The watch – whose ability to measure both additive and comparative times up to 12 hours is achieved by additional rattrapante hands on both the minutes and hourstotalizing subdials – represents the next step up in stopwatch complexity from Lange’s Double Split model, introduced in 2004, which can make comparative — measurements with an aggregate duration of 30 minutes.
This type of timing allows Formula 1 fans to time consecutive laps and Tour de France fans to time legs of a marathon. Timing the durations of multi-hour events, like individual Ironman disciplines, is also possible. Here’s how it works: in its switched-off mode, the chronograph’s hand pairs – sweep seconds, minute-and hour-counter hands – are superposed. When the chronograph is activated with a press of the upper pusher above the crown, all these hands start running simultaneously until the rattrapante pusher (on the opposite side of the case) is pressed to freeze intermediate time measurements. At this point, the three blued-steel hands stop to display lap times while the seconds hand and the minute- and hour-counter hands continue to run and measure the total time.
Pressing the rattrapante pusher a second time causes the three stopped hands to catch up and synchronize with the still-running, still-timemeasuring hands. Limited to 100 pieces and housed in an 18k white-gold case measuring 43.2 mm in diameter, the Triple Split is also equipped with a flyback function, one that uses all three pairs of hands. This means that the chronograph can be reset and instantly restarted, even while a measurement is in progress, by pressing the lower chronograph pusher. In addition to the chronograph subdials and the running seconds subdial between 8 and 9 o’clock, the solid silver, gray-toned dial features, at 6 o’clock, a power-reserve indicator in Lange’s hallmark “Auf/Ab” (Up/Down) style, which displays the status of the watch’s 55-hour reserve.
As a nod to clarity and legibility on this very busy but elegantly arranged dial, the three rattrapante hands in blued steel are clearly distinguishable from the other chronograph hands, which have a rhodium-plated finish. The main time display hands and the baton hour markers, made of gold, are also rhodium plated, with a touch of luminous coating. The movement – Caliber L132.1, newly developed in house to power this timepiece and consisting of 567 parts – is designed to ensure that neither the measurement of lap times nor the motions of the precisely jumping minutes counter has a negative effect on rate stability. Lange accomplishes this feat with the use of an in-house-developed, patented disengagement mechanism that prevents friction losses when the rattrapante is activated.
On display through the case’s sapphire caseback, the manual-winding movement not only features the hallmarks and traditional Glashütte decoration of all Lange movements, but also offers some notable differences from its predecessor, the Caliber L001.1 used in the Double Split. The power-reserve indicator mechanism has been shifted down to provide more display space on the dial for the rattrapante hour counter, for example. The watch is mounted on a handstitched black alligator leather strap and has a retail price of $147,000.