It’s tough to argue with A. Lange and Söhne’s watchmaking prowess — the company is continuously offering some of the best timepieces to come not only out of Germany, but also the world. They seem to effortlessly craft über-complicated pieces as if by magic, wowing the watch community year after year with their incredible horological creations.
While the Datograph chronograph has received updates in the past few years, this one is largely aesthetic — but it looks so damn cool that we would be remiss not to write about it. It’s the Datograph Up/Down Lumen, a fully lumed version of the iconic chronograph with power reserve indicator that glows like something one would expect to set off a Geiger counter. Of course, Lange being Lange, it didn’t simply slather a beautiful watch in liberal doses of luminous material, but instead rethought the entire concept of luminosity by crafting a semi-transparent dial for the watch. The digital date window, which is composed of two different displays, also glows a striking green.
How does this work exactly? The date discs, which are visible beneath the semi-transparent dial, are printed with black numerals on transparent glass. These glass discs rotate above a luminous background, and the entire apparatus is visible beneath the dial. During the day, as you wear the watch, the elements “recharge” in ambient light, and then at night, they cause the date display to glow. The hour and minute hands are of course also lumed, as is the sweep seconds hands. Even the tachymeter scale and power reserve arrow glow green. Everything glows!
The movement in the Datograph Lumen almost steals the show from the glowing dial side.
The Datograph Up/Down Lumen is the fourth in Lange’s series of Lumen watches. Each uses a special coating on the sapphire crystal to filter out the majority of visible light without filtering the part of the UV spectrum needed to charge the luminous pigements. The Datograph Up/Down, launched in 2012, includes a power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock to let the wearer know how much of the 60 hours’ worth of power remains at any given time. The Up/Down itself was a development upon the Datograph, a flyback chronograph first launched in 1999 that put Lange on the map for complicated watchmaking. The model remains a benchmark in the industry, and if the original or the Up/Down version weren’t enough, for $100,500 you can get yourself this über cool, semi-transparent platinum version, made in a limited run of 200 pieces.
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