By Jack Forster
The Richard Lange family of watches was first introduced by A. Lange & Söhne in 2006, with the idea being to create a family of watches that reflected observation watches made by Lange for scientific expeditions, and for navigation. Since then, the family of Richard Lange watches has steadily grown to include the Richard Lange Pour Le Merite, the Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Merite (and a “Handwerkskunst” version of the same) and the most complicated watch in the Richard Lange family, the spectacular Terraluna Perpetual Calendar. The overall theme of old school solutions to precision timekeeping very much remains clear, however (even the Terraluna doesn’t wear its complexity on its sleeve; its spectacular astronomical display is visible only through the back of the watch). Now for 2016, A. Lange & Söhne has introduced a new watch to the Richard Lange family: the Richard Lange Jumping Seconds.
“Jumping seconds” is one of the many alternative terms we’re seeing these days to what is also called a dead seconds (French: seconde morte) or a deadbeat seconds. We’ve covered another variation on the deadbeat seconds pretty recently in our Week On The Wrist coverage of Jaeger LeCoultre’s Geophysic True Second. However, there is a significant technical difference between the two watches.
The first thing you notice when you look at the Richard Lange Jumping Seconds is the dial arrangement. It’s similar in certain respects to that of the Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Merite (check out our coverage of the 2011 launch here) in that there are three intersecting circles anchoring the composition (this arrangement is based on a pocket watch by Johann Seyffert, from 1807).
However, the RL Tourbillon Pour Le Merite is a standard regulator-style display, with the largest circle occupied by the minute hand. In the RL Jumping Seconds, the largest of the three circles is for the jumping seconds hand instead, the better to emphasize it, and make it more dynamic.
The Richard Lange Jumping Seconds differs from other jumping/deadbeat seconds watches in another critical technical respect: the addition of a remontoire d’égalité on the fourth wheel. A remontoire d’égalité, you might recall, is a form of constant force mechanism. The remontoire d’égalité basically consists of a second spiral spring, placed on one