A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split – The New Mightier Than Mighty Chronograph (SIHH 2018)
The Double-Split, the ultimate Über-Chrono, has been surpassed
Several years ago I had the pleasure of reviewing the A. Lange & Söhne Double Split and called it the über-chrono. To be clear, this has nothing to do with its functions but is entirely due to its spectacularly beautiful movement. Of course, the Double Split is the only mechanical double split-second chronograph, so that certainly demands some respect, but the movement’s architecture and finishing show a breath-taking beauty that no watch lover can ignore. And now there’s a Triple Split! Does that mean that the über-chrono has been surpassed? Yep, it does, and… it’s limited to only 100 pieces!
The Double Split is lovingly referred to, by admirers and owners of this watch, as the Mighty Double Split. It truly is mighty in so many ways. Do keep in mind that we’re still talking about mechanics here, and we are all aware that every iPhone does the same trick. But that’s not the point. The point is that some functions can be achieved by a collection of plates, bridges, gears, levers, springs, and screws. And even better, it looks jaw-droppingly beautiful. And now it even got better, because there’s a Triple Split!
What is the Triple Split? Well, to put it simply, take the Double Split, add two hour-counters and you have the Triple Split. Now there has ever been another mechanical watch that was able to record two separate times of 30-minute duration and now there’s one that can record two separate times of up to twelve hours each!
Add two hour-counters to the Double Split, and you have the Triple Split…. putting it simply
The Double Split allowed you to time cooking the spaghetti and tomato sauce (that’s how I use my chronographs), or anything else as long as the event didn’t take longer than 30 minutes. Now you can also record events with a duration of no less than 12 hours. For instance, measuring the times of two F1 race cars competing, of two cyclists in a Tour de France leg, or two runners in a marathon. Altogether the addition of a ‘split hour’ counter takes the number of possibilities to play with your Triple Split a few steps further than the Double Split. Measure times of up to 12 hours versus measuring time intervals of maximum 30 minutes.
Without wanting to sound too light-hearted about it, the Triple Split is one of the most impressive timepieces ever created. It is the most complicated chronograph, surpassing the previous record-holder, the Lange Double Split. The entire movement is massively impressive, and features like the jumping minute counter even increase the complexity of the movement, and thus the achievement of the team of engineers, designers and watchmakers who developed it. After the SIHH we’ll go hands-on with the Triple Split and explain the technical details of its movement, calibre L132.1.
The Triple Split is THE most complicated chronograph ever created
One thing immediately stands out, and that’s the new design. The white gold case measures 43.2mm in diameter and 15.7mm in height, and these are the exact same dimensions as the Double Split. This means that Lange’s team managed to include the additional gears, levers and springs for recording the double split hours, without increasing the movement’s dimensions. Again something that is very impressive, and something we will certainly include in an upcoming in-depth story.
The Double Split used to be available in platinum with a black dial, but since a few years, it’s only available in rose gold with a solid silver argenté dial. That opened the possibility for Lange to introduce the Triple Split in that much desired white metal with a dark dial. The dial is grey in colour and combined with the 18k white gold case, it features the same attractive colour combination of the Datograph Perpetual Calendar that was introduced in 2015.
To make it easy to keep the two recorded times separated, one set of chronograph counter hands is blue and the other is executed in rhodiumed steel. All three rattrapante hands are in heat blued steel, while the central hour and minute hand come with luminous material, so reading the time at night won’t be an issue.
I’m already looking forward to sharing more intricate details of the A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split with you, but that won’t be until after the SIHH. Keep in mind that this one is limited to only 100 pieces!
For now some photos, provided by the brand, of the spectacular movement.
thanks for sharing this preview. Absolutely impressive, can’t wait to learn more.
Very nice 👍