The Saxonia Thin ref. 211.026 was introduced in 2012. It features a white gold case with a height of 5.9mm, housing the caliber L093.1 movement.
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A. Lange & Söhne - The Tourbo Team
In this jubilee year 2010, A. Lange & Söhne commemorates the spiritual legacy of Ferdinand A. Lange, who founded the Germany's precision watchmaking industry 165 years ago, with a special collection of three exceptional complications. The undisputed star in the collection is the Tourbograph "Pour le Merite" - the culmination of the art of watchmaking as practised at A. Lange & Söhne. In the strictly limited second part-edition of just 50 exemplars, this exceptional watch now has a case made of the new honey-coloured gold, which is about twice as hard as other 18 carat gold alloys.
In its interior, exceptional technical complications are combined in a way that will stir the blood of any watch aficionado: the first minute tourbillon in wristwatch format with transmission via a sophisticated fusee-and-chain mechanism for constant torque and additional rattrapante chronograph. The complexity of the mechanism means that only one watch per month can be produced. Many clever minds and skilful hands have been working together to bring it to perfection. They belong to an elite of skilled watchmakers who have only one aim in mind: the ultimate in perfection. We are pleased to introduce four of the people whose co-operation has been decisive for the success of the mission. Gunter Blumlein's vision of the perfect watch At the start of the Tourbograph project stands a man who, with his infectious enthusiasm, has always been able to win others over to his visionary ideas and motivate people to peak performance. This man is Gunter Blumlein, who, together with Walter Lange, redefined the A. Lange & Söhne brand in 1990 and ensured its success by setting the future direction of the company. One of his strokes of genius was undoubtedly the Tourbograph "Pour le Merite".
Like his role-model, Ferdinand A. Lange, he was driven by the ambition to "create the best watches in the world" and, in the course of doing so, to venture repeatedly into unknown territory in terms of calibre design. Consequently, the new timepiece, not only combines the two most complicated mechanisms to improve rate stability: the tourbillon and the typical fusee-and-chain transmission used for early precision watches and marine chronometers by A. Lange & Söhne. This combination had already been realised in the famous Tourbillon "Pour le Merite" of 1994. Here, Blumlein went a step further, by adding a rattrapante chronograph to the movement and thus demonstrating once again the brand's mastery in the in the most prestigious field in watchmaking: the art of constructing chronographs.
The Stop-and-Go specialist: Annegret Fleischer
Annegret Fleischer possesses what is probably the most important characteristic of a movement designer - patience. For the battle with the unchanging laws of physics, above all the laws of gravity, friction and inertia, seems unending. The troika of complications, as realised in the Tourbograph "Pour le Merite", presents designers with almost insuperable challenges. Only those who have comprehended the complexity of such a structure, with its hundreds of tiny functional parts, understand why the development of this watch movement took eight years. The chronograph and rattrapante mechanism alone consists of 136 individual components. The switching operations released by pressing a push-piece have to follow a defined order within fractions of one-hundreth of a second to avoid mechanical conflicts. A test which the chronograph specialist and descendant of a family of watchmakers had already successfully passed when she developed the Datograph the Double Split.
Polishing until it turns black: Michael Böttcher
Appropriately for an exceptional watch, all the art of a near-perfect hand finish is lavished upon it. Including the black polishing of a steel surface which is one of the most demanding and time-consuming aspects of the finisseur's work. One of these finisseurs is Michael Böttcher. He spends two or three days decorating the filigree tourbillon bridge which is integrated into the dial design with the black polish finish. The steel surface is ground in dozens of operations, among other things on a tin plate until it is mirror-smooth, reflecting the light falling on it in one direction only. Only from this angle does it shine; from all other perspectives it appears absolutely black. Some like it complicated: Ralph Knoll and Michaela Mager
Behaviourists have proven that a person needs at least 10,000 hours to become an expert in a craft. The master watchmakers Ralph Knoll and Michaela Mager are no exception. For every step has to be performed perfectly when they are putting together the 465 parts of the Tourbograph "Pour le Merite" to make a movement whose owner will enjoy its constant precision over a period of decades. In the workshop for watch complications - the "sanctum" at A. Lange & Söhne - they spend an entire month to assembe Lange's most labour-intensive "Opus Technicus" from beginning to end. The planetary gearing alone, which ensures that the watch continues to be driven even during winding, consists of 38 minuscule parts, which Ralph Knoll has to accommodate in the internal diameter of the fusee, which measures just ten millimetres. And it takes almost an entire week for Michaela Mager to assemble and regulate the tourbillon cage consisting of 84 parts, that add up to just a quarter of a gram. Made by masters for connoisseurs In a time dominated by industrially produced atomic clocks, a timepiece like the TOURBOGRAPH "Pour le Merite" may seem like an anachronism. But as a representtative of state-of-the-art precision engineering it reveals like no other to the true connoisseur what peak results the best product developers, calibre designers, finisseurs, and watchmakers may achieve, when they concentrate their creativity, their knowledge, and their craftsmanship on a single goal.