Twenty-seven years ago, defunct German watchmaker A Lange Sohne Zeitwerk Honey gold “Lumen” was reborn. So on the day of its anniversary, the brand has revealed – surprise! – a new watch. And for those of us obsessed with Teutonic craftsmanship, it’s a dream come true.
Limited to 200 pieces worldwide, Lange has taken its famous digital watch, the Zeitwerk, and dressed it up in the company’s proprietary gold alloy, Honeygold, before undressing the dial in the fashion of its exclusive Lumen series. These are three of the company’s most exclusive attributes, all mixed together in a single watch. The only one missing is the even more exclusive Handwerkskunst decoration.
To put it simply, all “Lumen” indicates at A Lange Sohne Zeitwerk Honey gold “Lumen” is the use of a semi-transparent dial developed by Lange that allows the luminous jumping numeral displays to be fully visible at all hours. It’s cool. It’s fun. Most importantly, it’s an outside-the-box approach for one of the industry’s biggest players. It’s hard to imagine many other high-end brands doing something like this.
Outside the Odysseus, Lange’s youngest line, the Zeitwerk is the smallest series at the company today. A quick look at the brand’s website reveals only 10 different available Zeitwerk options to choose from. It’s also one of the company’s most controversial watches. A dual jump hour and minute display in a single watch? That’ll get people talking.
I remember in a recent conversation I had with Anthony de Haas, A Lange Sohne Zeitwerk Honey gold “Lumen” technical director, he said company execs felt anxious before the Zeitwerk’s debut in 2009. They simply didn’t know how consumers would react. Luckily, fortune favored the bold. Zeitwerk examples are popular and prized today, and the few limited releases that do trickle out of Glashütte are quickly snapped up.I expect today’s release to be more of the same. With a Honeygold case and a Lumen dial, what’s not to love?
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the cherry on top. The Zeitwerk Honeygold “Lumen” also uses a new in-house movement that increases the power reserve up to 72 hours.
As you can guess if you read my Week On The Wrist with the Rattrapante Honeygold over the summer, I genuinely adore this watch. The Zeitwerk has always appealed to me for its off-kilter personality. And the use of the Lumen dial format does nothing to dissuade that.
Ignoring all the aesthetic characteristics of the watch, I’m also intrigued by the new movement. Described as the second generation of movements in the Zeitwerk family, a trend that started with the release of the Zeitwerk Date in 2019, the new caliber L043.9 has double the power reserve of the previous generation, courtesy of a pair of mainspring barrels controlled by the company’s patented constant-force escapement.
A new pusher placed at four o’clock on the case allows you to adjust the hour display separately from the minutes. I’m interested in how this impacts the wearing experience, if at all, as well as its general usability. My guess is that it won’t hurt. Because the resurrected Lange thinks of everything.
A. Lange & Söhne has dropped an upgraded limited-edition Zeitwork to mark the 27th anniversary of the rebirth of the German watch manufacturer.
The new Zeitwerk, which displays the time using jumping hour and minute numerals, is cased for the first time in Lange’s proprietary 18k Honeygold alloy and also takes on Lange’s “Lumen” specification, with a semi-transparent smoked sapphire crystal dial and luminous numerals revealing the hour and minute rings that make Lange’s mechanical digital watch work.
Lange has also developed an entirely new manually wound L043.9 calibre for the Zeitwerk, which now offers a 72 hour power reserve.
The brand made watches under its own name from 1845 until 1945, when the company was expropriated by the Soviet Union and disappeared for 49 years, eventually reappearing three years after the fall of the Berlin Wall from a company rebuilt by direct descendent Walter Lange and industry mastermind Günther Blümlein.