A. Lange & Söhne commemorates the 27th anniversary of the brand’s rebirth with an all-new model. Considered by many as the ultimate piece for collectors, the ZEITWERK HONEYGOLD “Lumen” truly stands out
October 24, 1994, has gone down in history as a milestone moment for A. Lange & Söhne. It marked a new beginning for the German watchmaker; a rebirth of sorts following the tragedy that struck down the manufactory during World War II.
It was Walter Lange – the great-grandson of Lange & Cie founder Ferdinand Adolph Lange – who took it upon himself to reintroduce the family name to the horological universe. At an age when most retire, Walter Lange (then in his late 60s) partnered with German-Swiss entrepreneur Günter Blümlein in 1990 to honour his great-grandfather’s vision of crafting the world’s finest watches. Four years later, a new collection – the first after the refounding of the manufactory – was born.
Since the launch of this historic collection, the brand has unveiled a series of show-stopping timepieces. And over the years, collectors have expressed much delight in A. Lange & Söhne’s horological masterpieces.
This year, to commemorate the rebirth of the brand, the German maison has introduced yet another stunner: the new ZEITWERK HONEYGOLD “Lumen”. A mere addition to the inventory this is not! It’s a true collector’s piece as it is the most accurate representation of the brand’s watchmaking legacy, combining A. Lange & Söhne’s three most exclusive attributes in a single timepiece.
Front view of the ZEITWERK HONEYGOLD “Lumen“, reference 142.055.
The ZEITWERK HONEYGOLD “Lumen”
Each of the three words in its name – ZEITWERK HONEYGOLD “Lumen” – stands for three extraordinary feats accomplished by A. Lange & Söhne over the years. The ZEITWERK series took the watchmaking world by storm when it was first unveiled in 2009, thanks to its revolutionary technology and design concept, which introduced the brand’s famed time bridge dial concept. The new watch is yet another brilliant addition to the iconic line.
The timepiece is dressed up in honey gold, which is the Saxon brand’s proprietary gold alloy. And adding the finishing touch is the lumen treatment, which refers to the Super-LumiNova on the numerals of the hour and minute disks.
The combination of these unique features makes the ZEITWERK HONEYGOLD “Lumen” the ultimate edition for collectors and timepiece enthusiasts. And it is limited to just 200 pieces worldwide.
Beneath the avant-garde dial with the prominent bridge, the numerals on three discs can be faintly discerned. This is followed by a fascinating cycle that begins anew every minute. With a gentle click, at least one of the three numeral discs advances with a jump. It positions at least one new numeral in the display aperture until, at the top of the hour, the ingenious mechanism simultaneously advances all three discs by one step.
Many switching cycles can be observed through the sapphire-crystal caseback. For instance, it reveals the hand-engraved balance and escape-wheel cocks.
The revolutionary ZEITWERK
When A. Lange & Söhne’s engineers developed the ZEITWERK, they questioned everything except the mechanical paradigm. The result was a mechanical watch with a digital time display. It was launched in 2009 and has since garnered immense popularity, while the time bridge on the dial has become one of the most prominent signature elements of the brand.
ZEITWERK HONEYGOLD “Lumen“, reference 142.055.
Thanks to its unique functional principle with mechanically powered, precisely jumping numerals, the ZEITWERK has continued to appeal to purists who could not imagine ever wearing a digital watch.
Rendered in German silver, the time bridge constitutes the stage for all time indications. The apertures with the large hour and minute displays are arranged from left to right, while the small seconds occupies a subdial at six o’clock.
The upgraded 2021 version of the ZEITWERK watch is powered by an all-new in-house calibre, which, with two mainspring barrels, doubles the power reserve of older ZEITWERK models from 36 to 72 hours.
Gold and platinum were the primary precious metals used in A. Lange & Söhne timepieces until the launch of the brand’s anniversary editions in 2010, which introduced a brand new hue: honey gold. The house’s proprietary metal, it was developed over years of metallurgical research and saw the maison’s relentless quest for substances that exhibited more scratch-resistant properties finally bearing fruit.
Honey gold is an 18-carat alloy and is composed of 75 percent fine gold. It is harder than other gold alloys and scratch-resistant due to its mineral additives and a special heat treatment applied to it. Its fascinating hue, which lies between pink and white gold, is attributable to its copper and zinc constituents.
To describe its unique gloss and warm hue, the maison turned to nature for an analogy. The formula was then patented and it came to be known as honey gold, as it was reminiscent of the sweet liquid produced by bees.
The new ZEITWERK HONEYGOLD “Lumen” is now one of a dozen A. Lange & Söhne models that feature cases made of honey gold. However, the watch not only continues the tradition that began 11 years ago but also transcends it. The honey gold case, with a diameter of 41.9 millimetres, is a first for a Lumen model. The hands of the power reserve indicator and of the subsidiary seconds as well as the Lange prong buckle are made of the same material. Combined with a dark dial and a dark brown leather strap, the hue truly stands out.
A luminous masterpiece
When the first Lumen timepiece was unveiled in 2010, it wowed the watchmaking world for its captivating interplay with light. Traditionally, watches with luminous displays need external light sources to charge the luminous compound applied to the display elements. This allows these elements to emit a glow.
However, while developing the Lumen models, the technical challenge encountered by the team was to get all the luminous elements – even those mostly hidden beneath the dial – to charge uniformly. And so the product developers at A. Lange & Söhne found an ingenious solution: a sapphire-crystal dial with a semi-transparent coating. This patented solution filters out certain spectra of visible light but lets most of the UV radiation pass through. This enables the dials of the watch to radiate the previously absorbed light energy and glow in the dark.
Detail shot of the ZEITWERK HONEYGOLD “Lumen“, reference 142.055.
Thanks to this attribute, the new ZEITWERK HONEYGOLD “Lumen” reveals its second face at night. In the dark, only the numerals in the two display apertures glow – nothing else – making for a high-contrast, easily legible dial.
All Lumen models launched since 2010 were platinum-cased timepieces. The brand-new ZEITWERK HONEYGOLD “Lumen” now completes the series and marks the first time that a Lumen watch is presented in honey gold.
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