Breakdown: A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna
The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna ($230,400 in white gold, $229,200 in pink gold) is, as you can tell from its name, a watch for the man who enjoys complexity. It’s a perpetual calendar indicating time in a regulator style; it has a unique power reserve indication at 6:00; it has an orbital moon phase on the back. And that’s just the tip of the horological iceberg. Let us try to explain.
“Regulator time indication” means minutes are displayed on one sub-dial, hours on another and, in this case, seconds on a third. Thankfully, this is a big watch at 45.5 millimeters, so there’s plenty of acreage for each subdivision of time. The calendar display is distributed around the dial, date of the month up top, day at 8:00, and month at 4:00. Leap year is indicated at about 2:30. Unfortunately, the year indication is missing. You’re on your own for that one.
Then there’s the constant force escapement; not many of those found in watches these days. This means that constant force is applied to the escapement — the ticker — during the release of power. This is done by means of a remontoire, which is basically a secondary spring that is loaded by the mainspring and in turn releases power to the escapement every ten seconds. All this means better timekeeping for all fourteen days of power reserve — which is enormous, considering most movements have about two days’ worth of juice.
Then there’s the orbiting moon phase display on the back of the watch, which is a thing of beauty. Three independently orbiting white gold discs, coated with a patented blue coloration, make up the earth, celestial sky, and moon. The sky contains 2,160 laser-engraved stars, and the continents on the Earth disc are laser engraved as well. There’s even the ability to tell local time anywhere in the world (well, the Northern Hemisphere — the poor guys down south get short-sheeted again). This is Lange’s most accurate moon phase display: no need to reset for another 1,058 years. Hang onto the instructions. We’re betting you’ll forget how to set it after that long.
Oh, did we mention? The rest of the calibre L096.1 as seen through the case back is pretty easy on the eyes too. If your head is spinning, we have two pieces of advice: read what Lange’s Technical Director, Anthony de Haas, had to say about the Terraluna works; then check out our breakdown above.