A. Lange & Söhne’s Latest Zeitwerk Continues a Legacy of Outlandish Elegance
German high-end luxury watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne sets itself apart by constantly challenging horology’s key concepts. Nowhere has it been more brazen than in the release of the Zeitwerk – an unusual digital watch that is powered by a mechanical heart. The first generation of this watch was unconventional, innovative and a real treat for watch aficionados. It was also very expensive. The brand has teased us with new Zeitwerk models over the years – we were particularly taken with the Zeitwerk Honeygold ‘Lumen’ release – but it wasn’t until 2022 that it dropped a fully reworked 2nd Generation of the Zeitwerk. Forged from pink gold and platinum, and with a redesigned movement, the two new models showcase avant-garde watchmaking at its finest.
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Like our favourite watches, the Zeitwerk has an interesting backstory, with its creation inspired by the clock in Dresden’s Semper Opera House. That clock – itself groundbreaking – features a digital display that was developed with the help of A. Lange & Söhne’s founder, Ferdinand Adolph Lange. The Zeitwerk is a development of that concept and boasts large, highly legible numbers rather than the traditional hands of a mechanical watch.
The complexity required to achieve this is nothing short of staggering. Ok, numbers updating mechanically each minute doesn’t sound too difficult to achieve, but it presented a massive challenge for the Saxony-based watchmaker. The two new models house an updated movement – Calibre L043.6 – that features three layered numeral discs. To power these wheels – and it takes a lot more juice than traditional watch hands – the brand had to perform some mechanical gymnastics. Get this, the new movement has 451 parts, 59 jewels, required 7 patents and is hand-finished. Unbelievably, it’s also a little slimmer than the earlier movement and now has the power reserve doubled to 72 hours.
The two new watches have contrasting styles with the pink gold model featuring a black dial and a time bridge made of untreated German Silver. Its sibling has a case crafted from platinum, a solid silver dial and a black rhodium bridge. Both models are styled to flaunt the functionality of the movement, the time bridge, with its exposed jewel, being the most obvious example. The lower dial houses a large sub-second dial and below the 12 o’clock position there’s a power reserve indicator. A noticeable update is a pusher at 4 o’clock, allowing easy updating of the hour window for quick time-setting.
The second-generation Zeitwerk is a beauty and a practical update on the original. Although there’s been no announcement of the price, we’re confident that this is a six-figure watch.
A. Lange & Söhne ZEITWERK
Case: 18-carat Pink Gold or 950 Platinum
Movement: Lange Manufacture Calibre L043.6
Bracelet: Hand-stitched Alligator Leather
Price: Upon Request