Watches & Wonders 2021: A. Lange & Sohne: The Triple Split

THM Desk
7 Apr 2021 |
clock icon4 min read
like image
comment icon image
like image
SUMMARIZEarrow down

Presenting a new look for the world’s most complex chronograph! There are chronographs, flyback chronographs,  the split-second or Rattrapante chonographs and so on. Then in 2004, the Saxon based Manufacture introduced the double split, the worldʼs first mechanical chronograph with a double-rattrapante function which featured two chronograph and two rattrapante hands, both of which could be stopped separately. Additionally, the stopped rattrapante hands can rejoin the still running chronograph hands. This allows purely mechanical comparative and intermediate time measurements of events up to 30 minutes. 

But this clearly did not satiate the Saxon watchmakers, who then introduced the world to another global premier back in 2008 - the TRIPLE SPLIT. The only split-seconds chronograph in the world to date that can measure additive and comparative times for as long as twelve hours is in a league of its own.

So how exactly does the triple split work? Let’s use the example of measuring lap times with the Triple Split. In the starting position, the three rhodiumed rattrapante hands are superposed on the respective chronograph hands. Now you can start measuring the time by pressing the chronograph pusher at 2 o'clock. The pairs of hands now run synchronously until they are separated by pressing the rattrapante pusher at 10 o'clock to perform a lap-time measurement. The three rhodiumed hands will then stop to display the lap time. All the while, the previously concealed chronograph hands in gold-plated steel or pink gold continue the time measurement. As soon as the rattrapante pusher is pressed again, the rattrapante hands catch up with the chronograph hands and from then on run together with them again.

The movement is also endowed with a flyback function that involves all three hand pairs as well. Thus, the chronograph can be reset to zero by pressing the chronograph pusher at 4 oclock during an ongoing time measurement. Releasing the pusher instantly starts a new time measurement.


Lange Triple Split Chronograph in Blue

At Watches & Wonders 2021, A. Lange & Söhne has introduced the Triple Split with a pink-gold case and a blue dial in a limited edition of 100 timepieces. This deep blue 43mm dial displays of course the hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds with stop seconds , a flyback chronograph with triple rattrapante, precisely jumping chrono and rattrapante minute counters, continuous chrono and rattrapante hour counter, a tachymeter scale and UP/DOWN power-reserve indicator. Despite the wealth of displayed information, an ingenious material and colour concept make it easy to clearly assign each of the ten hands to a specific function.

Lange Triple Split Movement

The Lange calibre L132.1 is a movement that stands out with its three-dimensionality, complexity, and architecturally pleasing design. Overall, 567 tiny parts are perfectly adjusted for flawless interaction of a mechanism which makes it possible to collectively or separately control three hand pairs represented a formidable technical challenge for Langes developers. Even a simple rattrapante mechanism has two hands attached to arbors that run one inside the other. In the calibre L132.1, this pairing exists three times. 

Back view of the TRIPLE SPLIT, reference 424.037

A glance through the sapphire-crystal caseback reveals the workings of one of the most complex chronographs ever manufactured. With all the gears and levers on full display, it gives the wearer an opportunity to witness the elegant dance of the wheels and other components in a 3D format. Five gold chatons, traditionally secured with screws on bridges decorated with Glashütte ribbing as well as the hand-engraved balance cock round off the stylish prominence of the movement. 

Although this new addition introduced at Watches & Wonders 2021 is merely an aesthetic upgrade with a pink gold case and a deep blue dial, in the world of chronographs the A. Lange & Söhne TRIPLE SPLIT will always play in a league of its own.