Aside from tales about vengeful Cyclops and crushing of Trojans, another interesting story is that A. Lange & Söhne has been busy – metaphorically speaking – getting a six-pack and lifting iron for a Herculean-esque stainless steel build in its new Odysseus watch.
First, a little introduction about the namesake of this watch – everyone knows about that big wooden horse that tricked the residents of Troy into opening their Cisco-approved fort gates, thus resulting in their quick demise. Well that plan was dreamt up by yours truly, Odysseus. He then went on to use his lateral thinking to wiggle out of sticky situations; like that time with a Cyclops who had a big merino wool posse (yet another great get-out-of-cave story), having a quick catch up with his deceased bros Ajax and Achilles in the underworld, as well as dodging a death sentence after wanting to hear the deadly but beguiling call of the Sirens – imagine the Titanic scene but in handcuffs.
All in all, Odysseus aka Ulysses, came to be known as the clever one who took calculated risks that paid off really well; a man who did not always march to the usual beat of the Roman drums and still became the most talked about superhero of the BC era. His style of departing from tradition and applying a fresh approach to new territories and challenges aptly echoes the launch of this new watch by A. Lange & Söhne.
It is also the first stainless steel series to come out of this Saxon luxury watchmaker, aside from the previous 20 steel Lange 1 watches and a tribute piece to Walter Lange. The Odysseus debuts with steel armour, a new calibre and a big day-of-the-week display, thus signalling a subtle show of the watchmaker’s next steps. After all, steel is trending in the watch consumer world and no longer seen as a poor man’s material.
A. Lange & Söhne crafts a new movement here – a self winding L155.1 Datomatic that is made from 312 components, including 99 new bits that power the day and date displays, as well as a platinum rotor with black rhodium elements. In true Lange style, the wearer will still be able to see the screwed gold chaton whilst the new balance bridge which provides better shock resistance remains engraved by hand. The final result is 50 hours of power reserve and a balance wheel that oscillates at 4 Hz, a higher frequency than other Lange movements.
This 40.5mm watch might bear pedigree and familial resemblance but in every other sense, it will feel more rugged with these new features and visual cues. It has the first integrated and easily-adjustable steel bracelet, plus a more understated application of precious metals like its textured dark-blue brass dial with white-gold indexes and display. Two buttons are nicely flushed and hidden at the 2 and 4 o’clock positions on the case middle for quick tweaks to the day and date displays. Also new is the case with its screw-down crown thus making it safe to dive with this watch, as far down as 120 metres.
All this reveals a marked departure by this German watchmaker from a formal format to a sportier style. In essence, this steely Dan is looking to create waves in the cosy niche of everyday sporty meets high end together currently with just a few rivals.
Images courtesy of A. Lange & Söhne, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.