For the 2013 Watches & Wonders show in Hong Kong, A. Lange & Sohne has presented its new Saxonia Automatic Outsize Date three-hander with Lange’s signature big date complication. Limited to just 25 pieces, the watch is equipped with their own in-house movement, which is not only technologically advanced but also features that high level of craftsmanship that the watchmaking company is known for among true connoisseurs.
The movement in question is the gorgeous caliber Sax-O-Mat L921.4. As usual, the mechanism’s three-quarter plate is crafted from untreated “German silver” (let the name of the metal doesn’t full you since it is just an inexpensive copper alloy with nickel and zinc that give the movement that easily recognizable color with its signature soft glow) and decorated with their own version of vertical Geneva Stripes. Of course, there are also lots of gold and precious micro-screws with polished and blued heads.
The mechanism is equipped with a heavily (in all meanings of the word) decorated oscillating weight that looks like a large micro-rotor. Still, the rotor is not large enough since the German engineers decided to equip this brake caliper-style device, which is fashioned from 21-karat gold, with an extra “centrifugal mass” made of polished platinum.
Thanks to the use of the said “micro-rotor” design, the German designers managed to make the timepiece quite thin: according to official specifications, the device measures only some 9.7 millimeters top to bottom. It may be not as thin as the Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar that the brand’s Swiss-based arch-rival has released back in 2012, but it still offers impressive proportions of its neatly crafted rose gold body.
The Saxonia Outsize Date itself probably won’t make your jaw drop in wonder: it features the usual shape with a relatively thin bezel and hands and is equipped with the brand’s usual Outsize Date calendar window, which is conveniently placed at 12 o’clock.
As usual for the niche, the Saxonia Outsize Date doesn’t have a single drop of Superluminova on its solid silver dial. While the rose gold hands and stick-shaped hour markers (with the traditional double-stick / double-dot index placed at twelve o’clock) together with a nice variety of a railway-track-styled chapter ring offer enough legibility in broad daylight, reading the piece after darkness settles may become a problem. Well, on the other hand, in today’s world when digital and analog clocks surround us almost everywhere, this is not a problem for such a refined piece of horological art.
Well, on a personal note, I must admit that the rose gold looks a little bit too small to my taste. Only 37 millimeters in diameter, it is smaller than the previous iterations and is probably designed with smaller men in mind. On the other hand, given the fact that an average Chinese male is about 10 centimeters shorter than an average European, this is only just: the watches were designed for the fathomless Chinese market, after all.
In its press release, A. Lange & Sohne doesn’t say a word about the timekeeper’s price, but something tells me that it will be expensive. It will only be available via Lange’s own network of boutiques.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: A. Lange & Sohne
A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Outsize Date specification
Movement: Automatic, Caliber Sax-O-Mat L921.4, micro-rotor oscillating weight, in-house, Made in Germany
Number of jewels: 45
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Movement decoration: Balance cock engraved by hand
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, big date
Case: 18-karat rose gold
Size: 37.00 mm
Case height: 9.70 mm
Dial: Solid silver “argente” alloy
Hour markers: Applied, 18-karat gold
Hands: 18-karat gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Brown leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective