Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.
Star German watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne has had an exciting year. They made quite a stir in October with the debut of their first “casual watch,” the Odysseus, effectively delivering the perfect product to those who long adored the idea of a Lange, but wanted something sportier that could be worn without worry.
Or, at least with less worry — the Odysseus is still a $28,000+ watch. However, we seem to be looping back around to more familiar, precious metal-Lange territory, effectively closing the loop on this outlier of a timepiece: the Odysseus is now available in white gold.
The Odysseus in White Gold
There you have it. You can have your Lange “casual watch,” but this version sits firmly within more typical Lange territory in that it’s, well — not steel. Two new versions are available for $40,600: one with a hand-stitched leather strap in dark brown with a grey seam, and one in black rubber.
Key Specs: $40,600; white gold case; water-resistant to 120m
The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater
But the new Odysseus isn’t the only new debut from the Lange: The Zeitwerk is the type of watch that continues to make the brand a standout in modern watchmaking, as it does here in a new iteration. This über-complicated minute repeater with jumping numerical display was previously only available in platinum, but now you can nab a white gold version. (You’ll have to be quick, though, as it’s only being produced in 30 examples.)
Key Specs: ~$486,070 in Europe; 44.2mm case; minute repeater complication
Lange specializes in incredibly complicated watches with unique designs and features, mostly available in precious metal cases. The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater is no exception — it’s the only watch in the world that combines a decimal minute repeater with a mechanical jumping hour display. Given the sheer amount of man-hours needed to build such a watch — let alone develop it — it’s no surprise that Lange would offer it in several metals. (Indeed, to do otherwise would seem a waste.) Lange will no doubt continue to do what it does best, iterating and improving upon the type of complicated timepieces that very few watchmakers have the ability to make.
The launch of the Odysseys last year was a big step in a new direction for the German brand, but given the popularity of the steel, blue chip sports watch category and the supposed clamoring of Lange’s customer’s for a sport model, we can’t say it was a huge surprise. The watch, though divisive, was evidently a hit with Lange devotees, and also provides a solid alternative for folks who can’t get their hands on a Nautilus or Royal Oak.
It’s interesting to see the Odysseus available in white gold, bringing us back into Lange’s bread-and-butter territory. However, it’s more interesting to see it offered in this metal without a matching bracelet, which would have seemed a given its supposed function as a “casual watch.” (A white gold Lange “casual watch” on a rubber strap strikes me as a watch that doesn’t quite know what it’s intended use is.) The new precious metal case already jacks the price up by some $12,000, but we can only imagine that customer in the market for a mid-five-figure watch can probably cough up the extra scratch for a matching bracelet. Maybe we can count on one of these in the future?
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