By Harlan Chapman-Green
Today we’re looking at what may be my new most favourite watch ever in the history of watches and all that jazz. The quirky Zeitwerk Striking Time that plinked on the hour and quarter hour has become a wonder of full Minute Repeaterness.
Let’s take a look at the very basics first. Lange have kept the appearance of the watch pretty much the same as before. There’s still the mock digital time display which uses a similar system to their Outsize Date windows. There’s also still what they call the “Time Bridge” which is the piece of brushed metal delicately wrapping itself around the hours, minutes and seconds indicators. Also still here is the beautiful Ab/Auf (Up/Down) power reserve indicator and the crown is still at half past one. This watch is also large, just like the others, at around 44mm in diameter. Slip under the cuff easily I think not. Big, show off technical engineering? Now we’re talking.
The subtle yet striking (I’m sorry, I promised I wouldn’t, then I did) difference that you may miss at first glance is that now the gongs for the minute repeater move inwards, this is because the metal that they hit is going around the Time Bridge instead of straight around the edge of the watch. Making metal sonorous to the most pure degree is extremely difficult, making metal that has a ninety degree angle in it is almost impossible. Also as with the Striking Time, the left hand metal beam ducks under the other to give the impression that it’s just one.
This watch runs off Lange’s calibre L043.5 which is definitely one of the most beautiful. On most Lange pieces (the 1 series being the worst offender) the movement is covered by a beautiful yet slightly boring anchor-plate which only reveals a small portion of the movement itself. For some that’s fine, however, I feel that if you’re going to put a see through back on the case you should at least be able to, you know, see something. This however doesn’t disappoint me in the slightest, for starters there’s Lange’s winning colour combination of the blue screws and German Silver and also there’s loads of bits and bobs to gaze at. I also don’t miss the hammers in the movement window, because they’re at the front now so we can look at them all the time. It’s amazing how the package 771 separate parts into there and it’s still so sleek. Another Lange feature that returns here is the 3Dness of the movement. I applaud watches such as the Piaget Altiplano 900 for it’s work and movement, but the depth in a watch is striking, it’s just so uncommon nowadays. If you want to see their most 3D movement, look at the Double Split at an angle.
We’ll have to wait and see for more information on this watch. Expect it in white gold and maybe platinum (which is less sonorous than gold) to start with as well. 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.