Three years ago, Germany’s A. Lange & Söhne released its first-ever chiming wristwatch, the Lange Zeitwerk Striking Time, which combined a dial-side chiming mechanism with the Zeitwerk model’s unconventional, mechanical-digital time display. At this year’s SIHH, Lange released a new model with a rose-gold case, silver dial and rose-gold hands.
Unlike most repeaters and other chiming watches, the A. Lange & Söhne Lange Zeitwerk Striking Time has its chiming mechanism integrated into the dial design. The black-polished steel hammers are located on either side of the large small-seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. The hammer on the right strikes the quarter hours and the one on the left, the full hours. The two gongs, which are embedded in a recess between the dial and the bezel, are also visible from the dial side. Every 15 minutes, the mechanism triggers the striking of one of the gongs — three high-pitched chimes for each quarter hour and one one low-pitched chime for the top of every full hour. Another useful innovation that Lange’s watchmakers incorporated into the Lange Zeitwerk Striking Time is a device that can deactivate the chiming mechanism whenever the owner wishes to not be disturbed by it — i.e., in an important business meeting, on a date, or overnight. Simply press the push-piece at 4 o’clock and the hammers raise away from the gongs and hold in place, thus silencing the watch. Since this occurs on the dial side, under the sapphire crystal, it is easy for the owner to tell whether the chimes are set to “off” or “on.”
Even when the chiming is switched off, the wearer can still rely on the Zeitwerk’s distinctive digital time display to read the current hours, minutes and seconds. The two large, precisely jumping numerals, controlled by a patented constant-force escapement, advance minute by minute in fractions of a second until the change of the hour, when all three numeral disks jump forward simultaneously in exactly one increment. Meanwhile, the large subdial at 6 o’clock displays the seconds, and an arc-shaped power reserve indicator occupies the space at 12 o’clock, completing the watch’s symmetrical dial design. The watch’s manual-winding manufacture movement, Lange Caliber L043.2, is visible through a clear, sapphire caseback. It is decorated and assembled by hand and features various decorative finishes, as well as a shock-resistant balance with eccentric poising weights and an in-house-manufactured balance spring. The movement has 528 parts, including 78 jewels, a frequency of 18,000 vph and a power reserve of 36 hours when fully wound. The rose-gold case is 44.2 mm in diameter and the “argenté” dial is made of solid silver. The watch comes on a hand-stitched red-brown crocodile strap with a rose-gold pronged buckle. The price of the Lange Zeitwerk Striking Time in rose gold is $117,500.