1, complete with constant-force escapement. Closer inspection reveals how the remontoir spring of the constant-force escapement receives fresh energy from the mainspring barrel every second to power the escapement at the same rate. Just below it, under a transparent jewel bearing, there is a star connected to the fourth-wheel arbour that controls the jumping seconds sequence. Its job is to convert the balance frequency of six semi-oscillations per second into one single step of the second’s hand. At the same time, the jump switching impetus is used to deliver fresh energy to the remontoir spring of the constant-force escapement. Also visible is the ZERO-RESET mechanism. When the crown is pulled, it stops the cam-poised balance and instantly propels the second’s hand to the zero position.
Running at 21,600 vibrations per hour and comprised of 390 parts, this large movement (33.6mm x 6mm) has been finished in compliance with Lange’s strict standards. It features 50 jewels including 8 set in screwed gold chitons, superb beveling, and uniform stripes applied to the bridges made of untreated German silver. The cock is finely engraved with the brand’s floral pattern and features a swan-neck. As usual with the Saxonian brand, superb!
As I mentioned earlier, the A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds in pink gold will also be produced in a limited series of just 100 pieces. Offered on a reddish-brown, hand-stitched alligator leather strap closed with a pin buckle in matching pink gold, retail is set at EUR 73,000. More details: www.alange-soehne.com.
Technical specifications – A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping Seconds
- Case: 39.9mm diameter x 10.6mm height – 18K pink gold – sapphire crystal on the front and on the back – 30m water resistant
- Movement: L094.1 with manual winding – 33.6mm x 6mm – 42h power reserve – 21,600 vibrations/h – hours, minutes, jumping seconds, zero-reset mechanism, end of power reserve indication, constant force mechanism
- Strap: brown alligator leather strap with 18k pink gold pin buckle
- Reference: 252.032
- Limited edition of 100 pieces – available now in stores
- Price: EUR 73,000