By Harlan Chapman-Green
In 2006 A.Lange & Söhne launched the Datograph watch which combined elegance and sophistication with a flyback chronograph born and raised in the Saxon countryside. Then a few years later they launched the Datograph Up/Down which was essentially the same except for an attractive disc mounted arrow indicator which showed how long the watch would work for before it needed it’s next hand winding.
For 2015 Lange releases their famous flyback chronograph that’s been introduced to a new friend, a perpetual calendar. Lange is really good at this sort of thing when it comes to calendars, their Sax-o-Mat perpetual calendar is a true work of art and of course the Datograph isn’t an exception to this artiness either.
There are essentially four different parts to the dial plate itself on the Datograph. At 12 O’Clock there’s Lange’s world renowned Outsize Date window, which reflects a famous clock of the same design in Glashütte’s neighbour Dresden. The numbers are unique in that there are two date dials that move independently of each other instead of the usual one. At the 3 O’Clock position is one half of the perpetual calendar complication.
There’s a blue chronograph minutes hand (this is a 30 minute chronograph) at the top, then vertically below that is a month indicator hand in the same colour as the case, below which is the leap year indicator. At 6 O’Clock there’s a moonphase indicator which is a beautiful blue colour with hand painted moons and stars. At 9 O’Clock is the watch’s running seconds hand which is mounted on top of a day indicator. Above this and diagonally opposite to the leap year indicator is the Day/Night indicator in the same style as the Up/Down indicator on the Datograph Up/Down, where there is a hand mounted on a plate and the whole plate moves.
This watch runs on Lange’s new calibre L952.1 movement which, if kept running, will need one adjustment in 2100 where a day will need to be changed. Meaning that you will never have to adjust it (unless you move to another country). For now it’s available in white gold with a fitting dark grey coloured dial. We’ll reveal more about it soon.
Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L952.1; manually wound, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; plates and bridges made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand
Movement parts: 556
Bearing jewels: 45
Screwed gold chatons: 4
Escapement: Lever escapement
Oscillator: Shock-resistant balance wheel with eccentric poising weights; balance spring manufactured in-house with a frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour, precision beat-adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring
Power reserve: 36 hours when fully wound
Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes and subsidiary seconds with stop seconds; flyback chronograph with precisely jumping minute counter; tachymeter scale; perpetual calendar with date, day of week, month, moon phases and leap year; day/night indication
Operating elements: Crown for winding the watch and setting the time, two pushers for operating the chronograph, rapid-correction pusher for collectively advancing all calendar displays, one recessed corrector each for adjusting the day of the week, the month and the moon phases
Case dimensions: Diameter: 41.0 millimetres; height: 13.5 millimetres
Movement dimensions: Diameter: 32.0 millimetres; height: 8.0 millimetres
Case: White gold
Dial: Solid silver, grey; subsidiary dials rhodié
Hands: Hour and minute hands in rhodiumed gold, luminous; day, month and four-year hands in rhodiumed gold; chronograph sweep seconds hand, subsidiary seconds hand and minute counter hand in blued steel
Crystal and back: Sapphire crystal (Mohs hardness 9)
Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather strap, black
Buckle: Lange prong buckle in white gold
For more info, please visit alange-soehne.com
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Harlan Chapman-Green – Contributing Editor
First introduced to horology with the Patek Philippe Calibre 89 by his father two years ago, Harlan enjoys his passion for fine horology. He prefers to spend his time in the boutiques of upmarket brands, trying out new pieces constantly. His preferred 3 brands are A. Lange & Söhne, Breguet and Vacheron Constantin. Although not much for the smaller brands, he still finds the complications intriguing and wishes to own one watch from each of his three favourites. Read his articles here.