A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Minute Repeater: Perfect Chiming

by Dr Kenny Pang

More than a timekeeper, the limited-edition Richard Lange Minute Repeater is a horological masterpiece.

In the world of haute horology, chiming watches are a unique and prized class. Originally devised to sound the hour so one could tell the time even in the dark of night, chiming watches have held their charm for watch collectors through the ages. Among these acoustic timepieces, minute repeaters possess an especially intricate and fascinating complication, where the striking mechanism chimes the time in hours, quarters and minutes.

What chime is it? The time 1.51 a.m. or 1.51 p.m. would be struck with a low tone, three double tones, and six high tones in the Richard Lange Minute Repeater.

The Richard Lange Minute Repeater by A. Lange & Söhne is a remarkable rendition of the classic precision timepiece, designed based on the traditional sound format, but with thoughtful improvements to the acoustic complication. The brand’s dedication to delivering perfection with personality is also exemplified in the watch’s slim, elegant construction. Encased in 950 platinum, the white enamel dial has a solid white gold core, thermally blued steel hands, and the watch family’s characteristic slender Roman numerals, accentuated by the railway track minute scale, subsidiary seconds at six o’clock, and a fine red line above twelve. A black hand-stitched leather strap with a platinum deployant buckle completes the watch’s refined look.

With a diameter of 39mm and a height of just 9.7mm, the elegant Richard Lange Minute Repeater will strike a chord with lovers of classic designs.

Pushing the boundaries of watchmaking artistry, the Saxon manufactory added a pause elimination feature to the Richard Lange Minute Repeater’s chiming mechanism. This technical feature skips the pause between the hour and minute strike when no double tone must be struck for the quarter hours in the first 14 minutes after the top of the hour. A safety device protects the chiming mechanism against damage by preventing its activation while the crown is pulled out. The crown also cannot be pulled out when the chiming mechanism is active. The brand’s patented hammer blocker keeps the hammers in their home position for fractions of a second after the gongs have been struck.

Behind a sapphire-crystal caseback, the heart of the watch ­­– the new, manually wound movement L122.2 – and each component decorated with its specific type of finissage are proudly on display. These include the freehand engraved balance cock with whiplash spring; the solarized winding train, and six bearing jewels set in polished gold chatons on a three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver and decorated with Glashütte ribbing.

Also visible are parts of the chiming mechanism, such as the black-polished gong hammers, manually bent gongs, and a skeletonized bridge above the centrifugal governor. The centrifugal governor, balanced with two mirror-polished gold weights, rotates at a mesmerizing speed of more than 2,000 revolutions per minute to ensure the uniform cadence of strikes. The 69th Lange manufacture calibre has a respectable power reserve of 72 hours.

With only 50 pieces available, the limited edition Richard Lange Minute Repeater (Ref. 606.079F) is an evolved classic – a true acoustic and aesthetic delight.

Related Links:

Günter Blümlein: Horological Hero

A.Lange & Söhne: The Connoisseurs Connection

House of Lange

The A. Lange & Söhne Promise of Quality Fine Watchmaking

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