A. Lange & Sohne has updated its dressy Saxonia line with the hand-wound Saxonia Thin (Ref. 211.032) in 18-karat rose gold. Combining a lavishly hand-finished ultra-thin in-house movement with a deliberately understated exterior of the rose gold case, the ultra-thin timekeeper looks like a perfect match for a sort of a secretive person who loves to own a thing of beauty, yet is not particularly eager to share it with anybody, but a carefully chosen few.
During the last decade or so, there was a trend for all things outrageous. Some luxury yachts are now bigger (and more expensive) than some frigates. Some of the most expensive luxury grand tourers are faster (and more expensive) than some private planes. And then there are luxury wristwatches that are often more expensive than the aforementioned yachts and sports cars and, in some cases, are larger than old-school desktop alarm clocks (well, that’s a bit of exaggeration on my part.) Anyway, you get the idea: people with millions of dollars to burn are desperate to put capital C’s into “conspicuous consumption”. They want to be seen from a distance, perhaps, even from low Earth orbit.
That’s why I feel an extreme pleasure presenting you with this new A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin (ref. 211.032). The new member of the Saxonia collection daringly defeats the current “supersizing” trend offering you a deliciously compact case that is just a bit oversized in order to house the gorgeously finished in-house mechanism that powers it. Elegant and ergonomic, it is a perfect example of an impressive result that can be achieved by simply following the famous “Form Follows Function” principle with just a tiny grain of Bauhaus approach added for the flavor.
Presented in a rose gold case 40.00 mm in diameter and only 5.90 mm in height, this is the thinnest timepiece in Lange’s whole product range.
In fact, although not a candidate for the title of the thinnest timepiece in the world, the Saxonia Thin has few serious competitors, even among the major Swiss-based brands.
For example, last year’s Vacheron Constantin Historique 1968 has a case of 5.00 mm in height, while the automatic-powered Piaget Altiplano is 5.25 mm thick.
Some may find its profile too flat looking at these images, but, thanks to its small diameter and relatively short lugs, the ref. 211.032 will actually fit a greater share of average wrists than a more anatomically shaped, but larger, watch.
As far as ergonomics goes, the single control element (I mean the winding/setting crown, of course) is large enough to be effortlessly operated by even the clumsiest fingers. Perhaps, I would have preferred it to be just a tiny bit longer for better grip, but that’s the only (and minor at that) flaw that I was able to find.
The Lange Saxonia Thin is animated by a new Caliber L093.1 hand-wound movement that comprises 167 parts, is 28.00 mm in diameter, and only 2.90 mm in height. Meticulously decorated and assembled by hand, the movement is a real pleasure to look at.
Despite its relative thinness, the mechanism is able to store 72 hours of power for those who prefer not to wear this slender beauty on weekends. The only thing that I miss here is a power reserve indicator, but if you are a disciplined person who is not too lazy to wind the timekeeper each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you will probably never find it dead.
Like most affordable ultra-thin watches, the new Saxonia Thin features a simple solid silver dial with a pair of lancet-shaped hour and minute hands crafted from rose gold.
As usual for the German brand, the dial is extremely easy to read, although the lack of lume on its hands makes it useless in total darkness.
The 211.032 will be delivered on a hand-stitched chestnut-colored crocodile strap with a Lange prong buckle in solid rose gold.
Information on the recommended price is not yet available*.
Photos: A. Lange & Sohne
* UPDATE ON PRICE: It’s been reported that the watch will soon go on sale wearing a price tag of $24,500, which is not that bad considering the quality of the mechanism lurking inside the elegant case.
A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in Rose Gold (Ref. 211.032) specification
Price: $24,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Hand-wound, caliber Lange L093.1, 28.00 mm in diameter, 2.90 mm in height, 167 components, 21,600 vph, in-house, Made in Germany
Functions: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: 72 hours
Case: Rose gold
Size: 40.00 mm
Case height: 5.90 mm
Dial: Solid silver
Hands: Rose gold, polished
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Hand-stitched crocodile strap, chestnut with Lange prong buckle in solid rose gold
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective