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The rediscovery of precision The RICHARD LANGE watch family

RICHARD LANGE in white gold with Roman numerals and blued hands

With the RICHARD LANGE, we breathe new life into a storied category of timepieces: observation watches. Because of their superior rate accuracy, excellent legibility, and ruggedness, they were indispensable precision instruments for many famous scientists, researchers, and explorers in the 18th and 19th centuries. The RICHARD LANGE watch family honours a time measurement pioneer with his name.


Richard Lange was no doubt the most inventive member of the dynasty of Lange watchmakers and respected as a prominent scientist of his era. With numerous discoveries and patents, he decisively inspired the refinement of precision watchmaking. In his famous 1930 patent application, he described that a small admixture of beryllium noticeably improves the rate characteristics of balance springs.

RICHARD LANGE – the fine observation watch

Display: RICHARD LANGE – the fine observation watch. A portrait of Richard Lange appears. It is replaced by close-ups of a pocket-watch with its vibrating balance and breathing balance-spring. This gives way – almost imperceptibly – to the balance-wheel and balance-spring of a current Lange movement. We explore the clear design of the RICHARD LANGE’s dial. This is followed by pictures of the RICHARD LANGE TOURBILLON “Pour le Mérite” and its tourbillon. Through the case back – thanks to recesses in the three-quarter plate – we can recognise the chain-and-snail drive. We switch to the movement side of the Richard Lange "Terraluna" and observe the releasing action of the constant-force escapement. Then its dial side is shown. Finally, we return to the movement side and fly over its orbital moon-phase display.
RICHARD LANGE in pink gold with blued sweep seconds hand


in pink gold

Engraving of a schooner and a hot-air balloon

Observation watches were used by many researchers and explorers during the 18th and 19th centuries, among them polar expedition leader Erich von Drygalski.

Portrait of Richard Lange

Richard Lange (1845-1932) can take credit for decisive enhancements of precision in horology and filed 27 patent applications.

Focus on precise observation 


Every facet of the RICHARD LANGE watch family is subordinate to two objectives: the ultimate in precision and outstanding legibility. Today, Lange balance springs embody the ambitious claim to precision and assure the superior accuracy of the timepieces. They unite the latest scientifically corroborated insights of Lange’s masters with Richard Lange’s discovery. Further devices improve the accuracy of the models in this watch family. They include the constant-force escapement, the tourbillon, and the fusée-and-chain mechanism.

One watch family – two dial designs


Here, two dial designs can be distinguished: the dial of the RICHARD LANGE presented in 2006 features a classic minute scale and slender Roman appliques, reinterpreting the characteristic design of the Large Observation Watch. With it, A. Lange & Söhne achieved a highlight in the development of the precision timepiece category. In 1935, two exemplars were sold to the Zeppelin yard in Friedrichshafen. They were indispensable for navigation and fuel reserve calculations. Scientists at research institutes and universities also professed great interest, because the credibility of their experiments hinged on the accuracy of their measurements, and thus also on the precision of the timekeeping instruments they used. 

RICHARD LANGE in pink gold

The RICHARD LANGE is a contemporary interpretation of the design of the Large Observation Watch.

RichARD LANGE pocket watch

Large Observation Watch No. 83193

In 1799, German natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt embarked on his legendary expedition to Latin America. One of his most important scientific instruments was a chronometer built by Saxon precision watchmaker Johann Heinrich Seyffert. Its precise reading of time helped Humboldt calculate the co-ordinates of his locations and perform many scientific measurements. In the interest of good legibility under poor light conditions, he chose a model whose displays of hours, minutes, and seconds were separately arranged in a triangular geometry. This so-called regulator dial also graces the RICHARD LANGE TOURBILLON „Pour le Mérite“ and the RICHARD LANGE PERPETUAL CALENDAR “Terraluna”, for example.

Pocket chronometer in pink gold

Pocket chronometer by Johann Heinrich Seyffert

RICHARD LANGE TOURBILLON "Pour le Mérite" in pink gold with visible tourbillon

The dial of the RICHARD LANGE TOURBILLON “Pour le Mérite” reinterprets the regulator design of pocket chronometers by Johann Heinrich Seyffert.

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