A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in copper blue
The A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in copper blue upholds the German company’s reputation for technical virtuosity and sublime craftsmanship. However, the twinkling dial epidermis of this watch distinguishes if from its siblings, imbuing it with a unique and incredibly alluring appearance.
This detailed review of the A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in copper blue includes live images, specification details and pricing.
Responsibilities deprive many adults of dreams. The optimism derived from staring at a midnight sky is sometimes lost with the onset of middle-age. Now, A. Lange & Sohne has produced a watch which provides its wearer the means to escape the tiresome routine of everyday life. The A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in copper blue provides the possibility to momentarily flee responsibilities and briefly enter a world of beauty.
The A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in copper blue is endowed with a bewitching copper blue dial which emulates a star-spangled nocturnal sky. However, beyond its pulchritudinous appearance, there is much technical virtue to enrich the appeal of this high-end German watch.
Part of the allure of the Saxonia Thin has always been its minimalist, uncluttered dial. Two lancine hands, gold elongated batons and tasteful branding, successfully collaborate to deliver a refined appearance. Indeed, nothing mars the simplicity of this dial or inhibits interpretation.
The dial of the new A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in copper blue makes this watch even more noticeable. Goldstone or aventurine glass, a glass-making technique developed in Venice during the 17th century, is employed on this latest Lange model. It was conceived by accident when an artisan accidentally dropped metal shavings into a glass mixture. The surface of the dial is suffused with flecks of twinkling metal. The circular section of aventurine glass is affixed to a solid silver disc.
The white rhodiumed gold applied batons and hands confer excellent readability and tastefully coalesce with the aforementioned blued-toned vista. Indeed, none of the dial components conflict or overwhelm the overall aesthetic.
Historically, Lange has offered the Saxonia Thin in two case sizes, 40mm and 37mm. However, the A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in copper blue is presented in a new case, measuring 39mm. This size should have universal appeal to prospective purchasers, irrespective of their physical stature or gender.
As the name of this watch implies, the A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in copper blue has a slender waistline. Measuring 6.2 millimetres in height, the timepiece provides a comfortable wrist pairing and its close relationship with the arm ensures the watch sits neatly beneath a shirt cuff.
All surfaces of the case are highly polished, save for the straight-sided case-band which is satin-brushed. This latter detail tempers the brilliance of the adjacent polished surfaces, helping to reinforce the understated personality of the watch.
A key attribute of any Lange timepiece is the mechanical refinement of the movement. Thankfully, Lange equip the A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in copper blue with an exhibition case-back, sating the desires of curious, loupe-wielding purists.
The watch is supplied on a sumptuous dark blue alligator leather strap paired with a white gold pin buckle. Its surface is glossy, adding a note of flamboyance to proceedings.
The A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in copper blue is equipped with the Lange manufacture calibre L093.1. This manually wound movement is an exemplar of no-compromise watchmaking. It is this prowess for making manufacture movements to an exalted standard which has led Lange to be revered by connoisseurs.
The calibre L093.1 measures 28mm in diameter with a height of just 2.9mm. I am pleased to see that Lange has not been tempted to make the movement any thinner. Some watch companies seem obsessed with making ever-slimmer movements, seemingly ignoring the potential downsides. An ultra-thin movement can, by its very nature, lack rigidity and may prove unreliable in the long term. By ensuring there is sufficient depth to the calibre L093.1, this movement should offer excellent long term reliability. Another characteristic of this movement is that it is endowed with a three-quarter plate, again, augmenting stability.
An attribute which all Lange watches share is flawless finishing. Indeed, few companies can surpass the exquisite hand-craftsmanship manifest with this brand’s products. The plates and bridges are made of untreated German silver. This material acquires a patina with time, evincing a yellowy-hue which is highly prized by the cognoscenti. The three-quarter plate is engraved with golden text and adorned with Glashütte ribbing. The crown and ratchet wheels are embellished with a solarised motif.
The calibre L093.1 is composed of 167 parts of which 21 are jewels. Three of the jewels are set in gold chatons, held in position with thermally blued screws. The edges of the ‘three-quarter plate, the whiplash spring and even the slots of the blued screws are chamfered and polished’. Two of my favourite aspects of this movement are the end piece of the escape wheel and the hand-engraved balance cock.
The end piece of the escape wheel is mirror-polished. This technique, sometimes called ‘black polishing’ or ‘specular polishing’ is the most challenging polishing technique to execute. It necessitates polishing a component on a tinplate using diamantine paste. The objective is to produce a perfectly flat surface with a mirror-like appearance which appears to morph from silver to black depending on the angle the metal is held. Needless to say, the mirror-polishing on the calibre L093.1 is perfect.
Lange timepieces are also known for their gorgeous balance cocks. The balance cock is affixed with a thermally blued screw. Its upper surface is hand-engraved by a time-served artisan. Each engraver has their own, unique motif, imbuing every Lange with a wonderful quotient of individuality.
Sat atop the balance cock on this timepiece is a swan-neck regulator. The movement features a screwed balance. The frequency of the balance is 21,600 vph (3Hz). Lange is one of the few watch companies known to make its own hairsprings, another fact which reinforces its technical capability.
Despite possessing a svelte torso, the A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in copper blue has an impressive power reserve of 72 hours. The German manufacture states that the mainspring is flat, helping endow the watch with a slender profile.
The objective of any watch is to reliably indicate the prevailing time. The A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in copper blue deftly imparts the time with two elegant hands. The meaning of the hands is clear and free of ambiguity. However, as I hope I have conveyed this timepiece proffers a myriad of other qualities which distinguish it as exceptional.
The 18-carat white gold case quietly sits adjacent the handsome blue dial. The subtle band of satin-brush on the case-band is indicative of the considered approach to design. With its case-band measuring 39mm in diameter and 6.2 mm in height, the Saxonia Thin in copper blue should suit most potential wearers.
A key strength of this watch is the hand-wound movement. Technical merit sits alongside flawless finishing. Despite a world which wholeheartedly embraces automation, Lange demonstrates that the use of adroit hands and age-old methods continues to thrive in this watchmaking enclave of Saxony.
Ultimately all roads lead me back to the goldstone dial. The Saxonia Thin in copper blue is very different from its siblings. The surface appears almost ‘glamorous’, a word I am not accustomed to using when describing a Lange timepiece, however, on this occasion it seems most apt. Behind the glass veneer of its prepossessing dial is a technical probity which I find equally attractive. Indeed, the A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in copper blue is a beautiful watch with many virtues.
- Model: A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin in cobalt blue
- Reference: 205.086
- Case: 18-carat white gold; diameter 39.0mm, height 6.2mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back.
- Functions: Hours; minutes.
- Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L093.1; hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 vph (3Hz); 21 jewels; power reserve 72 hours.
- Strap: Dark blue alligator strap with white gold pin buckle.
- Price: £17,900 (RRP as at 20.8.2018)