A. Lange & Söhne: Zeitwerk Powers Up

by Jamie Tan

The second generation of A. Lange & Söhne’s iconic Zeitwerk is its best yet, with both design and technical improvements over the original.

A. Lange & Söhne’s line-up consists of distinct pillars that explore different aspects of watchmaking, from the Richard Lange collection’s pursuit of chronometry to the Odysseus line’s focus on luxury sports elegance. The most progressive among them is arguably the Zeitwerk. First established in 2009, this collection’s calling card is its unique time display, which uses jumping digital indicators to show the hours and minutes. This is significant not least because it marked a first in mechanical watchmaking – the linear arrangement of the indicators also shows the time exactly as it’s written, for unparalleled legibility.

The eponymous Zeitwerk timepiece that started it all has just been updated with both design and technical tweaks, and A. Lange & Söhne has unveiled two new references with these changes to usher in the second generation of the model.

Technical and Aesthetic Upgrades

The most important revisions to the Zeitwerk involve its calibre. For a start, a patented barrel design with two mainsprings has doubled the second-generation Zeitwerk’s power reserve to a longish 72-hours. This means that the watch can be left untouched over the weekend, but still be running and keeping time when picked up on Monday.

Adjusting the timepiece is also significantly more convenient now, as the hour disc can be advanced independently using the pusher at four o’clock. This feature was first introduced in the Zeitwerk Date, and uses a system with a vertical clutch to prevent damage to the movement when adjustments are being made, much like the all-or-nothing mechanism found in some minute repeaters. The minutes are still set using the crown at two o’clock – in both directions, of course.

In terms of design, some subtle revisions have been made to the Zeitwerk’s dial. The curved time bridge, which “houses” the various time-related displays, has been subtly reworked to afford more space for the enlarged small seconds sub-dial. In turn, the relative proportions of the various dial elements are now slightly different. The power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock has been updated too, with the last 12 hours marked in red as a reminder to wind the watch.

Constant Improvements

The original Zeitwerk was groundbreaking due to its innovative display of time. This central feature was accomplished with the support of various other details in the watch such as its constant force mechanism, which guaranteed the movement’s isochronism. By building on the original Zeitwerk, A. Lange & Söhne has created the best version of the model yet. This is yet another example of the brand’s watchmaking philosophy, which emphasises continual improvement in every aspect of a timepiece.

The new Zeitwerk will be available in two colourways: a version in pink gold with a black dial, and a version in platinum with a silver dial.

Images courtesy of A. Lange & Söhne, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.

Related Links:

A. Lange & Söhne: The Mechanical Masters

A. Lange & Söhne: Exceptional Masterpieces

Illuminating an A. Lange & Söhne Classic


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