Why Today, Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite Is Still One Of Lange’s Most Expensive Watches

It is not too late to get to the topic. For a long time in the past, I have not understood why the Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite has always maintained a very high transaction price in various transactions and auctions, and the price is very expensive. The valuation is kept between RMB 1 million and 2 million, and the transaction price is usually over RMB 1 million. When special versions are encountered, the value will exceed RMB 2 million.
   The problem that puzzles me is that Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite’s biggest selling point is the sesame chain and tourbillon. Like Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite, the price of the Breguet 7047 platinum case containing a sesame chain and tourbillon is 1513400 Hong Kong dollars (note that it is not Renminbi, it is Hong Kong dollars), which translates into approximately RMB 1.3 million. And there are discounts in the secondary market, so prices will be lower. Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite is a watch launched in 1994. It can even be regarded as an ‘antique watch’. After 20 years, the value has not decreased, but it is higher than modern watches with the same function and the same brand. This time made me very confused. You know, today, a large brand of tourbillon watches, in auctions and other secondary markets, that is, the price of more than 200,000 yuan, even some can not reach 200,000. Lange’s Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite is always up to one million. It wasn’t until later that after I got to know more and more about Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite, I gradually learned why, after 20 years of launch, Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite is still the most expensive watch by Lange 20 years, the second year after launch, the price dived).

Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite Tourbillon with Sesame Chain
   Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite is the first Lange watch launched in 1994 along with Lange 1, Saxony and Arkade. Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite is a complex watch of 4 watches. Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite is a limited edition watch, limited to 200 pieces, 50 platinum, 150 K gold (including 15 white gold cases, 15 rose gold cases), and a special stainless steel case. From the perspective of the limited watch, the number of Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite limited to 200 is not small.
The first reason that Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite has been at the top of Lange watches and maintained high prices is because of the sesame chain (this is the obvious reason, and there are some interesting reasons below).
   Although this year Sesame Chain watches also appeared some. Including Breguet, Zenith, and independent watchmakers have sesame chain watches. Even independent watchmakers have also improved the sesame chain to make it more reasonable. But there is no doubt that the first sesame chain to be used on watches was Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the sesame chain was a very common part of the clock. By changing the length of the chain, the sesame chain kept the power output of the mainspring in a stable state. Of course, this was also because the metal properties of the mainspring were not Especially good, when the mainspring is tightened and when the mainspring is relaxed, the torque is very different, and the error is large when walking. In order to improve the accuracy of travel time, some clocks are equipped with sesame chains. According to records, Lange exhibited pocket watches using sesame chains and tourbillons in 1900. Sesame chain is very common on table clocks, but no one has done it on watches because the chain and pagoda wheel of sesame chain are large and there is no problem on the clock, but on later watches, the space is too small to be easy do. In 1986, the tourbillon just appeared on the watch (Audemars Piguet introduced the first tourbillon watch in 1986), and after 8 years, it appeared on the Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite with the tourbillon and sesame chain. Tourbillon on the table. So it was shocking at the time.

The sesame chain pagoda wheel on the antique table clock is very large and takes up a lot of space.

Sesame chain currently used in watches.

Note that the ‘long line’ on the way is the sesame chain in the watch, and the visible length is very long.

   We all know that Lange resumed operations in 1994, and there are many promoters behind it to help Lange rebuild. Among them are Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC. In fact, there are other people, including the current APRP (a complex movement research and development unit of Audemars Piguet, providing complex movements for various brands, such as RICHARD MILLE). Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite’s sesame chain was made by Renaud et Papi, then Audemars Piguet. Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite’s sesame chain contains a total of 636 parts. To this day, Renaud et Papi continues to make sesame chains for Lange. Although Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite has attracted attention as the first sesame chain watch (plus tourbillon) in the watch industry, I do not think that the technical achievements alone can keep Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite standing in Lang Peak position of the grid table.
Because technical means often cannot play the most decisive role in watches. Later, I found some very interesting reasons, please read on.
   The size of the Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite is 38.5 mm. At first I didn’t think it was anything special until I realized that Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite was an ‘antique watch’, a watch launched more than 20 years ago. What is the most important thing for a big brand antique watch? Size matters. In the 1980s, Audemars Piguet launched the world’s first tourbillon watch, measuring only 33 mm in size. Several brands that introduced tourbillons earlier in the 1990s also introduced small tourbillon watches of about 34 millimeters. Dimensions below 36 mm greatly limit the storage value of these complex (tourbillon). Antique watches only have ‘big’ promise. The Patek Philippe 2526 is only two or three millimeters larger than the Patek Philippe of the same period, laying the foundation for the 2526 to take the ‘Auto King’ throne; the 38.5 mm Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite has no doubt the best size, Because we know that many players and collectors prefer the size between 36 and 40 mm, and even have reservations about watches over 40 mm, Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite is perfect.

Gold case (top) and white case (bottom) Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite
   Another issue that is easy to overlook is the movement decoration. One of Lange’s polishings is gorgeous, even more than 20 years ago. The 1994 Lange Polishing is not visually different from the current Lange, but Swiss watches are not. We can notice that in the 1990s, and even earlier, the polishing level of many Swiss watches was not better than now. Step back. The movement decoration of many watches is relatively simple. This really made me realize that the Lange watches that came out in 1994, including the Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite, including the Lange 1, had a level of movement decoration that far surpassed the Swiss watches of the time. Some people believe that the appearance of Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite stimulated and promoted the improvement of the Swiss movement decoration level. As we now see, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, etc., they have in the past 10 years, 15 years In the past, they recovered their level. These come from the ‘stimulus’ of Lange.

The movement of the Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite, don’t forget, this is the product of 1994.

In 1994, Lange released the first four watches. The far right is Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite.
   At the same time, although I personally don’t think that buying a watch is a good investment, whether it is expensive or cheap, the watch is just a ‘toy’ (unless the watch business does make money). But we can’t deny that in some cases, individual watches can indeed ‘value up’, and they can ‘make money’ after they are sold. Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite is a very rare watch that can ‘make money’, and the premise is that you are a lucky person, in the right conditions, own the watch and are willing to sell it. Finally, I would like to share why Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite has such a high status in the hearts of many watch lovers and collectors in the world. This is what I slowly learned and felt later. More than 20 years ago, in 1994, the year that Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite was released, many current players, well-known collectors, and hairy boys. The shock when you are young will have a great impact on life and profound memories. In 1994, without any complicated watches, Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite really shocked many ‘lady’. Twenty years later, they are rich, but in their hearts, Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite is still the best watch.