One of the world’s most prestigious watchmaking brands, A. Lange & Söhne, will present the new and improved version of its Datograph at the upcoming SIHH at Geneva. The new model was originally dubbed Datograph Auf/Ab, but this name was subsequently changed to English translation Datograph Up/Down. This timepiece is the latest incarnation of the model that debuted back in 1999. The differences between these two models are subtle, yet numerous.
The most visible change is the size of the timepiece. In line with the prevailing trend, the diameter of the new model is now 41 mm instead of 39 mm, while the thickness is 13.1mm instead of 12.8 mm. In spite of the slightly larger size, the new timepiece still shares the overall subdued design of the model it was based on. Interesting fact is that the Glaschütte based watchmaker decided to preserve the harmonious proportions that were featured on the dial of the original model. Therefore, Datograph Up/Down has an oversized date aperture that is 4% larger than the one on the Datograph.
There are a few other changes on the face of the enhanced timepiece. The first obvious detail is the Up/Down power reserve indication in the bottom of the dial that gave the name to the model. This sort of feature is very useful on hand-wound watches like this one. Besides, the new version has more simplified, yet more elegant design with slim baton-shaped hour markers instead of Roman numerals. The black dial is crafted from solid silver and it perfectly matches with its case made of platinum.
One more Day of Performance – Increased Power Reserve and other Improvements
The changes on the new model are not just cosmetic. It also has improved technical traits. The power reserve of this hand-wound watch is 60 hours which is substantially more than Datograph’s 36 hours of power reserve. This is enabled by the inclusion of a bit larger mainspring barrel on the new Caliber L951.6 movement with 46 jewels. The mechanism consists of 451 components and vibrates five times a second (18,800 vph). The resilience of the movement is improved due to inclusion of a shock-resistant balance with eccentric poising weights. Nivarox balance spring, used in the first version, is replaced with the new and more sophisticated in-house constructed balance spring. The chrono function of Caliber L951.6 movement is controlled by a classic column wheel. The Datograph Up/Down timepiece is an advanced type of chronograph; it is a flyback chronograph. This means that it includes a useful option which enables a triple operation that can be triggered with the single press of the button. Only one push instructs the chronograph to instantly stop, to reset the time and to restart. This neat feature has its origins in the early days of aviation. The reading of the measured times is facilitated by the jumping minute counter.
It is important to note that the mechanism of the new Datograph Up/Down Chronograph is hand-assembled and decorated. The complexity of the manually wound mechanical movement can be inspected thorough a transparent case back. As the face of the watch, the case back is constructed of a sapphire crystal. The platinum case is paired with a hand-stitched crocodile leather strap. The price of the new A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Up/Down Chronograph Watch is yet to be decided.