A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk: the giant leap of time
The new A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk watch, unveiled last month by the German brand, is one of the most daring and controversial (as well as immensely beautiful from the point of view of pure engineering) models from the German manufacture.
While the concept of a mechanical watch with a digital time display format is by no means new (a similar approach was used in the new IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month watch, but it only displayed the “date” and “month” reading in simple “DD” / “MM” format), the movement design is absolutely revolutionary and the watch itself is completely stunning in its gorgeous combination of explicitly simplistic exterior and a highly complicated (and extremely finely crafted) mechanism.
The A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk‘s main point of attraction is its huge (Being 33.6 mm in diameter, it leaves no vacant space inside the gorgeous 41.9mm case made either of gold or of platinum!) hand-wound Caliber L043.1 movement.
Made of 388 parts and sitting on 66 jewels, the movement is designed in such a way as to ensure a simultaneous and instant jump of the three numeral discs, one of which displays hour and the others indicate minutes (see the image below).
Doing so requires an impressive amount of energy that must be unleashed at just the right time. The German watchmakers decided that a compact secondary source of power, a remontoire, will be the best way to store and deliver the needed energy.
Of course, it would have been extremely difficult to make a jumping digital indicator for the seconds display, so A. Lange & Sohne decided to leave it to the traditional small seconds hand located at 6 o’clock.
Visually combined by the “Time Bridge” element made of German silver (untreated for the yellow and pink gold models and rhodiumed for the gold and platinum version), the whole display looks absolutely beautiful. However, the oversized power reserve indicator steals too much of the dial’s real estate, to my taste.
Sources say that the yellow gold model will sell for €38,000, the rose gold / white gold mix will be available for €42,000 and you will be able to buy the platinum version for approximately €59,000. Well, my wish list has just got one item longer.
Well, that is my opinion. What do you think about this watch?
Photos: A. Lange & Sohne
A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk hand-wound watch specification:
Price range: €38,000 — €59,000
Movement: Caliber L043.1, hand-wound, 18,000 vph
Complications: Jumping hours and minutes, power reserve indicator, small seconds
Power reserve: 36 hours
Case material: Yellow Gold (Ref. 140.021), White Gold (Ref. 140.029), Pink Gold (Ref. 140.032), Platinum (Ref. 140.025)
Case diameter: 41.9mm
Case height: 12.6mm
Dial: Solid silver
Water resistance: N/A
Strap: Hand-stitched crocodile strap with Lange prong buckle in gold or platinum
Tags: 42 mm, A. Lange & Sohne, jumping hours, Lange Caliber L043.1, manual, platinum, power reserve, rose gold, yellow gold, Zeitwerk