A. Lange & Söhne: Odysseus24 October 2019
The ODYSSEUS opens up a new chapter for A. Lange & Söhne. It lays the foundation for a further watch family: the sixth one. For the first regularly produced timepiece in stainless steel, the Saxon watchmakers developed a tailor-made self-winding movement with a large day-of-week and date display.
The ODYSSEUS is the first Lange sporty watch with a water-resistant case and a screw-down crown, exposed to a test pressure of 12o metres. The design of the steel case with a diameter of 40.5 mm and a height of 11.1 mm, featuring an integrated steel bracelet, embraces traditional brand elements and reinterprets them. This applies particularly to the sculpted, slightly cantilevered middle band of the three-part case. Its surfaces are decorated with a satin contour finish and the edges are emphasised with a chamfer. The combination of brushed surfaces and chamfered edges is echoed on the lugs and links of the massive steel bracelet. Specially sealed, tapered buttons for correcting the date and the day of week are arranged at 2 and 4 o’clock.
What first meets the eye on the dark-blue dial is the day-of-week and date display. Located on the right, the Lange outsize date in the classic double aperture is complemented with an equally large day- of-week display on the left. The outer verticals of the frames echo the curvature of the bezel. The typical Lange font is used for both displays, though here, the numerals and letters are white against a blue background.
The dial is made of brass and has several levels with different surfaces. Just like the outer scale of the subsidiary seconds dial, the notched baton appliques made of white gold lie above concentric lines, a technique called azurage. They contrast against the grained inner surfaces of the main and subsidiary dial. A bevelled, argenté coloured flange ring with a printed minute scale frames the dial. The number 60, printed in red at 12 o’clock, provides a colourful accent. In the ODYSSEUS, the brand-typical lancet-shaped hands for hours and minutes are luminous like the inner surfaces of the baton appliques.
The steel bracelet is eminently comfortable to wear. Its length can be adjusted in small steps up to 7 millimetres thanks to a safety deployant buckle. By pressing the pusher embossed with the Lange signature the bracelet can be pulled or pushed to adjust the desired length. It is not necessary to open the buckle. If required, the bracelet can also be extended by adding further links.
For the ODYSSEUS, A. Lange & Söhne developed the new L155.1 DATOMATIC manufacture calibre. The name DATOMATIC visible on the rotor stands for the date mechanism combined with automatic winding. With a diameter of 32.9 millimetres, the movement – visible through the sapphire crystal caseback – completely fills the case. It features a unidirectionally winding central rotor with a centrifugal mass in platinum. Thanks to the skeletonisation of the rotor further details of the manually executed, lavish finissage of the movement can be observed.
When fully wound, the mainspring barrel delivers a maximum power reserve of 50 hours. To guarantee high rate accuracy regardless of external factors, the new self-winding calibre operates at a frequency of 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour (4 hertz). The newly designed balance is regulated with four countersunk poising screws that are flush with the outside of the balance-wheel rim. This design reduces turbulence despite the higher frequency. Together with the freely oscillating balance spring made in-house, the minimised air resistance has a positive impact on the movement’s rate accuracy and en- ergy efficiency.
The oscillation system of the ODYSSEUS is held by a balance wheel bridge secured at two points. It is manually engraved with a wave motif. Other movement decorations also express the concept of combining traditional facets with new ones. All frame parts of the calibre L155.1 DATOMATIC are made of German silver. Additionally, elements of the rotor were black-rhodiumed. In accordance with the A. Lange & Söhne philosophy, the entire movement is elaborately finished by hand and assembled twice. A further typical Lange hallmark, a screwed gold chaton secures the upper bearing jewel of the escape-wheel arbor. (Price €.28.700)