A. Lange & Söhne presents two new versions of its iconic ZEITWERK watch in platinum and pink gold. Thanks to the evolved calibre L043.6, the exceptional timepiece now has a power reserve doubled to 72 hours.
Introduced in 2009, the A. Lange & Söhne ZEITWERK is an extraordinary wristwatch with large jumping numerals for the hours and minutes as well as a constant-force escapement as a beat controller.
The ZEITWERK watch features a patented mechanism with three jumping numeral discs. The hours and minutes are displayed from left to right by large-format numerals that are 2.9 millimetres high and 2.3 millimetres wide. The harmonious arrangement on the curved time bridge and the size of the displays ensure superb legibility.
Additionally, this aesthetically original and technically elaborate display endows the dial with vibrancy and verve because the underlying mechanism switches the three numeral discs – one displays the hours, the other two display the units and the tens digits of the minutes – within fractions of a second.
The most exciting event happens at the top of the hour when all three numeral discs are simultaneously advanced by one increment.
To create this lucid and innovative display, Lange’s designers questioned the conventional principles and rules of precision watchmaking afresh. This was necessary, because the challenge of fitting the mechanism in the limited dimensions of a wristwatch and at the same time providing enough energy to produce the synchronised switching steps was enormous.
The hour ring with a diameter of 30.0 millimetres extends to the outer circumference of the movement. In addition, there are two discs – the tens-minute and units-minute discs. Their diameters are 19.0 and 12.7 millimetres, respectively. Both discs are separated by a height difference of merely 0.2 millimetres, which calls for highly precise settings by the watchmaker.
Also, the incremental step must be executed precisely after 60 seconds. This challenging operation is handled by the patented constant-force escapement. It also assures that the movement is also powered by a uniform amount of force; this benefits rate stability.
The new generation ZEITWERK is equipped with the refined calibre L043.6. Thanks to a patented barrel design with two mainsprings, it was possible to double the power reserve from 36 to 72 hours.
Another improvement versus the predecessor model is the simplified setting of the hour. A pusher at four o’clock can now separately advance the display, which is particularly useful when the time zone changes during a trip. The pusher is an inverted type: Nothing happens when it is pressed but the display switches forward when the pusher is released.
The integration of a pusher for correcting the hour indication, first introduced in the Lange ZEITWERK DATE, required considerable constructional effort. To enable the correction independently of the switching cycles of the time indication, a patented vertical clutch uncouples the hour ring from the jumping numerals mechanism each time the pusher is pressed. The setting of the minute indication in both directions is still performed with the crown at two o’clock.
In its second generation, the ZEITWERK also features an oscillation system with its own balance spring and patented beat-adjustment system. It oscillates with a frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour (2.5 hertz). As with all of the manufactory’s calibres, the artisanal finissage of the 451-part movement complies with the most ambitious Lange standards.
The sapphire-crystal caseback enables the owner to admire the hand-engraved balance and escape-wheel cocks, the solarised winding wheels, the 59 jewels, and the intricate, straight-grained remontoir bridge that accommodates two recessed, screwed gold chatons.
The most prominent element is the time bridge made of German silver. The material, traditionally used by A. Lange & Söhne for frame parts such as bridges and cocks, makes it clear that it is an integral component of the movement.
In the new ZEITWERK, it was subtly reworked to make more room for the subsidiary seconds dial at six o’clock. In the scale of the power-reserve indicator on the opposite side, harmoniously positioned above the round of the time bridge, the last twelve hours are now marked in red to clearly indicate that the tension of the mainsprings is gradually waning.
The sapphire bearing jewel for the ones- and tens-minute ring to the left of the two indications is a refined detail that also builds a bridge to the movement. In most cases, rubies are used for bearing jewels, but in this case, Lange’s watchmakers chose this colourless, transparent precious stone for aesthetic reasons.
The new ZEITWERK has a case diameter of 41.9 millimetres and a height of 12.2 millimetres. It is available in two versions. It comes in pink gold with a black dial and a time bridge made of untreated German silver.
The platinum edition has a rhodié dial made of solid silver. The time bridge is black rhodiumed. Colour-matched hands round out the harmonious design. The pink-gold model has a black alligator leather strap while the platinum version is paired with a dark-brown alligator leather strap.
Model: A. Lange & Söhne ZEITWERK
Lange manufacture calibre L043.6, manually wound, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver; balance and escape-wheel cocks engraved by hand; minute jump via constant-force escapement
Movement parts: 451
Screwed gold chatons: 2
Escapement: Lever escapement
Oscillation system: Shock-resistant cam-poised balance; superior-quality balance spring manufactured in-house with patented balance spring clamp, frequency 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour, precision beat-adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring
Power reserve: 72 hours when fully wound
Diameter: 33.6 millimetres; height: 8.9 millimetres
Time indicated in hours and minutes with jumping numerals; subsidiary seconds with stop seconds; power-reserve indicator
Crown for winding the watch and setting the time; pusher for rapid correction of the hour indication
Diameter: 41.9 millimetres
Height: 12.2 millimetres
Crystal and caseback
Sapphire crystal (Mohs hardness 9)
Ref. 142.025: 950 platinum
Ref. 142.031: 18-carat pink gold
Ref. 142.025: Solid silver, rhodié
Ref. 142.031: Solid silver, black
Ref. 142.025: White gold
Ref. 142.031: Pink gold
Ref. 142.025: Hand-stitched alligator leather, dark brown
Ref. 142.031: Hand-stitched alligator leather, black
Ref. 142.025: Prong buckle in 950 platinum
Ref. 142.031: Prong buckle in 18-carat pink gold