A. Lange & Söhne Introduces The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater Watch In Honeygold

A. Lange & Söhne's newest novelty is the world's first watch to be mix a decimal strike, a digital (style) display and a Honeygold case.


A. Lange & Söhne is, on the whole, one of the most innovative brands out there at the moment, although they’re quiet about it. I’m not just saying that because they’ve let me have a go with a lot of their watches over the years, although that certainly helps, it’s clear to see that they have an unusual way of going about luxury watches, a very un-Swiss way. That is, of course, because they’re not Swiss, and they don’t try to emulate the Swiss in any way. One demonstration of this stands over all others, the Zeitwerk.

The Zeitwerk is a fascinating piece designed to tell the time in a digital manner with numbers instead of traditional hands, but do it all mechanically. It’s not a new watch by any stretch of the imagination, but that hasn’t stopped A. Lange & Söhne from tweaking the formula a bit. As of the time of writing, there are seven different Zeitwerk models available to buy including this newest model. I’ve only just noticed they have stopped making my favourite version, the Zeitwerk Striking Time. Oh well, hopefully, it’ll swing the resale values in my favour (not likely!). 

The newest creation is a revised version of the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater, a model that was first introduced around eight years ago. In true A. Lange & Söhne fashion, nothing is straightforward with this watch. Take the gongs for the minute repeater, for example, both of which wrap themselves around the time bridge (the component with the seconds hand and time windows are sat within). This is no ordinary minute repeater, either; it’s a decimal repeater. 

A traditional minute repeater chimes the time a sequence of hours > quarter hours (indicated by a double chime) > minutes. That operation in itself is extremely complex; it’s about the most complex thing a wristwatch can do. The decimal repeater operates in a different way, it chimes the hours > 10 minutes (with a double chime) > minutes. It sounds like a simple change to make, but making the watch read the time in that manner from the digital display is really unique and difficult to do. This is all thanks to the manually-wound calibre L043.5, which is decorated beautifully. Of course, the real beauty is the technicality of it, but that might be better observed from the dial side despite the lack of exposed German silver on that side. 

Another complexity is the case. It measures 44.2mm and is made of A. Lange & Söhne’s proprietary Honeygold, which isn’t quite rose gold and isn’t quite yellow gold, but it’s 100% A.Lange & Söhne. As A.Lange & Söhne controls the blend of metals, they also control the sonorous qualities of the case. It would be interesting to see if their Honeygold is different to other blends of gold. It’s well known that gold is the best metal for projecting sound, but it would be interesting to see if the blend makes a difference.

This watch is a limited-production run of 30 examples, A. Lange & Söhne doesn’t tell us the prices of its watches any more either, but I expect it has sold out now anyway.