As one of the big three of haute horlogerie, we always expect something special from A. Lange & Söhne and this year’s Watches and Wonders was no exception. With the high-end German watchmaker only debuting one model at the event, the pressure was on to deliver. It’s safe to say that fans of luxury watchmaking weren’t disappointed. Lange chose Geneva’s annual event as the backdrop to launch an unexpected watch – its first-ever self-winding chronograph. Moreover, the brand debuted the new calibre in the Odysseus family. Housing this exciting new movement, and boasting some unusual features, the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph is a marvel of engineering.
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First released in 2019, the Odysseus is a distinctive watch that the Saxony watchmaker describes as ‘sporty-elegant’. At this highest level of watchmaking a stainless steel case and bracelet is a rare sight, with leather straps and precious metals dominating the market. But this is A. Lange & Söhne, a brand that prides itself on doing things differently.
The Odysseus Chronograph is certainly different. Constructed from a three-part case and beefed up to a diameter of 42.5mm, this is a substantial watch. It even boasts a water-resistance rating of 120M, not what we’d expect from a high-end chronograph. With twelve previous chronograph movements under its belt, a new chronograph movement wasn’t an obvious choice for the brand. So unsurprisingly, it has opted for one of watchmaking’s most challenging complications: a self-winding chronograph movement.
In keeping with the manufacturer’s unorthodox character, this wasn’t going to be a conventional movement. Especially if it was to remain faithful to the Odysseus line’s ethos and design. Lange, therefore, reworked the regular chronograph functions with the dial forgoing the usual chronograph sub-dials. Instead, it retains the signature big day and date windows of the original Odysseus.
To keep that styling, Lange had to come up with a cool trick. It did so by giving the chronograph pushers a dual function. As expected, with the crown in its normal position the pushers control the chronograph. But in a new twist, with the crown pulled out they can also quick-set the day and date.
The beautifully layered dial includes a regular running seconds subdial and white gold baton appliques. The watch departs from familiar chronograph functions in its use of the other hands. With this innovative movement, the silver central hand records the chronograph minute and the bold red hand measures the seconds. No need for more sub-dials. It’s a stunning watch that vindicates Lange’s decision to debut a single watch at this year’s Watches and Wonders show and reinforces the brand’s reputation as an unconventional stylist. With only 100 pieces available it should prove to be a hit with watch aficionados.
A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph
Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Manufacture Calibre L156.1 Datomatic
Strap: Stainless Steel Bracelet
Water Resistance: 120M
Limited to 100 Pieces