Up Close With The A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Date
When A. Lange & Söhne present their novelties they always do so with a modest amount. This year was no exception apart from the fact that they announced to launch a new Lange 1 each month up to its 25th anniversary in October. But as those are yet to be released, so let’s have a look at their other novelty, the new Zeitwerk Date.
Another anniversary for A. Lange & Söhne
Besides the Lange 1 there is another occasion for A. Lange & Söhne to celebrate. This year is the 10th anniversary of the Zeitwerk, which was first launched back in 2009. Where A. Lange & Söhne is known for their big date, the Zeitwerk is one of the few watches out there which comes with a large digital time display. It looks beautiful and it isn’t exactly an easy complication to make. That is possibly the reason why there aren’t many mechanical digital display watches around. The biggest problem to solve for this complication is the extra power that’s required. All of which is needed to activate the changing of the time every minute for up to 4 separate displays. To overcome this the Zeitwerk features a movement with constant force and remontoir mechanism.
The first Zeitwerk featured a digital display, power reserve and jumping seconds. In the years following several versions have been presented with added complications like the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater from 2015. For the 10th anniversary of the Zeitwerk, a date function has been added. Lange did a great job by doing this without interfering with the original and well-balanced design.
Instead of creating a date window as seen in most watches, the Zeitwerk Date has a dial which is surrounded by a glass date ring. This glass ring comes with an inverted print that leaves the numbers clear. An underlying ring with a red segment highlights the current day. To achieve the extra space needed for the date display the Zeitwerk Date case measures 44,2 millimeters. Apart from the ‘basic’ version which measures 41,9 millimeters all version with added complications come in this larger case.
Due to a new design of the movement, the watch has lost 0,3 millimeters in height with a total of only 12,3 millimeters. Making it the thinnest Zeitwerk in the collection. Still keeping the clear structure of the layout and patented constant-force escapement. Where the movement runs constantly the remontoire function generates the needed power to operate the change of the time every minute.
Another first for the Zeitwerk Date is that it comes with two buttons located at 4 and 8 o’clock. To adjust the date you press the button at 8 o’clock, releasing it will change the date. The same goes for the button at 4 0’clock which will advance the hour display by one. Again this happens upon the release of the button rather than when it’s pressed. This makes it easier to change the setting by operating the crown. Another thing worth mentioning is the power reserve which has doubled. Still manual wound the Zeitwerk date comes with a 72-hour power reserve.
Another strong point of this watch is that you can set the date, no matter what time of the day it is. You don’t have to worry about damaging the mechanism when you change the date between 10pm and 2apm for example, something that many instructions manuals warn you about.
The Zeitwerk Date is available in a white gold case with a solid silver grey dial. Typical for the Zeitwerk is the ‘Time Bridge’ in rhodium-plated German silver. This is the part surrounding the digital time display and small seconds. The hands of the Zeitwerk Date are made of rhodiumed gold. As you can expect from A. Lange & Söhne, everything has been finished to the highest standards. Something that does show in the price tag of the Zeitwerk date that will be available for the recommended retail price of €89.000,-.
For more information head over to A. Lange & Söhne.