The wait is over! Watches of Switzerland has finally enticed the one-and-only Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar “Terraluna” to Australia. This very special timepiece ranks among the most appealing debuts of the horological year 2014. The extraordinary timepiece is equally seductive on both sides: the historically significant regulator dial with the perpetual calendar and the characteristic outsize date on the front, the wrist-format planetarium with an orbital moonphase display on the back. The miniaturised astronomical ballet not only shows the waxing and waning moon, but also – with three rotating discs – the constellation formed by the earth, moon and sun. The mechanism is designed with such remarkable precision that 1058 years can elapse before a one-day correction is needed.
Its eye-catching feature is the deep-blue celestial disc in solid gold with precisely 2116 twinkling stars. Many more, in fact, than the famous Nebra Sky Disc, which a few years ago was found just under 200 kilometres from Glashütte. Its discovery was a sensation. Created about 3600 years ago in central Europe, the disc is by far the oldest realistic representation of the universe. With its enigmatic motifs, it points to the roots of timekeeping and its origins in the terrestrial, lunar and celestial cycles.
The unknown creators of the disc needed only a few appliques in gold to bundle the astronomical insights of their era – with unexpected precision – on a bronze plate with a diameter of 32 centimetres. The focus is on a full moon and a crescent moon embedded in 32 stars. A cluster of seven stars between the two moons symbolises the Pleiades. Their disappearance in the evening sky in March and their emergence in the morning sky in October marked the times for spring planting and autumn harvesting, the most important junctures in the agricultural calendar. The horizon arcs at the periphery also have a calendar function. When the disc was properly aligned at the location where it was found, on the Mittelberg near Nebra, and pointed at the sunset over the Brocken mountain, the highest peak of the Harz massif about 85 kilometres away, it allowed the dates of the summer and winter solstices to be determined.
The knowledge it preserves makes the Nebra Sky Disc a milestone in the history of mankind. It is an impressive witness of the first attempts to understand and record the progression of the heavenly bodies. The RICHARD LANGE PERPETUAL CALENDAR “Terraluna” fuses contemporary astronomical insight and artisanal artistry into a horological masterpiece that correctly reproduces the constellation of the moon for the next one thousand years and features a calendar, which is accurately programmed until the year 2100. It reflects the resolve to get an understanding of the situation and leverage the insights of research to create innovation. In this respect, A. Lange & Söhne’s watchmakers are as enterprising as the world’s first astronomers.
The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna has a retail price of $308,000 and can be viewed at the Watches of Switzerland Melbourne boutique.
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