A Complicated Beauty
Photo Essay: A. Lange & Söhne Double Split
The A. Lange & Söhne Double Split is the world’s only mechanical split seconds and split minutes chronograph, able to time two separate events up to 30 minutes in length. But never mind that. Also never mind that its movement is entirely hand built and all parts, seen and unseen, are hand decorated and assembled twice. Never mind that it is only available in precious metals — white and pink gold or platinum — and costs north of $100,000. We could go on about how it wears (top heavy), how it keeps time (who cares?) or how it stacks up against its competitors (there are none with this complication). But really, all of that doesn’t matter when you just gaze at the utter miracle that this watch is, and stand in awe of its 465 exquisite parts.
We’ll never own a watch like this. Not many people will. But just wearing it for a month was a privilege, like taking a lap in a vintage Aston Martin DBR or sipping a dram of 1962 Macallan. We savored it, playing with its pushers, turning it over to admire the engraved German silver balance cock, tilting it so the dial caught the light just so. Friends called and wanted to come and see it. Even non-watch people took iPhone photos of it to e-mail their rich brothers-in-law. It’s that special. To try to distill down its essence to a mere hands-on review seems almost blasphemous. So we won’t. This is a watch to be gazed on and lingered over. Enjoy the photos.