Originally revealed a year ago, the gorgeous Zeitwerk started the digital revolution in the world of traditional mechanical timekeepers. Now, having its Arabic numerals covered with Superluminova and equipped with a smoked, semi-transparent sapphire crystal that replaces the original dial that was crafted from solid silver, the new A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk Luminous takes the idea even further.
There are two main selling points for the A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk Luminous.
The one that gets noticed from the first glance is its semi-skeletonized dial.
While the already famous “Time Bridge” element (this time it is crafted from black PVD-coated German silver) that connects the jumping hours and minutes displays with the more traditional-looking small seconds indicator, which is placed at 6 o’clock, remain the same, the rest of the dial is, well, gone.
The solid silver is replaced with a smoked sapphire crystal that gives us a sneak peek at the inner workings of the movements, although a great deal of the mechanism is still hidden from our eyes with the relatively huge co-axial wheels that together form the numerals on the digital indicators, as well as by that monstrous bridge visually holding things together.
The second selling point is hinted in the name but remains hidden until after dark. You see, “jumping” hour and minute Arabic numerals are covered with a luminescent substance that glows for several hours after the night comes. It must be pretty fascinating, that, especially given the typeface selected by Lange’s designers. Also, the choice of paint makes this limited edition Zeitwerk Luminous a lot more comfortable for those who spend a lot of their time in darkness.
The Zeitwerk Luminous is powered by the same Caliber L043.1 manual-wind movement, which is housed in the same massive-looking round case. Yes, while officially measured “just” 41.9 mm in diameter and only 12.6 mm high, the case, takes a lot of your wrist real estate. On a normal wrist, the gadget dominates the view, while on a smaller (or rather thinner one) Zeitwerk’s long lugs practically overhang them.
The size of this otherwise stunningly beautiful timepiece is especially discomforting if you (like yours truly) have thinner bones AND prefer to wear the watch closer to the palm, allowing it to sit almost above the joint. Well, you will either have to change your habits particularly for this wonderful timekeeper or find something more comfortable to wear.
To a bit of regret, while the original Zeitwerk was available in rose, yellow and white gold, as well as platinum, the Zeitwerk Luminous comes only in an expensive platinum body, which makes it an expensive piece of work. On the other hand (no pun intended), the choice of alloy also greatly increases the trinket’s collectability since there will only be so many of these beauties to be produced during its lifetime.
A. Lange & Sohne still stays mum about the model’s recommended price*, but let me remind you that the original “Leap of time” model in platinum was priced at impressive €59,000, and this one is limited at only 100 pieces!
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 5/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
* UPDATE ON PRICE: The Zeitwerk Luminous will retail for approximately $96,000: impressive, yet somehow predictable for such an outstanding piece of luxury.
Photos: A. Lange & Sohne
A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk Luminous (Ref. 140.035) specification
Price range: $96,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber Lange L043.1, hand-wound, 388 parts, 68 jewels, 18,000 vph, in-house, 9.3 mm high, 33.6 mm in diameter, Made in Germany
Complications: Power reserve, jumping hourds and minutes, stop seconds
Power reserve: 36 hours
Transparent back: Yes, sapphire crystal
Size: 41.90 mm
Case height: 12.60 mm
Dial: Semi-opaque, with Time Bridge made of PVD-coated German silver
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Seconds hand: Rhodiumed gold
Strap: Hand-stitched crocodile strap, Lange prong buckle in solid platinum
Front crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Water resistance: 30 meters