Three years ago, the renowned Saxon brand launched its very successful model Lange Zeitwerk, a very innovative watch with a new type of time display and applied technological innovations. It was the watch that featured a jumping numerals mechanism which enabled an innovative manner of displaying the current time. Furthermore, it was the first timekeeper that included a constant-force escapement whose purpose was to control the instantaneous changes of hour and minute displays, as well as to drive the balance of the movement with practically constant force and thus stabilizing the rate of stability. This fall, A. Lange & Söhne is launching a special limited edition of the watch called Zeitwerk Handwerkskunst with the intricate decorations on its case, dial and exquisite hand-wound movement.
Ever since its launch, the innovative piece by the German watchmaker has earned a lot of praise and received relevant awards, so the decision to create its special version seems like a logical step. The name of the timekeeper, Handwerkskunst (a German word for craftsmanship), indicates precision and the lusciousness of the decorations that are visible on the main parts of the product. Its beautiful white gold dial with black-rhodiumed treatment is decorated with a highly complex granular pattern called tremblage. It is a process conducted by hand and with upmost precision, in which the craftsman manually controls the movement of a lining burin on the surface in multiple directions, in order to create a striking and delicate motif. Another impressive touch is the raised inscriptions on the dial: the brand’s curved logo and the power storage indication. As it is the case with all of the Zeitwerk timekeepers by the Saxon brand, the bridge that is used for the jump hour and minutes is made of rhodiumed German silver with a linear grain finish. Standing in contrast to the rest of the dial, this silver time bridge incorporates all of the time indications, including the jumping hour and minute display, as well as a gray small seconds sub-counter which is made from sterling silver (another trait of the Zeitwerk watches).
As a perfect supplement to the eye-catching combination of precious materials and impressive finishes on the dial, stands its platinum case with brushed finishing on the sides, joined with a stationary bezel and lugs in the same material, but with a mirror polished finish. The case-back of the watch is also numbered to indicate the place in the limited edition which is also made by hand-engraving.
However, the list of distinguished features of the product is far from over. Lange Zeitwerk Hanwerkskunst is equipped with the extremely intricate in-house made hand-wound mechanical caliber L043.4 whose appearance is further enriched with a host of fine decorations. The movement’s three-quarter plate which is, once again, forged from German silver features hand-engraved lettering on a granular surface. Furthermore, the caliber has a chiseled relief engraving on the mainspring barrel that appears as it is embossed, a free-hand engraving on the escapement and a balance wheel. A cherry on the top of the cake of decorations resides on the top side of the bridge for the escapement; it sports a black polished finish, a finishing technique that requires more time and precision than the other ones.
Even without these captivating decorations, the movement of the new limited edition piece by A.Lange & Söhne is more than outstanding. The manufacture caliber L043.4 has 425 components and integrates 68 jewels and two screwed gold chatons. It runs on the frequency of 18,000 vph, and is supplied with shock-resistance and a power storage that lasts for a day and a half. The manufacture caliber also has a trait that serves as homage to the brand’s proud tradition. It includes a Glashütte lever escapement, and the escape wheel and the lever forged of hardened 18K gold. It is the technical solution devised during the 19th century by Ferdinand A.Lange, caused by the facts that this metal is insensitive to magnetic field, and that the modern steel based alloys with the same traits were not available at the time. Due to the clever design, the lever remains exceptionally balanced in any position. Additionally, the pallets are a bit curved to minimize the friction that occurs between them and the escape wheel. All of the mentioned characteristics ultimately improve its accuracy.
A.Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Handwerkskunst (reference number 140.048) features a housing that is 41.9 mm wide and 16.9 mm thick. On its face and transparent case back, the manufacturer used sapphire (hardness 9), while the attachment of choice is a black hand-stitched crocodile strap that fastens with a Lange-prong platinum buckle.
The new limited edition by the Saxon watchmaker consists of only 30 pieces, and it is available only in the company’s boutiques around the world. Anyone who wants to have this exclusive timekeeper will have to pay about $125,000 for the privilege.