When considering the leading players in the world of high-end watchmaking, only a handful of prestigious brands come to mind: Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and, of course, the neighbouring German brand from Glashütte, A. Lange & Söhne. While Swiss watches are often regarded as the epitome of watchmaking, A. Lange & Söhne stands as a testament to the fact that this perception is not universally true. In fact, it can be argued that in certain aspects, A. Lange & Söhne surpasses its Swiss counterparts, establishing itself as a superior contender.
The A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual made its debut during a period of notable success for A. Lange & Söhne, thanks to the popularity of the Datograph introduced in 1999. Recognizing the absence of a calendar timepiece in its lineup, A. Lange & Söhne decided to introduce a perpetual calendar — a widely considered must-have grand complication in the catalogues of many prestigious watch brands. The Langematik Perpetual was then released in 2001 in two exquisite precious metal variations: one in yellow gold (Ref. 310.021) and the other in platinum (Ref. 310.025), which is also the example we have on offer today.
Beginning with its delicately crafted 38.5mm x 10.2 platinum case, it is meticulously constructed with three distinct sections, each with its own unique finish. The mid-case showcases a satin brushed texture, while the bezel and caseback are polished to achieve a mirror-like finish. The lugs here are also screwed into the platinum case and feature a slight downturn at the edges, gradually tapering down to the strap. Another notable feature of the case is the presence of corrector pushers on each side, allowing for convenience and ease for adjustments.
The dial of the Langematik Perpetual possesses a remarkable combination of subtlety and striking allure. To me, what truly stands out here is the unapologetically German design language used in the stereotypically efficient and uncluttered display of information. Despite it being a perpetual calendar, which often results in awfully crowded dials, the information on this dial is organized and displayed in a thoughtful hierarchy that ensures a visually satisfying and easily comprehensible layout. At the 12 o ‘clock position, the prominent big date captures the user’s attention, while the day and day / night indicators find their place at 9 o ‘clock. The month and leap year indicators gracefully occupy the 3 o ‘clock position while the running small seconds and moonphase sub-dials reside at 6 o'clock. Collectively, the dial delivers information in a clear and concise manner, allowing for the user to effortlessly read them all at a glance.
Powering the Langematik Perpetual from within is A. Lange & Söhne’s in-house, 43-jewelled, self-winding Sax-0-Mat Cal. L922.1, with an integrated perpetual calendar module. It boasts a power reserve of 46-hours and utilizes an exceptional blend of historic movement aesthetics and modern technicalities. I have said this many times and I will say it again: one of the best things about owning an A. Lange & Söhne is the opportunity to just turn the watch on its back and admire its movement. What else can I say? The Cal. L922.1 is absolutely sensational from top to bottom - from the movement architecture, harmonious visual blend of colours, and the intricate details such as the iconic engraved balance cock as well as the engraved 22-carat gold rotor which bears a platinum mass beneath it.
Overall, the A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual is, at its very core, an exceptional work of German horological art that eloquently illustrates A. Lange & Söhne’s no-compromise approach to watch design and construction.