A. Lange & Söhne capped off its 25th anniversary year in a big way this week, launching its first entirely new collection since 2008 — and it’s a collection many of the German manufacture’s ardent fans might not have expected. Here’s a look at the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus, which debuts as the first regularly produced timepiece in stainless steel, and introduces both a new integrated bracelet and a new in-house movement.
The Odysseus, which the company describes as “sporty-elegant,” sports a 40.5-mm three-part case in stainless steel, with a sculpted and slightly cantilevered middle band, satin-brushed surfaces and chamfered edges. The case, measuring 11.1 mm thick, is integrated into a stainless steel bracelet whose lugs and links feature the same finishes and chamfers. Two sealed, tapered buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock on the case middle are used for quick correction of the date and day-of-the-week indications on the dial. The screw-down crown is another first for a Lange watch, as is the sport-friendly water resistance of 120 meters.
The dark blue dial on the Odysseus hosts a traditional hours and minutes display, on lancet-shaped hands in the brand’s hallmark style, a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, and prominent day-of-the-week and date displays in apertures at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock, respectively. Like the bracelet, the dial features subtle, sophisticated detailing: the outer edge of the dial and subdial have an azurage surface, while the inner surfaces are grained; the argenté-colored flange is beveled, with a printed minute scale; the notched, baton-shaped hour indices are made of white gold and have luminous coating. A red-colored numeral “60” appears at 12 o’clock on the minutes scale, and the letters and numerals of the calendar indications are in a typical Lange font and printed white on blue backgrounds.
Inside the case is a new, self-winding, manufacture movement, the L155.1 Datomatic (the name refers to the combination of a date mechanism with an automatic winding system), which can be admired through a transparent sapphire caseback. The unidirectionally winding rotor has a central mass made of platinum, includes black rhodiumed elements, and is openworked to allow a view of the meticulously finished movement elements that Lange lovers have come to expect. The caliber measures 32.9 mm in diameter and is composed of 312 total parts, including the 99 parts that make up the newly developed mechanism that drives the day and date displays. German silver is used for all the movement’s framing parts, the balance bridge is engraved by hand, the freely oscillating balance spring is made in-house, and a screwed gold chaton, another hallmark of the Saxon watchmaker’s movements, secures the upper bearing jewel of the escape-wheel arbor. The balance oscillates at 28,800 vph and the movement stores a power reserve of 50 hours when fully wound.
Finally, the Odysseus bracelet has been engineered for maximum comfort and versatility in the manner of a classical sports watch. Its safety-deployant buckle, with an engraved Lange emblem, ensures that the bracelet’s length can be adjusted in small increments up to 7 mm by pressing on the pushers. It’s also designed to accommodate additional links if an extension is needed. The Odysseus — which establishes the sixth pillar of the A. Lange & Söhne brand, along with the Lange 1, Saxonia, 1815, Richard Lange, and Zeitwerk — will retail for $28,800.