A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Outsize Date
The A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Outsize Date is now available with an argenté-coloured dial and offered in a choice of two case materials, white gold or pink gold. These latest models sit alongside the existing versions endowed with black dials. Named after the state of Saxony, these watches pay respect to the German state which is now the epicentre of the nation’s watchmaking industry.
In 1948, shortly after World War II, Lange’s German Manufactory ceased operations. Up to this point, it had been trading continuously since 1845 after Ferdinand Adolph Lange set up his business in Glashütte, a former mining town in Saxony and recruited 15 apprentices.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Walter Lange grasped the opportunity to revive the family firm, first started by his great grandfather. As a result, the company returned to the watchmaking scene in 1990 after a 40-year hiatus. Today, A. Lange & Söhne is known to watch aficionados around the world and has become a byword for understated elegance, mechanical excellence and peerless finishing.
After the Manufactory reopened, the German marque released four models (1994), including the Saxonia, the Tourbillon ‘Pour le Mérite’, the Arkade and the Lange 1. The latter watch has since become the face of the brand, courtesy of its off-centre hour and minute display, small seconds and ‘large outsize date’.
The ‘large outsize date’ was inspired by the Five-Minute Clock in Dresden’s Semperoper, the Saxon state opera. The date is imparted using two discs, via two apertures. Both discs are seemingly at the same height, but there is actually a minuscule gap between the two as the ‘units’ disc passes beneath the ‘tens’ disc.
In 2018, the German brand released the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Outsize Date with a black dial and offered the model in two case options, white gold or pink gold. Unlike the Lange 1, the outsize date was not biased to one side of the dial but located below noon.
Now, the über-luxurious watch firm has released two additional versions of the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Outsize Date with an argenté-coloured dial, one in pink gold and the other in white gold.
Price: £23,500 (RRP as at 8.12.2020)
The brand’s press release (December 2020)
Günter Blümlein, who together with Walter Lange re-established A. Lange & Söhne 30 years ago, said: “A Lange watch is a fusion of the arts. It melds the passion of watchmakers for mechanical solutions and craftsmanship with the inimitable style of the manufactory and its venerable history.” Presented in 2018, the SAXONIA OUTSIZE DATE lives up to this ambition in every respect. The two versions with black dials are now complemented by two versions with argenté-coloured dials.
The name SAXONIA refers to the impressive history of Saxony. The region in south-east Germany leveraged its inventiveness and imagination as an early pioneer in the country’s industrialisation. Ferdinand Adolph Lange, the architect of Saxon fine watchmaking, also contributed to the reputation of the state with his exclusive and innovative pocket watches. His unfaltering quest to persistently improve mechanisms and thus make them more precise still constitutes the foundation of Lange’s entrepreneurial philosophy. It is reflected in each of the twelve models of the current SAXONIA watch family.
A distinctive style
Starting in 1990, Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s great-grandson Walter Lange contributed significantly to the renaissance of Saxon precision watchmaking. When asked what characterises an A. Lange & Söhne watch, he said: “It was important to us from the very beginning to develop decidedly modern timepieces with sleek, classic looks.” In the SAXONIA OUTSIZE DATE, the true Lange style embraces numerous design details such as the chamfered and polished solid-gold baton appliques. The outsize date is another typical element featured in the launch of the first wristwatch collection in 1994, which included the first SAXONIA model. On the clearly and minimalistically designed dial with applied baton indices in solid gold, it is positioned at 12 o’clock. The subsidiary seconds dial at the 6 o’clock position counterbalances the face. With a diameter of 38.5 millimetres and a height of 9.6 millimetres, the case in white gold or pink gold exhibits classic proportions.
Mechanical finesse and craftsmanship
The common denominator of all Lange watches is the attention to detail invested in finissage and the passion for technology, artisanship, and materiality. Assembled by hand twice, the self-winding manufacture calibre of the SAXONIA OUTSIZE DATE is an impressive example. It is based on the calibre L086.1 of the SAXONIA AUTOMATIC. Due to the complex date mechanism, the number of parts increased to 286, up from 209 in the basic movement. The extraordinary design features two separate display surfaces for the units and tens that are at least twice as large as in watches of a comparable size. This significantly enhances legibility.
A large central rotor with ball bearings and a platinum centrifugal mass assure efficient winding of the automatic L086.8 movement. The strong mainspring barrel delivers a maximum power reserve of 72 hours. Further mechanical highlights include a classic screw balance and a freely oscillating balance spring manufactured in-house. The characteristic Lange style comes to the fore in various movement details such as the three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver decorated with Glashütte ribbing and the hand-engraved balance cock with the elegantly curved whiplash spring for precision beat adjustment. The finissage of the tiny movement parts with lavish polishes and exquisite decorations corresponds to the high artisanal standards for which A. Lange & Söhne is known.
Thus, in the SAXONIA OUTSIZE DATE, design, mechanical prowess, and craftsmanship interact to form a fusion of the arts that lives up to the founders’ ambitions in every respect.