A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

German favorites A. Lange & Söhne have kept it predictably simple this year. There’s no big splash with an entirely new model, and the brand only announced to new releases. One is a simple line extension with a new blue variant of the Datograph Up/Down, but the more interesting one puts a new spin on one of the brand’s most complicated watches. First introduced in 2016, the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon was built on the Datograph Perpetual, which in turn expanded on the Datograph Up/Down. For Watches and Wonders 2024, the brand is casing the triple-complication watch in its proprietary Honeygold for the first time and giving it some lume. This is the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Honeygold “Lumen.”

The new Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon case is offered in the brand’s 18k Honeygold, a proprietary gold alloy that is harder and wormer than yellow gold, but lacking the redness of rose or pink gold. The case itself has a mix of brushed and polished surfaces and a sapphire crystal, with a diameter of 41.5mm and a thickness of 14.6mm. That’s sure to wear slightly bulky, but given the amount of complications going on, it seems reasonable. The case features traditional chronograph pushers and rapid correctors each for the moonphase, day of the week, and one for the month and leap year. The brown alligator leather strap has a matching 18k Honeygold deployant buckle and while water resistance is not indicated, it’s likely the same as previous models at 30m.

The dial of the original model was black, and then a Salmon model was introduced in 2019, but now the theatrics have been brought to the watch. Like all “Lumen” models, the dial is a coated sapphire crystal, with a smokey finish and lume just about everywhere. Given the inclusion of a perpetual calendar and a chronograph, this is an understandably cluttered dial, though Lange has omitted the power reserve that used to sit at the arc between 9 and 10 o’clock. Lume is generously applied to the subdials, which serve double duty as perpetual calendar indicators and a running seconds (9 o’clock) and 30-miute chrono register (3 o’clock). There’s also lume on the tachymeter ring, the seconds hashes, and the alpha handset. Of course, the big date at 12 and the moonphase at 6 are also fully lumed. As mentioned, this may be cluttered, but it’s not unclear, and legibility appears excellent given everything it has going on.

The movement of the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is on full display through the sapphire caseback. The updated caliber is the L952.4, whereas previous models featured the L952.2. It features a flyback chronograph mechanism with jumping minutes, a perpetual calendar, and the intricate tourbillon at 12 o’clock (I’m a big fan of when any brand hides the tourbillon behind the dial instead of ostentatiously displaying it through an aperture). It has 45 fewer components, owing at least to the removal of the power reserve on the dial, if not other efficiencies. It has a power reserve of 50 hours and runs at 18,000vph, allowing for timing at 1/5 second intervals (the dial features 300 markers so it will stop on one no matter when the chronograph stops). As ever, the movement itself is a stunning display of hand-finished craftsmanship, rendered in untreated German silver with blued screws, gold chatons, and striping and perlage decoration.

These Lumen watches are some of the most outré things that Lange does. The brand is not known for taking too mnay chances or getting very wild. It was a shock when it relented to market pressure and released the Odysseus sports watch, and besides that, the Zeitwerk is probably the craziest (if not most complicated) watch the brand produces. So, when it smokes a dial and coats it in lume, it counts as a bit daring. Pricing for the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Honeygold “Lumen” was not available at the time of publication and is listed as “Upon Request” by the brand. For more information, please visit the A. Lange & Söhne website.