On 7 December 1845, a pioneering Saxon watchmaker named Ferdinand Adolph Lange – born in 1815 – made the brave decision to establish his first pocket watch workshop in the Ore Mountain town of Glashütte, Germany. Once a prosperous silver mining community, this venture breathed new life into the now impoverished town and marked the birth of Saxon precision watchmaking. To commemorate the 175th anniversary of this pivotal moment, A. Lange & Söhne unveils a special “Homage to F. A. Lange” collection, consisting of three limited-edition models from the 1815 watch family – the 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold, the 1815 Thin Honeygold and the Tourbograph Perpetual Honeygold. These are joined by several exciting releases from earlier in the year, including the updated Lange 1 Timezone, the Odysseus in white gold on integrated rubber strap and the limited edition Zeitwerk Minute Repeater, also in white gold, with deep blue dial.
Tourbograph Perpetual Honeygold “Homage to F. A. Lange”
Unveiled in 2017, the Tourbograph Perpetual is unlike any other watch. Five classic complications, including a constant force fusée-and-chain transmission, a tourbillon, a chronograph, a rattrapante function, and a perpetual calendar, come together to form a unique masterpiece. As a tribute to Ferdinand Adolph Lange, a special edition in honey gold, limited to 50 pieces worldwide, is now debuting. And while the dimensions of the 43mm case remain unchanged, A. Lange & Söhne has taken a totally new approach with the black-rhodiumed finish dial. Crafted from the same 18-carat honey gold as the case, its golden numerals and scales as well as the logo are raised from the material by about 0.15 millimetres. This added sense of depth creates a vivid contrast against the fascinating background. Honey gold is also used for the hands and calendar displays as well as the black-rhodiumed lunar disc. The latter features two perfectly sculpted moons framed by a night sky adorned with hand-engraved stars. To ensure Lange’s innovative design ideas are implemented without compromise, the dial and the lunar discs are crafted entirely in-house.
Housed within this new honey gold case is the peerlessly complex calibre L133.1. Incredibly, A. Lange & Söhne’s brilliant engineers and designers have found a way to seamlessly fit the 684 parts that comprise this complicated engine into a movement that measures a mere 32mm in diameter by 10.9mm high. To distinguish it from the first generation, special finissage has been conceived exclusively for this version of the calibre L133.1. The surfaces of the German-silver bridges and cocks are granularly textured and finished with black-rhodiumed inscriptions. The filigreed lines of the manually engraved chronograph bridge are black-rhodiumed as well, while the straight graining on the chain is flawlessly executed. The black polish on several areas of the curved tourbillon bridge in particular challenges the skills of even the most experienced finissage experts. The tourbillon cage is suspended between two diamond endstones, as was the case in Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s historic pocket watches. To top it off, a diamond endstone is integrated in the hand-engraved balance cock.
1815 Rattrapante Honeygold “Homage to F. A. Lange”
Limited to 100 pieces and exclusively available in A. Lange & Söhne boutiques, the new rattrapante chronograph is the sixth split-seconds chronograph from the brand. Yet, this also marks the first time Lange has given this exceptional complication – among the most elaborate devices in precision watchmaking – centre stage. The round case in honey gold measures a comfortable 41.2 millimetres in diameter and is paired with a black dial in solid silver. A novel combination for Lange, it highlights this distinguished model’s modern, captivating looks.
The complex chronograph/rattrapante mechanism is located on the movement side of the new L101.2 manually wound calibre, allowing the precise switching processes to be observed in detail. When fully wound, the mainspring barrel delivers a power reserve of 58 hours. Inspired by the benchmarks developed by Ferdinand Adolph Lange to make his calibres inimitable, the finishing of the manually assembled 365-part movement is nothing short of exquisite. And with only the brand’s most experienced finishers allowed to undertake this demanding manual work, the results speak for themselves.
1815 Thin Honeygold “Homage to F. A. Lange”
The last in the exclusive series of “Homage to F. A. Lange” pieces is this classic two-hand 1815 Thin. Offered in a limited edition of 175 pieces, the 18ct honey gold case is merely 6.3 millimetres high and has a diameter of 38 millimetres. The A. Lange & Söhne honey gold is an alloy developed exclusively for and used only by A. Lange & Söhne, which, thanks to special admixtures and special thermal treatment, creates a metal harder and thus more scratch-resistant than other gold alloys of 18 carats.
A brilliant white, two-part enamel dial stands out prominently, the ideal backdrop for the contrasting dark-grey printed Arabic numerals and the classic railway-track minute scale. Proving that compact dimensions and performance are not mutually exclusive, the exceptionally thin 2.9-millimetre-high manually wound Calibre L093.1 delivers a power reserve of 72 hours. It’s equipped with the freely oscillating Lange balance spring which has a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour. In combination with a classic screw balance, it assures optimised rate accuracy.
Lange 1 Timezone
Celebrating its fifteenth birthday this year and looking as fresh as ever, the new version of the Lange 1 Time Zone combines functionality with eminent legibility and superb craftsmanship. Its personality is enhanced by the characteristic Lange asymmetric dial with its outsize date, power-reserve indicator and two time displays. The latter allow for the simultaneous viewing of two separate time zones with no more than a glance at your wrist. The larger time circle displays home time, while the smaller can be easily set to a second time zone by adjusting the city ring. When the time is adjusted with the crown, both displays are corrected simultaneously. An ingenious innovation this year is the integration of the day/night indicators into to the centres of the two-time circles. These discs, featuring blue printed semicircles, rotate once about their axes in 24 hours while the hour hand performs two revolutions in the same period. Between the hours of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., the hour hand sits against the blue background, giving the wearer an immediate visual indicator of whether it is day or night in the selected timezone.
Another convenient new feature is the intuitive DST indicator, cleverly integrated within a small aperture on the golden arrow applique at 5 o’clock. The arrow indicates the reference location for the time zone that has been set. If the aperture is red, the city selected implements daylight-savings. If standard time applies to the city all year round, aperture shows a white background. Coding on the underside of the city ring ensures a seamless and accurate display.
The third, and perhaps most significant update, comes in the form of the new, hand-wound manufacture movement housed in the 41.9mm pink gold case. Calibre L141.1 is constructed from 448 parts and uses a lever escapement. Its single barrel is capable of storing 72 hours of power reserve. On display through a sapphire case back, it features a classic three-quarter German silver plate decorated with ribbing; chamfered, bevelled and polished edges; a mirror-polished whiplash spring; polished internal angles; and the signatory exquisite, engraved floral pattern on the balance cock.
Odysseus White Gold*
Last year, A. Lange & Söhne stunned the watchmaking world with the unveiling of Odysseus, its first serially-produced, luxury watch in steel. Now, hot on the heels of this successful first model comes a highly anticipated precious metal version. Offering a case hewn from 18-carat white gold, it shows the same contrasting polished and brushed finishes as its steel sibling. Likewise, the dimensions of the three-part case remain unchanged, at 40.5mm in diameter by 11.1mm thick. A new grey dial, however, emphasises the sophistication and formality of the watch.
The hour chapter ring features an embossed structure with deep grooves, a visually attractive finishing which is repeated on the outer perimeter of the small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock. The centre of the dial meanwhile shows a smooth finish, offering the perfect backdrop for the hour and minute hands, as well as the applied and faceted baton hour markers. All of which are crafted from 18-carat white gold and feature luminescence in their centre. Inside is the Calibre L155.1 Datomatic, a self-winding movement tailor-made from the ground up for the Odysseus family. Two new integrated strap versions are available: one in hand-stitched leather and one in black rubber – the latter featuring air ducts on the interior side for superlative comfort on the wrist.
Zeitwerk Minute Repeater White Gold*
In 2015, the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater became the first mechanical wristwatch to combine a jumping numerals display and a decimal minute repeater (striking the left low-pitched gong for hours, both gongs for ten-minute intervals and the right high-pitched gong for minutes). This year, the German watch-maker revisits its exceptional creation with a stunning white gold edition with a deep blue dial, limited to just 30 pieces. The round case measures 44.2mm in diameter and has a comfortable height of 14.2mm, impressive given the complexity of the movement inside.
The case features polished and brushed surfaces, exhibiting the brand’s trademark attention to detail. On the reverse side of the watch, a sapphire glass case back offers a breath-taking view of the exquisitely complex mechanical movement inside. The manual-winding, in-house calibre L043.5 is comprised of no less than 771 parts, with its patented constant-force escapement, painstakingly assembled and finished by hand. Offering an unparalleled blend of intuitive legibility and mechanical ingenuity, the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater is without doubt one of the most technically-impressive and significant timepieces of the 21st-century.
*Due to overwhelming demand both the Odysseus in white gold and the limited edition Zeitwerk Minute Repeater in white gold are both now sold out. Despite this, we feel their inclusion here is warranted given their significance to A. Lange & Söhne and watchmaking in general. If you would like to be notified first of future exclusive and limited pieces that may become available for purchase, we recommend that you subscribe to our newsletter PERPETUAL to receive regular email updates about exclusives and new product arrivals.