Kristian Haagen walks the walk, talks the talk and owns the watches. To go to the next level in this watch caper you need some skin in the game. Haagen’s collection is all game. It’s incredible. The A.Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Calendar in platinum, the Zeitwerk, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980 to name just three. Ringing any bells? Yep, he’s all that, and aside from stare lovingly at his watch winder, he also somehow manages to be an editor, publisher (we are huge fans of Hashtags and Watches), tastemaker and an avid lover of camo. We caught up recently at a watch fair and, on a couch in the middle of a hallway, we broached the really big questions, like, if you’re going to scratch your girlfriend’s back with a watch, does it make any difference what brand it is? Why do we still come to watch fairs, anyway? What is the future of watchmaking? What are we going to see more of? “Up, up, up,” Kristian says, though we’re not sure if he’s talking about his own stocks, which we can confirm, are well and truly on the rise. It’s guys like these that make the watch industry a great place… Read More
A. Lange & Söhne is one of the indisputable heavy-weights of the watch industry, with a credibility and cachet rivalling that of Patek Philippe. And this year at SIHH the German brand unveiled their new champion – the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon. This watch is essentially a greatest hits compilation – their iconic Datograph chronograph, a perpetual calendar and a tourbillon, all in one awe-inspiring, platinum package. Lange already had a Datograph perpetual on the books, first released 10 years ago, which they updated last year, so you might think it would be a relatively simple feat of mechanical engineering to take the already stunning L952.1 movement and throw in a tourbillon. But no. This is Lange, remember? The only thing that remains unchanged is the almost sacred mechanism that is the Datograph chronograph. Everything else has been comprehensively upgraded. So what do you get? The 792-part movement features a flyback chronograph with a jumping minute counter – along with a perpetual calendar in which every indicator jumps instantaneously at midnight, including Lange’s hallmark big date. Then there’s the day/night indicator and leap year indicator, which have been redesigned for better readability. You also get a discreet power reserve indicator on… Read More
The watches of A. Lange & Söhne are defined by their refined design and peerless finishing techniques. The Saxonia Moonphase more than lives up to this promise. One of the critical hits of SIHH 2016, Lange have added a moonphase complication alongside their iconic big date. Because Lange are the masters of over-engineering they haven’t settled for any old moonphase on their brand new automatic movement – instead opting for a more precise option which is accurate for 122.6 years. Lange’s moonphase isn’t just extremely accurate, it’s extremely good looking, and the 40mm Lange is a real joy to wear. The moonphase disc shines with a constellation of 852 individually laser-etched stars. The A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moonphase has an indicative Australian retail price of $40,000.
We’ve already explained what honey gold – the unique alloy used to case this special edition of A. Lange & Söhne’s 1815 – is, but it’s really a metal that benefits from close inspection. Of course, in an ideal world you visit your local Lange stockist, but if that’s not realistic we’ve got the next best thing. This video clearly shows off the warm, not-quite-yellow yet not-quite-red nature of the honey gold alloy. And who better to explain the watch than A. Lange & Söhne’s PR Director, Mr Arnd Einhorn – a man comfortable highlighting the key features of this limited edition, even when he’s only got 60 seconds on the clock.
The story in a second: Lange give their icon a serious update When it was first unveiled in 1994, no one had seen a watch quite like the Lange 1, with its distinct, geometrically harmonious dial. In subsequent years, the Lange 1 came to define the German brand’s pure aesthetic and impeccable technical pedigree. A resolutely contemporary looking watch, it might be surprising to learn that its roots were far from modern. In fact, it dates back to 1841, when Ferdinand A. Lange completed an innovative digital five minute clock for the Semper Opera House in Dresden. It was this historic clock that served as the muse serves as the inspiration for the Lange 1’s distinctive large date complication. The watch recently underwent an upgrade, and here’s what we think. The dial One of the most distinctive in the business, the Lange 1 dial is a deconstructed assemblage of date, power reserve, seconds and time. In theory, all this should make it cluttered and complicated, but thanks to the brand’s respect for good design based on the mathematical principles of the Golden Ratio, the dial is very balanced It’s also very German – a model of sober restraint expressed in… Read More
With its distinct and geometrically harmonious dial it was unlike anything else available at the time. In the subsequent years the Lange 1 came to define the German brand’s pure aesthetic and impeccable technical pedigree. Given the resolutely contemporary look of the watch, it’s surprising to learn that the original inspiration for it spans back to 1841, when Ferdinand A. Lange completed a digital five minute clock for the Semper Opera House in Dresden. This historic clock inspired the Lange 1’s distinctive large date complication. The Lange 1 (pictured here in platinum) had a major upgrade in 2015 – not that you’d know from glancing at the stunning rhodium dial, which remains largely unchanged. The movement is a different story – Lange have used a completely new calibre, boasting numerous improved features. For example the large date now changes instantaneously at midnight, and when the power reserve runs down, the seconds hand will automatically stop at zero – allowing for greater accuracy when resetting the time. Lange have also added an improved escapement with an in-house hairspring. All small changes, but they add up. That the brand decided to significantly improve a key model in their collection, because they felt… Read More
A little while ago we caught up with Wilhelm Schmid, CEO of A. Lange & Söhne, to learn the story behind Germany’s most prestigious watch brand. We discovered that 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of founder F. A. Lange, the man who turned a rural town in eastern Germany into a hub of watchmaking excellence. We also spoke to Schmid about the brand’s spectacular rebirth in 1994, just a few years after the reunification of Germany, with four completely new timepieces that went on to define A. Lange & Sohne and had a huge impact on contemporary watch design in general.