The A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split Chronograph is the first of its kind: a rattrapante chronograph capable of measuring and comparing the time of two concurrent events, of up to twelve hours’ duration. The Triple Split is an extension of the capabilities of the existing Double Split, and represents a pretty major technical accomplishment (both are members of the Saxonia collection). The Double Split was introduced in 2004 and generated a tremendous amount of buzz at the time, and for good reason; the Triple Split, while conceptually an extension of the Double, should do the same for Lange this year.
The rattrapante chronograph was traditionally considered one of the most challenging of all complications, for a number of reasons. It’s one of the three complications included in the most generally accepted definition of a Grand Complication watch as well (usually the term refers to a watch that has a sonnerie and/or repeater function, a perpetual calendar, and a rattrapante chronograph).
A rattrapante chronograph is also sometimes called a split-seconds chronograph. A traditional rattrapante chronograph has two superimposed chronograph seconds hands, which look like a single hand until the split function is used. When you start the chronograph, the two hands run together until you push the split button. At that point, one of the two hands stops, while the other keeps running. Push the split button again, and the stopped hand jumps forward, and the two hands begin to run together again. One common use for the rattrapante is the recording of successive lap times. A triple rattrapante, which allows you to “split” hours and minutes, as well as seconds, has never been done before even though it’s a logical extension of functionality, because even a conventional rattrapante is quite difficult to make and adjust. Like the Double Split, the Triple Split is also a flyback chronograph as well.
This is obviously a major achievement for Lange & Söhne; it’s going to have a fairly small audience thanks to its complexity and cost, but for anyone interested in watchmaking it’s a milestone worth noting. Lange has managed to increase the complexity of the Double Split without increasing the size of the case, which is also a rather impressive achievement. We haven’t had a chance to go hands-on with the Triple Split just yet but there’s no reason to think that in terms of fit and finish, this will be anything less than a home run for Lange, which is justly famous for its excellence in both respects. There aren’t a whole lot of real firsts in watchmaking and it’s always great to see one coming from Lange; we’re looking very much forward to seeing this one in the metal.
The Triple Split is being made in a limited edition of 100 pieces, in white gold only; price at launch is $147,000. At 43.2mm x 15.6mm this is obviously a large watch and a major statement piece, and very much aimed at the proverbial person who has everything – except the world’s first triple rattrapante wristwatch, of course.
Brand: A. Lange & Söhne
Model: Saxonia Triple Split
Reference Number: 424.038F
Case Material: white gold
Dial Color: Solid silver, grey color
Indexes: Rhodium plated gold
Lume: Hour and minute hands
Strap/Bracelet: Black alligator with white gold folding buckle
Caliber: In-House Caliber L132.1
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, triple rattrapante flyback chronograph with 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers, power reserve indicator
Power Reserve: 55 hours
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 vph)
Additional Details: Plates and bridges of untreated German silver (maillechort) with hand engraved balance cock; freesprung adjustable mass balance
Pricing & Availability
Price: $147,000 (Prices in USD subject to change due to exchange rates.)
Limited Edition: 100 pieces