From the front, this is a quintessentially Lange design. While there’s no shortage of traditionally, and even conventionally, composed watches in the Lange lineup, not for nothing do we still think of the Lange 1 as the watch that most clearly represents Lange’s signature combination of geometric purism with an unconventional dial composition. The Lange 1 has been with us for more than twenty years now and the novelty has long since worn off, but the freshness of the design and rigor of the composition has made it one of the most important and enduring horological designs of the post-World War II era.
The basic dial arrangement used by Lange for the Richard Lange Jumping Seconds is the same as was used on the earlier Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite, which is in turn based on an unusual pocket watch, no. 93, made by Johann Heinrich Seyffert, of Dresden, in the late 18th century. This particular arrangement is slightly more static than the Lange 1, but it has its own stability and unity (if not visual dynamism, a hallmark of the Lange 1). The Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite’s signature element is the segment of the hour sub-dial that drops into place when the hour hand passes between 7 o’clock and 11 o’clock, which is a lot of fun to watch but also slightly kitschy (there are occasional hints of humor at Lange, but they’re always so subtle you’re never quite sure whether or not you’re imagining it).