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Watch Word This Week: Rattrapante

The chronograph is a much-loved watch complication. What's even better? A chronograph that measures two time intervals at the same time.

If the chronograph is one of horology’s most popular complications, the split-seconds chronograph – also known as the rattrapante – is right up there at the top of this family. The rattrapante is a chronograph capable of simultaneously measuring two elapsed times. Invented for use at sporting events, the split-seconds chronograph does that with two seconds hands.

The Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour Le Merite” by A. Lange & Sohne includes a rattrapante function, as well as a perpetual calendar, a tourbillon and a fusee-and-chain mechanism.

An impressive watch that houses this complication is A. Lange & Sohne’s Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour Le Merite”, which was unveiled at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) Geneve in January 2017. In this 43mm platinum timepiece, two column wheels regulate the workings of the gold-plated chronograph hand and the blued rattrapante hand.

The Lange manufacture calibre L133.1 that powers the Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour Le Merite” has a stunning 684 parts.