Telling time has made a dramatic, bold and contemporary advance with a new limited edition watch from one of the world’s most prestigious, respected and venerated brands, Lange & S?hne (pronounced Laange and Zhoon). A watch brand whose storied history dates to its founding in 1845 in a little town, Glashutte, Germany to modern times. For over a century Lange became famous for its totally handmade timepieces of precious metals and the equal to other, sometimes better known brands. After WWII, Russia who occupied what was called East Germany expro-priated the watch company and produced very poor quality watches. But when the Berlin Wall fell in 1990 and Germany celebrated its reunification, Walter Lange, the great grandson of the original founder, who had previously fled to the West reestablished the company and rebuilt the factory in its original location.
It took four years, but in 1994 Lange & S?hne presented its first collection of the new era and contemporary watch history of the brand was reborn with beautiful artisan watches of classic shapes and designs in precious metals. Today the Lange brand is known for amazing craftsman-ship, technological wizardry and creative designs for exacting and exquisite quality in fine watches.
Recently Lange introduced a new exclusive watch design called Zeitwerk – literally time factory – that just may revolutionize how time is told by those who strive for horologic – the science of measuring time — perfection in their watches. The Zeitwerk uses no hands to express the time. There are two window cutouts which display the hour and minutes of the day that are incredible works of design, engineering and centuries old dedicated watchmaking perfection as shown in the detail below. The watch, a mechanical masterpiece, is assembled and tested, then disassem-bled and reassembled to make certain it exceeds Lange’s demanding quality standards.
This is the first mechanical – hand wound — wristwatch with a truly eloquent jumping numeral display. It is a watch that reinterprets time in an era of change. It not only endows time with a new face but also defines a new direction in watchmaking. It is a timepiece that embodies the spirit of time and simultaneously transcends it. Indeed, it is a watch that lets its owner experience a totally new sense of time combined with exclusive pride of ownership.
A fresh design concept underscores the paradigm shift: The German-silver time bridge unfolds its wings across the entire width of the dial to prominently frame the large numerals of the laterally aligned windows that present the hours and minutes. It extends down to encircle the subsidiary seconds dial as well, uniting all three levels of time measurement in a harmonious setting. And in the upper third of the dial, the continuous power-reserve indicator reliably tells the owner when it is time to re-energize the movement. Listen very carefully and one can acoustically distinguish between a sing minute advance – 1,416 times a day – and the collective progression a the full hour – 24 times a day.
With its emblematic name, the LANGE ZEITWERK is a watch that stands for uncompromising clarity. Thanks to the unparalleled size of its numerals, it tells the current time at even a cursory glance. With a whispered click and within fractions of a second, the minute display advances step by step until the watch initiates the big jump at the top of the hour. At this point, all three numeral discs switch forward simultaneously and instantaneously by exactly one unit.
Personal timekeeping is elevated to the status of an event. The perfect moment for the showdown is at 11:59 – “high noon” in a widescreen format. The seconds hand embarks on its leisurely trajectory along the periphery of the subsidiary dial. Time seems to slow down as its course is deliberately observed. Thirty seconds to go. Mounting suspense. Then: ten … three, two, one – click – 12:00 … it’s a memorable, magical moment in modern watchmaking and it happens every day.
The Lange Zeitwerk is available in 18k yellow, pink and white gold and platinum cases with a supple crocodile strap with solid gold buckle. It measures a bit over classic dress watch size at 41.9 mm in diameter but is distinctively smaller than some of the Hummer size watches seen re-cently. At 12.6 mm thick it fits smoothly under dress or sport shirts as an elegant watch should. This is a mechanical movement – hand wound – that shows time remaining on the 36 hour power reserve dial and has small seconds hand with stop seconds. Can be seen and purchased at Wempe and Cellini stores in New York. The price? Fair warning this is not for the faint of heart or shallow pockets, each Lange & S?hne Zeitwerk model is limited to 100 pieces at $91,500 each. Have your platinum or black AmEx card handy so you too can wear not just a watch, but an elegant, exclusive timekeeping machine.