Moon Struck

Moon Struck

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< In Person >

A Lange & Söhne Public Relation and Press Director Arnd Einhorn gets ecstatic explaining the brand’s new launch—the Terraluna, a perpetual calendar, in a chat with Mitrajit Bhattacharya

Can you take us through your key launches this year?
Last year, it was a very strong collection at Lange & Söhne, of course with the highlight being the Grand complication. Well, this year we go further, and we have a new collection which is again very strong with some outstanding pieces. We’re introducing a total of seven new products here. Three of them are with a new movement.

 Are you talking about three new movements?
Yes, in different let’s say, complexities. Of course I would like to start with absolute highlight, which is the Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna. While Terraluna is already an indication what it might be about, of course it’s about the moon phase but not only moon phases, but the orbital moon phase constellation within the sky, within the stars and within the positioning of earth and sun. It’s quite complex.

So, that’s really the launch of the year?
Well, it’s the launch of the year, Terraluna, and well, it’s a perpetual calendar. It is the orbital moon phase, it is remontoir, a constant force device because it keeps – and actually for 14 days, which is a very long period of time, not a record because we had a one month movement already.

I assume the constant force is not due to a fusee chain?
No, fusee chain but constant force. It’s a quite a complex time piece. In addition to that, in the Richard Lange line we didn’t have an outsize date in the past, so first timepiece now with an outsize date is the Terraluna, because it’s a part of the perpetual calendar function, and in the Richard Lange line we didn’t have a perpetual before. All indications of a perpetual calendar are jumping instantaneously which is also very convenient. Lange 1 Tourbillon, perpetual calendar which was introduced 2 years ago, was already the same, but now it’s now in a different timepiece and also the position of the calendar function is different. However, both have the moon phase in them.

The system consists of three discs; one disc is the earth in the middle, which turns once in 24 hours like the real earth turns once around its axis. Secondly, we have a star studded celestial disc, where you can see the position of the stars. This disc shows more than 2000 little stars which are cut out by laser. We have a unique patented system for coating the disc, it’s fantastic. And here we go, it’s on the movement side, on the back side, so if you turn the watch, you see, as always part of the mechanism, but the big part of the mechanism is covered by that orbital system.

How did you put the 2000 stars on the disc?
Well, it’s not the real star constellation. The stars here are more a kind of decoration to symbolise the star, but what is very important because, this is the earth seen from the north pole, from the bird’s perspective, and it shows the northern hemisphere. What is very important to understand, which is the balance of the watch, the balance is the heart of the watch, in which case, the balance symbolises the position of the sun. The sun shines on that side of the earth and you see also day and night indication, because it’s turning, so which now is day time and nighttime, and the celestial disc is also turning. All three discs are turning independently.

The first one is for the earth and the second is for the stars?
Not so much for the stars but for the moon phases. Or let’s say for the moon position, because there’s a little hole in the celestial disc, it is turning anti-clock wise, the direction, and it turns in 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds, which is very important because that’s a high precision, and it equals the precision of a moon phase of 1058 years. We had that high precision of moon phase indication already in 1850 moon phase, a couple of years ago. Normally, in very simple moon phases, we have precision of about 2.6 years. But next level is the accuracy of 122 years which is the highest precision of 1058, it’s a theoretical value of course. In the more simple moon phases you have to correct one day after 2.6 years, and let’s say in the good quality but not as high as this one, it’s 122 years, so that’s a different.

So you are talking about almost 12 generations of not thinking about moon phase.
That’s true. This is moving as well, so the moon moves around the earth, and it moves, as I said, 29 days, 12 hours with exactly the synodic moon circle, the exact time, like the moon turns around the earth. And underneath, there’s a third disc and the third disc is just to be seen within the little holes, which indicates the moon phases because on this side you have the waxing moon, and if it turns down here, you have the waning moon.

It is not limited but of course it’s very small numbers. We’re not indicating numbers but it cannot be much, because also that’s a constant force device, which is very complicated.