The Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen Is the Ultimate A. Lange & Söhne Watch

It combines many of the German brand's most notable attributes in one timepiece.

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Watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne is passionately acclaimed for its impressive engineering, refined finishing and German sensibility — if you've held any "Lange" watch in your hand you know it's something special. The brand also has a few signatures that it's particularly known for, three of which have come together in a single watch, the Zeitwerk Honeygold "Lumen," which celebrates the modern company's (re-)birthday.

The Zeitwerk is a distinctive watch to begin with, featuring a digital time display with the hours indicated in an aperture on the left and balanced by the minutes on the right. Don't let the term "digital" throw you off, though, as this is a fully mechanical, hand-wound watch — the minutes display itself is "digital" in the sense that a separate disc is used for each digit, jumping instantaneously and precisely as the minute changes. Only the seconds (at 6 o'clock) and power reserve (12 o'clock) use traditional analog displays.

Although the information displayed is simple, all of this makes for some complicated mechanics underneath and a strikingly interesting and original watch. This is the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk as we know it, typically executed with otherwise conservative aesthetics and finishes, as is the case for the majority of Lange watches. Sometimes, though, the brand gets a little edgy, modern and perhaps even sporty with its "Lumen" models. These are watches that emphasize the bold numerals with strong luminescent paint and feature semi-transparent dials so you can see the discs beneath as they do their dance.

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It's not hyperbole to state that the standard production Zeitwerk is itself is exceptional, but in a Lumen execution it feels even more so, doubling down on its modern demeanor. But the brand wasn't done making its birthday launch special: You see, A. Lange & Söhne has its own gold alloy called Honeygold which, just like it sounds, has a pale but warm hue that must be seen in person to be fully appreciated. In addition to these external features, this Zeitwerk is also powered by a new movement that increases its power reserve to a pretty decent 72 hours.

Although familiar, Honeygold and Lumen treatments from the brand are still rare and typically saved for special editions. Although neither these elements nor the Zeitwerk model are themselves new, in combination they make for something of an "ultimate Lange" watch for many brand fans. And many of us will remain fans and admire these creations from afar, but if you've got $145,000 to spend on a watch, you could do a lot worse than a remarkable version of one of the most interesting and impressive timepieces made today.

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