ecember 7 was a special day for A. Lange & Söhne, as the manufacture was celebrating a double anniversary: 175 years ago, Ferdinand Adolph Lange laid the cornerstone for precision watchmaking in Saxony. On the same day 30 years ago, his great-grandson Walter Lange had the courage to relaunch the brand.
A. Lange & Söhne celebrated this special day with three new works of art “made in Saxony”: the Saxonia Outsize Date with an argenté-coloured dial in two case versions and the Saxonia Thin with a black copper-coloured shimmering dial.
SAXONIA OUTSIZE DATE
A lucid design vocabulary and mechanical finesse characterise the Saxonia Outsize Date that is now available with an argenté-coloured dial. The Lange outsize date and subsidiary seconds in a symmetric arrangement underscore the prominent look of a watch that combines technical refinement with formal harmony.
The common denominator of all Lange watches is the attention to detail invested in finissage and the passion for technology, artisanship, and materiality. Assembled by hand twice, the self-winding manufacture calibre of the Saxonia Outsize Date is an impressive example. It is based on the calibre L086.1 of the Saxonia Automatic. Due to the complex date mechanism, the number of parts increased to 286, up from 209 in the basic movement. The extraordinary design features two separate display surfaces for the units and tens that are at least twice as large as in watches of a comparable size. This significantly enhances legibility.
A large central rotor with ball bearings and a platinum centrifugal mass assures efficient winding of the automatic L086.8 movement. The strong mainspring barrel delivers a maximum power reserve of 72 hours. Further mechanical highlights include a classic screw balance and a freely oscillating balance spring manufactured in-house. The characteristic Lange style comes to the fore in various movement details such as the three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver decorated with Glashütte ribbing and the hand-engraved balance cock with the elegantly curved whiplash spring for precision beat adjustment. The finissage of the tiny movement parts with lavish polishes and exquisite decorations corresponds to the high artisanal standards for which A. Lange & Söhne is known.
The new Saxonia Thin presented by A. Lange & Söhne is a special white-gold version in a limited 50-watch edition. Its gently shimmering dial in solid silver is coated with black gold flux that contains tiny copper-coloured particles, which make the deep-black surface sparkle. A shiny black leather strap with a prong buckle in 18-carat white gold accentuates the radiant prominence of the timepiece.
The solid-silver dial, coated with subtly shimmering black gold flux, makes the new Saxonia Thin sparkle on the wrist. But it takes a closer look to recognise the reason. Tiny spangles distributed across the deep-black surface reflect the light to produce a copper-coloured sheen. A shiny black leather strap with a prong buckle in 18-carat white gold accentuates the distinctiveness of the timepiece.
This rare black gold-flux version is a premiere in an A. Lange & Söhne watch. It follows a Saxonia Thin model presented in 2018 that was graced with a blue-red sparkling dial achieved with blue gold flux. The production process for gold flux was discovered in Venice in the 17th century. It is a type of glass with copper constituents. While it is being heated, the copper forms microscopically small crystals. To attain a homogeneous surface, it must be cast onto the silver dial with extreme caution.
With slender hour and minute hands as well as applied baton-style markers, the dial of the Saxonia Thin is reduced to displaying the time in hours and minutes. The narrow bezel of the round gold case gives the dial ample space and emphasises the unusual material. Thanks to the characteristic camber of the strap lugs, the elegant watch assures a snug fit on the wrist. With a case diameter of 40 millimetres, the two-hand watch is merely 6.2 millimetres high.
As for the movement, the Saxonia Thin offers everything that makes it a typical Lange watch. With a height of only 2.9 millimetres, the manually wound calibre L093.1, developed and crafted in-house, is the thinnest A. Lange & Söhne movement so far. Despite the compact size, it offers a power reserve of three days. Two-fold assembly and the artisanal finissage of the parts comply with the manufactory’s high standards.
Brand-typical quality hallmarks include the three-quarter plate with Glashütte ribbing as well as bevelled and polished chamfers. To achieve visual balance, the chamfer of the flat-polished end piece is manually finished to match the three-quarter plate. The ratchet and crown wheels are decorated with solarisation and visibly integrated into the plate. Three screwed, manually polished gold chatons serve as bearings for the wheel train that transmits power from the mainspring barrel to the escapement. The freely oscillating screw balance beats at a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations an hour. It is located beneath the hand-engraved balance cock that carries the whiplash spring.
Price: EUR 23,900 Saxonia Thin, EUR 25,600 Saxonia Outsize