What’s so particular concerning the A. Lange & Söhne Double Break up – or as I began calling it as quickly as I purchased it, the “Mighty Double Break up?”
On this newest version of the “Why I Purchased It” sequence, I hope to present you a very good impression about why I selected this watch among the many many ultra-complicated chronographs on the market, why I’m nonetheless happy with my buy three years later, and what you may need to think about if you happen to assume that this stalwart of the Lange line may very well be the one for you.
Why I purchased it
In my good friend Terry’s accumulating taxonomy (described in additional element in Why I Bought It: Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon), the Double Break up positively falls within the “funding” realm: a chunk with pretty predictable market worth that’s vital in its personal proper and is usually a foundational factor inside a group.
One of many nice issues about these kinds of watches from a collector’s perspective is that they can help you spend (word I didn’t say “make investments”) extra in your assortment than you might in any other case afford.
However that’s not why I purchased this watch. In truth, though I’d been a fan of A. Lange & Söhne’s watches for a while, already owned a Datograph, and had recognized concerning the Double Break up for some time, it wasn’t on the prime of my want record till “the lunch.”
Our small group of Northern California collector crazies had gathered for one in every of our common lunches, this time with a Lange theme. As standard with our group, any theme teases some fairly attention-grabbing watches out of members’ protected deposit bins, and this time was no exception. Items like one of many ten “Pisa” Datographs in existence and a uncommon Lange 1 in stainless-steel have been being handed round and tried on. The “Pisa” is an version of ten items in platinum instances with each strong and exhibition case backs, a silver dial, and blued chronograph arms; they have been made for the Italian retailer of the identical identify.
For me, although, the watch that riveted my consideration didn’t really belong to any of the members; it was a Double Break up that belonged to the uncle of one in every of our gang. Seems that “Unc” was on the town for the day, met up with our buddy, and – by whole coincidence – occurred to be carrying a Double Break up. He was variety sufficient to lend it to his favourite nephew for lunch.
It’s on such small coincidences that collections can flip! My images from that day are dominated by the Double Break up, and I used to be quickly on the hunt. Shortly thereafter, I discovered an appropriate instance at public sale, and after some much-needed loving care again on the A. Lange & Söhne manufacture (which I reviewed in some element in Why You Can’t Afford To Buy Your Watch If You Can’t Afford To Break It) discovered myself with a like-new Double Break up that has been one in every of my very favourite items ever since.
Why I like it
The explanation why I really like this watch fall into two fundamental classes: the way it appears and what it does. Let’s begin with appearances.
· It’s certainly mighty! The huge platinum case is each hefty and sculpted in ways in which to me talk an actual seriousness of function. One instance: on the rear bezel, the model identify and serial quantity aren’t simply engraved; they’re etched into the bezel in deep aid, offering a putting body for the motion.
· Talking of the motion: even when it weren’t a mechanical marvel, it definitely appears the half! The time period I’ve heard again and again from first-time viewers of my watch is that the motion facet appears like a “metropolis underneath glass.” Lange’s follow of constructing chronograph problems vertically isn’t to everybody’s style, however I’m a sucker for this kind of deep dimensionality.
· The ending is each purposeful and exquisite. A time period that I typically use to confer with Lange’s type of ending is “vigorous”: these Glashütte stripes on the bridges, for example, won’t ever be mistaken for the barely-there striping utilized by Philippe Dufour. However for me it’s all a part of a coherent Saxon type, just like the screwed gold chatons that safe a number of the jewels. It’s particularly applicable for a masculine watch just like the Double Break up.
· A number of thought was clearly given to the dial facet of the watch as nicely. One factor that you may see whenever you run the chronograph is that the little diamond-shaped opening on the backside finish of the chronograph second hand completely frames the central axes of every of the subdials, together with the facility reserve, every time it swings over them. In fact, that’s not only a matter of cosmetics; I’m certain it wasn’t that straightforward to develop the motion structure in order that these three axes have been all equidistant from the middle of the dial.
· Utilized Roman numerals? Verify. Pleasantly busy Lange-style tachymeter and seconds observe? Verify. Luminous dots seamlessly built-in into the outer suggestions of the utilized baton markers for the hours? Verify. Even the facility reserve, which in photos appears a bit small, appears in proportion when the watch is seen stay.
· White steel, black dial: whereas the platinum Datograph is maybe the main exemplar of this motif, for me the Double Break up may be very, very shut behind.
Love already, and we haven’t even talked about that monumental motion! Let’s see if I can describe all of the issues that it does:
· It’s a stopwatch.
· Excellent pusher really feel on each the start-stop and return-to zero capabilities.
· A design that appears to cut back any leaping on start-up or jittering of the chronograph second hand nearly to zero.
· If you want, it flies again to zero with out having to cease the watch and stays zeroed till you launch the return button, at which level it begins to report time once more.
· Instantaneously leaping chronograph minutes. Not continuously-creeping-along-with-the-advancing-chronograph-second-hand, not even Frédéric Piguet 1185-style, semi-instantaneous modifications that creep a bit beginning at about 57 seconds after which tick over, however reasonably crisp, snapping modifications completely coordinated with the chronograph second hand.
· The A. Lange & Söhne Double Break up does all of this not as soon as, however twice! The “cut up” half is the rattrapante mechanism that makes use of two chronograph second arms to permit seize of intermediate intervals like lap occasions; the “double” half is that this similar operate has been utilized to the chronograph minutes as nicely – the one wristwatch in existence that enables cut up timing of intervals as much as 30 minutes.
And all of the whereas, there’s no drama, no nervousness about whether or not the arms will snap exactly again to zero when actuated, and no sense of fragility.
Is it for you?
So, I’m an enormous fan, however is that this a watch that’s appropriate in your assortment? You may need to think about it if:
· Like me, you view it as one of many nice watchmaking accomplishments of our time.
· You both don’t but have a “gown” chronograph or, alternatively, have a group that focuses on non-sporting stopwatches like this one.
· You’ll be able to put on it comfortably. I don’t have a big wrist, however I do have a wrist with a broad and flat prime floor; this trait permits me to put on large watches fairly nicely, and regardless of its heft the Double Break up wears fantastically for me.
· You like the way in which it appears; not simply the dramatic motion, however the attribute Lange-style dial that you’ll be more often than not.
Fortunately, not each watch is for everybody! From my expertise, you may need to direct your acquisitive energies elsewhere if:
· You attempt on the Double Break up (which it’s best to positively do earlier than contemplating a purchase order) and its measurement, weight, or the way in which it sits in your wrist simply don’t swimsuit you.
· You perceive the entire probably attention-grabbing issues that this watch can do, however don’t see why anybody wants a watch that does them.
· You have already got one other couple of high-end gown chronographs that you may’t bear to half with, and on the similar time produce other vital gaps in your assortment that you just want to fill.
To my good associates at A. Lange und Söhne: how a few Dato Double Break up? Sure, I do know you’ve already advised me that it will possibly’t be finished for a wide range of causes, however I place confidence in you!
Fast Details A. Lange & Söhne Double Break up
Case: pink gold; 43.2 x 15.three mm; beforehand produced in platinum with black dial
Dial: argenté (silvered)
Motion: manually wound Caliber L001.1 with 38-hour energy reserve, three Hz/21,600 vph frequency
Features: hours, minutes, hacking seconds; flyback chronograph with double rattrapante and exactly leaping minute counters; “up/down” power-reserve indicator
Value: present retail value (pink gold) $128,400; latest public sale costs as of 2014 (platinum) $77,000 to $87,000
Manufacturing years: 2004 onward
* This text was first printed on September 30, 2014 at Why I Bought It: A. Lange & Söhne Double Split.