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A. Lange & Sohne - Lange 31

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Introduced in 2007, the Lange 31 has been the first and only mechanical wristwatch with a power reserve of 31 days and a patented constant-force escapement that continuously delivers uniform torque from the first to the last day of autonomy.

This year, A. Lange & Söhne presented a new Lange 31 variation characterised by a sleek grey dial framed by a 45.9 mm white gold case.

Imposing case apart, the watch does not reveal the great power hidden inside its manually wound calibre.

Only the white 31 at the upper end of the large power-reserve indicator and the small "Monats-werk" (literally translating from German to English as "month factory") inscription beneath the Lange outsize date refer to the fact that, when fully wound, the movement will run for an entire month.

But delivering a power reserve of 744 hours was not the only technical challenge for A. Lange & Söhne. In fact, a twin mainspring barrel with two 185-centimetre-long springs like the ones equipping the Lange 31 would generally deliver a great amount of torque just after being wound and then gradually decline toward the end of the power-reserve period.

To avoid this, A. Lange & Söhne designed a separate technical device to guarantee constant force delivery in the interest of maximised rate accuracy.

Located between the mainspring barrel and the going train, this device is referred to as the constant-force escapement. It delivers a constant amount of energy to the escapement every ten seconds, so that the balance keeps oscillating with the same ideal amplitude. The result is superior precision from the first to the thirty-first day when a limiter mechanism stops the movement.

The function of the constant-force escapement can be observed through the sapphire-crystal caseback which reveals the triangular cam attached to the fourth-wheel arbour.

The powerful mainsprings are tensioned with a separate key that inserts in a square socket in a recess of the sapphire-crystal back. Its technical features include an integrated backstop ratchet for smooth and easy winding as well as a torque limiter that prevents unintentional overwinding of the springs.

Beating at 21,600 vibrations per hour, the Lange manufacture calibre L034.1 is crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand. Plates and bridges are made of untreated German silver. The balance cock is engraved by hand making each piece unique.

Limited to 100 watches, this new edition of the Lange 31 (ref. 130.039) has a price of Euro 142,000.

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