The architect of Saxon fine watchmaking presents two impressive renditions of a modern classic.
The Saxonia watch family reflects A. Lange & Söhne’s entrepreneurial philosophy. The name Saxonia harks back to the impressive history of Saxony, a region that leveraged its ingenuity and imagination as an early pioneer in the industrialisation of Germany. Contributing to this spirit of inventiveness and innovation was Ferdinand Adolph Lange with his exclusive pocket watches and his pursuit of fine watchmaking. He was tenacious in his quest for improvements in mechanisms and precision. This spirit is seen in each of the twelve models of the current Saxonia watch family.
As Günter Blümlein, who re-established A. Lange & Söhne 30 years ago with Walter Lange said, “A Lange watch is a fusion of the arts. It melds the passion of watchmakers for mechanical solutions and craftsmanship with the inimitable style of the manufactory and its venerable history.”
Saxonia Outsize Date
The Saxonia Outsize Date, presented in 2018, embodies the spirit of the fine watchmaker. This year, the two versions with black dials are complemented by two versions with argenté-coloured dials.
Encased in white or pink gold, the Saxonia Outsize Date displays classic proportions at a diameter of 38.5 millimetres and a height of 9.6 millimetres, and crafted in true Lange style with design details such as the chamfered and polished solid-gold baton appliques, and the characteristic outsize date featured in the launch of the first Saxonia model in 1994.
The dial is kept minimalistic with applied baton indices in solid gold, positioned at 12 o’clock, counterbalanced by the subsidiary seconds dial at the 6 o’clock position. Legibility is enhanced by employing two separate display surfaces for the units and tens that are at least twice as large as those in watches of a comparable size.
Impressive inside and out, the self-winding manufacture calibre of the Saxonia Outsize Date is based on the calibre L086.1 of the Saxonia Automatic and assembled by hand twice. The complex date mechanism required 286 parts, a total of 77 more than in the basic movement. A large central rotor with ball bearings and a platinum centrifugal mass ensure efficient winding of the automatic L086.8 movement, while the strong mainspring barrel delivers a maximum power reserve of 72 hours. The timepiece also includes a classic screw balance and a freely oscillating balance spring manufactured in-house.
Characteristic of Lange, the three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver is decorated with Glashütte ribbing and the hand-engraved balance cock with the gracefully curved whiplash spring for precision beat adjustment. True to the manufactory’s artisanal standards, the tiny movement parts are finished with lavish polishes and exquisite decorations.
A brand-new addition to the Saxonia family, the Saxonia Thin is a special white gold edition, limited to 50 pieces. The mesmerising deep black dial is crafted in solid silver and coated with black gold flux that contains tiny copper-coloured particles, lending it a subtle shimmer that radiates elegance on the wrist. This rare black gold-flux version follows a Saxonia Thin model presented in 2018 with a blue-red sparkling dial achieved with blue gold flux.
The production process for gold flux dates back to 17th century Venice. A type of glass with copper constituents is heated, resulting in microscopic crystals formed by the copper. It takes utmost care to ensure a homogeneous surface when casting it onto the silver dial.
The 40mm round gold case is a mere 6.2mm high, with a narrow bezel that gives the dial ample space to feature the unusual material of the dial, and complemented by slender hour and minute hands, along with applied baton-style markers. The slim silhouette fits snugly on the wrist with a shiny black leather strap and a prong buckle in 18K white gold.
The Saxonia Thin also houses the thinnest A. Lange & Söhne movement so far. At a mere 2.9 millimetres, the manually wound calibre L093.1 is developed and crafted in-house, and offers power reserve of three days despite its compact size. The two-fold assembly and artisanal finissage of the parts also exemplify the manufactory’s high standards.
Embodying Lange’s quality hallmarks, the Saxonia Thin includes the three-quarter plate with Glashütte ribbing, along with bevelled and polished chamfers. The chamfer of the flat-polished end piece is manually finished to match the three-quarter plate, thus accomplishing visual balance. The ratchet and crown wheels are then decorated with solarisation and visibly integrated into the plate, while three screwed, manually polished gold chatons serve as bearings for the wheel train, transmitting power from the mainspring barrel to the escapement. Located beneath the hand-engraved balance cock that carries the whiplash spring, the freely oscillating screw balance beats at a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations an hour.
Like the rest of the Saxonia family, the additions are rooted in the A. Lange & Söhne tradition of melding minimalistic design and captivating mechanical ingenuity, ready to take you through 2021 and beyond.
Images courtesy of A. Lange & Söhne, artwork by Curatedition.