This week, the Palexpo facility in Geneva, Switzerland, will become the center of the watch world for the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, or SIHH, a luxury watch show rivaled only by BaselWorld in relevance and prestige. We’ve got a team on the ground, there to bring you the most exciting releases. Follow our coverage here, and also be sure to check out Instagram. We’ll be posting to our feed throughout the week.
Case Diameter: 44.2mm
Case Thickness: 12.3mm
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Unique Features: “Digital” time display; date ring
Upshot: What better way to celebrate the tenth anniversary of one of the most distinctive models in horology than to give it a significant upgrade? That’s what A. Lange & Söhne has done with the Zeitwerk, a decade-old model known for its bold “digital” presentation of the time (which means that it uses numbers instead of analog hands like traditional watches) for SIHH this year. The resulting model, the Zeitwerk Date, adds a ring around the edge of the case that presents the current day in red. Much as the hour and minute windows do when they have to present a new time, the date window changes instantaneously at midnight.
Who It’s For: You’ve got to appreciate a big watch in order to want the Zeitwerk Date. While most of the timepieces we really go for fall under 40mm, the Zeitwerk Date clocks in at a hefty 44.2mm. That’s in large part due to its highly legible date ring that runs the entire circumference of the watch. It’s also a great option for movement nerds. Moving multiple disks of numbers instantaneously at the end of every minute, hour and day is a lot harder than keeping a few slender hands ticking smoothly. A lot harder. The manually wound calibre L043.8 is a workhorse movement that keeps everything moving on schedule.
First Impressions: Where to start? First and foremost: the Zeitwerk Date is a great looking watch. There’s nothing else on the market that features its innovative mechanical-digital display, and the addition of a date ring makes it even more functional. It’s the kind of thing that can serve as a wearable conversation starter, but in the best way possible. Because it’s grounded in traditional horology and just happens to look markedly different from your standard fine watch, it’s a great way to satisfy both collectors’ thirst for something new and the curiosity of people just getting into watches at the same time.
Insight: Other than perhaps the new edition of the Lange 1, the Zeitwerk Date is the biggest innovation we’ve seen from this house at SIHH 2019. This underscores Lange’s commitment to attracting people who want something beyond traditional, three-hand watches with hard-to-pronounce complications. Which means that when we think about innovation in the watch space, Lange is one of the first names that comes to mind.