The new Odysseus Chronograph is the first-ever automatic chronograph from A. Lange & Söhne The new Odysseus Chronograph is the first-ever automatic chronograph from A. Lange & Söhne

The new Odysseus Chronograph is the first-ever automatic chronograph from A. Lange & Söhne

Zach Blass
  • Four years after its introduction, the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus is now presented in a chronograph format
  • First-ever automatic chronograph calibre for A. Lange & Söhne – the new L156.1 DATOMATIC® calibre
  • Boutique exclusive limited edition of 100 pcs.

Lange & Söhne Odysseus chronograph

I hesitate to use the phrase ‘alternative’ here. Upon its introduction four years ago, the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus was lauded as the German alternative to the highly sought-after holy trinity integrated steel sports timepieces – the Overseas, Royal Oak, and Nautilus. But the Odysseus’ well-deserved success is not due to the fact it is a great alternative, rather its unobtanium status the result of it being a credible rival that has the Swiss shaking in their boots. The Odysseus design excels because it ticks all of the necessary boxes to present a technical offering on par or above its rivals, but in a manner distinct to the German aesthetic and design codes of the manufacture. Nothing about its design is borrowed or familiar, and if anything is familiar, it is to Lange-lovers, because of its through line to A. Lange & Söhne design alone. Till now, we have simply had new materials and dials for the existing Odysseus design. Today, the Odysseus is further complicating the integrated design game of thrones with the new A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph Limited Edition.

Lange & Söhne Odysseus chronograph

To offer an Odysseus Chronograph was a natural and perfect evolution of the collection, as Lange’s chronograph watches are amongst the most revered in the world – legendary watchmaker Philippe Dufour himself a proud Datograph owner, with his preferred model since nicknamed the “Dufourgraph”. A. Lange & Söhne, however, does not cut corners in regard to movement development. Each new design is outfitted with a calibre designed specifically for the watch its placed in – its size and functionality tailored for the specific timepiece. This led A. Lange & Söhne to develop their first-ever automatic chronograph calibre.

Lange & Söhne Odysseus chronograph

The new calibre L156.1 DATOMATIC® offers two things their previous calibres could not. Firstly, as a their sole sports watch, the chronograph needed to be an automatic in order to best suit the purpose and mission of the watch. Secondly, again in the vein of sports design, the L156.1 is the first of their chronograph calibres to utilise a full balance bridge which affords greater protection against shock. Although a sports chronograph calibre, it remains decorated to A. Lange & Söhne’s exceedingly high standards and utilises a platinum winding rotor for greater winding efficiency and added precious value. It is a 50-hour power reserve calibre that offers Lange’s zero-reset function that resets the running seconds hand to zero when the crown is pulled out to the appropriate position. With the pushers now used for the chronograph functionality, the newly developed calibre allows the day and date indications to be adjusted via the crown.

Lange & Söhne Odysseus chronograph

From the dial side of the watch, everything about the watch remains as it was before with the exception being the addition of two central hands and red ‘chronograph’ text at 12′. The running small seconds remains at 6′, the day-display at 9′, and the date-display at 3′. The new central hands are a neat and clean method of introducing the chronograph complication into the mix without overcomplicating the Odysseus layout that has already won so many over. The red-coated hand serves as your central chronograph seconds hand, while the white-metal lozenge-tipped hand acts as the 60-minute elapsed-minutes counter. Look closely at the outer perimeter of the dial, and you will notice a stepped outer minutes track with a flat ring behind it that displays fractions of a second for finer chronograph recording. Also, in Lange’s constant pursuit of perfection in the details, the direction the chronograph hands reset, clockwise or anti-clockwise, is contingent on where they are stopped – programmed to reset the shortest and distance and allowing for a quicker reset.

With the introduction of the chronograph complication, the Odysseus Chronograph is a tad larger than its predecessors – its stainless steel case 42mm in diameter, versus 40.5mm, and 14.2mm thick versus 11.1mm. It continues to use a screw-down crown to further secure its 120 metre depth rating, and uses the now-familiar bracelet design layout with precision adjustment system.

A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph pricing and availability:

Lange & Söhne Odysseus chronograph

The A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph is a boutique exclusive, limited to 100 pieces. Price: POA

Model
Reference Number 463.178,
Case Dimensions 42.5mm (D) x 14.2mm (T)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 120 metres
Dial Matte black textured surface
Crystal(s) Sapphire crystal
Strap Stainless steel bracelet
Movement L156.1 Datomatic, in-house, automatic chronograph
Power Reserve 50 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, small seconds, grande date and day, chronograph with central seconds hand and 60-minute counter
Availability Limited to 100 pieces, boutique exclusive
Price POA