A. Lange & Soehne - A Horological Extravagance

You can feel it, hear it and see it in the darkest of alleys as well. A Lange & Sohne transcends all boundaries and creates a fascinating set of watches - which have long been declared as the most technologically advanced in the world...

By: LuxuryFacts

Posted on: June 10, 2011

Combining traditional mechanism techniques with modern time indication is not as easy as it sounds. It takes years of experience and eons of patience to devise something like this. Trust A. Lange & Söhne to even consider a challenging assignment like this!

Progress is always a result of curiosity. Lange’s calibre engineers and designers resolved to explore uncharted territory and devise a watch that would be evolutionary and progressive in every respect. The result is the first mechanical wristwatch with a truly eloquent jumping numeral display. This watch not only endows time with a new face, but also defines a new direction in watchmaking.

A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk mechanismThis watch, which embodies the spirit of time, is uniquely called Zeitwerk – a name coming straight out of the future! The fresh design concept of this watch underscores a paradigm shift. We explore the Zeitwerk family and the astounding characteristics of the ‘most technologically advanced’ watch in the world.

Lange Zeitwerk
A German-silver time bridge unfolds its wings across the entire width of the dial to frame the large numerals in the laterally aligned windows presenting the hours and minutes. It extends down to encircle the subsidiary seconds dial as well and enclose it in a harmonious setting. The power-reserve indicator on the upper side tells the owner when it is time to re-energise the movement.

With a whispered click and within fractions of a second, the minute display advances step by step until the watch initiates the big jump at the top of the hour. At this point, all three numeral discs switch forward simultaneously by one unit.

A revolutionary movement fully occupies the space inside the 41.9mm gold or platinum case. A patented constant-force escapement between the barrel wheel and the balance acts as a pacemaker for the jumping advance of the hours and minutes. Glance through the sapphire-crystal caseback and admire the lavishly decorated caliber, which, with technical novelties, also features a three-quarter plate, a hand-engraved balance cock and stunning screwed gold chatons.

A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk Striking Time watchLange Zeitwerk Striking Time
Ludwig van Beethoven’s prodigious reputation is due in large measure to his Symphony No. 5 with its four-note fanfare opening. The fate motif ushered in a new chapter in the history of A. Lange & Söhne. The Lange Zeitwerk Striking Time is endowed with a chiming mechanism which strikes the quarter-hours with high-pitched tones and the full hours at a lower pitch. Played fast-forward, the result is the famous leitmotif.

The design concept of the watch is similar to Lange Zeitwerk. When the numeral discs are advanced, a sizeable force vector is unleashed. After the switching cycle, enough energy remains for use by the chiming mechanism to tension the springs that actuate the two hammers. They are made of black-polished steel and are integrated in the dial layout on either side of the subsidiary seconds. The left hammer strikes the hours and the one on the right the quarter-hours.

Not in the mood for constant reminders? The ability to turn the chime off is possible. Actuating the push piece at 4 o’clock causes the chiming mechanism to become mute. The sonorous timepiece comes in a 44.2mm white gold case with a black dial or in a limited edition of 100 platinum cased watches with rhodiumed dials.

Lange Zeitwerk Luminous
Holding the usual Zeitwerk properties of indicating accurate time, Lange Zeitwerk Luminous stands for further uncompromising clarity. With this watch, Zeitwerk’s exciting progression of time can be observed in the dark as well.

The German silver time bridge is coated black with the PVD process. Coated with white Superluminova, the glowing numerals in the windows seem to float incandescently above the black background - even at night. This is assured by a dark-tinted sapphire-crystal glass. Its light-permeable coating allows the numerals to be charged with enough photonic energy to uniformly emit it again during the night for several hours.

The design of the watch, showcasing dark and bright contrasts, is emphasised by the platinum case, a black crocodile strap, and a solid platinum crafted buckle.

With its graceful appearance and intrinsic values, the Lange Zeitwerk family is not only a seminal timepiece, but it also makes a strong statement about the personality and the style of its owner. It delivers a new experience in time – whether with eyes wide open or shut.

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