A. Lange & Söhne enriches its LANGE ZEITWERK collection with a resonant horological masterpiece this year.
The LANGE ZEITWERK STRIKING TIME is fitted with a chiming mechanism that is visible in its face. It strikes the quarter-hours with high-pitched tones and the full hours at a lower pitch. Played fast-forward, the result is a famous leitmotif by great musician Ludwig van Beethoven.
Unveiled for the first time at SIHH 2011, the LANGE ZEITWERK STRIKING TIME is the first Lange wristwatch with an acoustic signature.
In 2009, when A. Lange & Söhne announced the beginning of a new epoch with the LANGE ZEITWERK and its unusual design hallmarks, the declared objective was to depart from the beaten track. So it is no coincidence that the first chiming Lange watch is a “ZEITWERK” as well. Additionally, its mechanical design concept offers ideal prerequisites for the integration of a strike train.
When the numeral discs are advanced, a sizeable force vector is unleashed, so after the switching cycle, enough energy remains for other purposes. These reserves are now used by the chiming mechanism to tension the springs that actuate the two hammers.
They are made of black-polished steel and are integrated in the dial layout on either side of the subsidiary seconds. The one on the left strikes the hours, the one on the right the quarter-hours. The two gongs are also readily discernible: they are suspended in a recess between the dial and the bezel. In quarter-hour intervals, the mechanism triggers a strike on one of the two gongs. A higher-pitched tone signals the quarter-hours and a lower-pitched one sounds at the top of the hour.
Actuating the push piece at 4 o’clock causes the chiming mechanism to remain mute. The mode is easy to verify, because a glance through the sapphire-crystal glass shows whether or not the hammers are deflected away from the gongs. Incidentally, the hammers are also retracted when the crown is pulled. This allows the time to be set in either direction without activating and inadvertently jamming the chiming mechanism.
With its precisely jumping numeric display, the A. Lange & Söhne LANGE ZEITWERK STRIKING TIME also stands for uncompromising lucidity in style. The large hour and minute numerals in adjacent apertures always deliver an unambiguous reading of the current time.
Accompanied by a soft click and hardly perceivable by the human eye, the numerals advance minute by minute, powered by the patented constant-force escapement. The grand jump takes place at the top of the hour when all three numeral discs advance simultaneously by exactly one increment. Now, the captivating progression of time is enriched by an acoustic accent every fifteen minutes.
Beating inside the A. Lange & Söhne LANGE ZEITWERK STRIKING TIME watch is the manufacture Calibre L043.2. As expected, it comes with lavish manual decorations, the balance wheel with eccentric poising weights and Lange’s proprietary balance spring.
The LANGE ZEITWERK STRIKING TIME watch comes in a 44.2-millimetre white-gold case with a black dial or in a limited edition of 100 platinum-cased watches with rhodiumed dials.
Model: A. Lange & Söhne LANGE ZEITWERK STRIKING TIME
Ref. Nos. 145.029 / 145.025
Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L043.2, manually wound, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards and largely decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand; jumping minutes; constant-force escapement
No. of movement parts: 528
No. of jewels: 78
Screwed gold chatons: 3
Escapement: Lever escapement
Oscillation system: Shock-resistant glucydur balance with eccentric poising weights; superior-quality balance spring manufactured in-house with patent-pending attachment system (balance spring clamp), frequency 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour, precision beat adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring
Movement dimensions: diameter 36.0 millimetres; height 10.0 millimetres
Power reserve: 36 hours when fully wound
Functions: Time display with hours and minutes as jumping numerals, subsidiary seconds with stop seconds, power-reserve indicator, acoustic signal at quarter-hours and full hours
Operating elements: Crown for winding the watch and setting the time; push piece for enabling and disabling the acoustic signal
White gold / Platinum (limited to 100 watches)
Case dimensions: diameter 44.2 millimetres; height 13.8 millimetres
Glass and caseback: Sapphire crystal (hardness 9)
Dial, Hands & Strap
Dial: Solid silver, black / Solid silver, rhodié
Time bridge: German silver, rhodiumed
Hands: Rhodiumed gold
Strap: Hand-stitched crocodile strap, black
Buckle: Heavy Lange prong buckle in white gold / Heavy Lange prong buckle in platinum
Image Credit: Lange Uhren GmbH