A. Lange & Söhne reserves its proprietary honey gold – a more scratch-resistant gold alloy that has a rich, warm glow – for a few selected watches only. Since 2010, only seven limited editions have been ‘dressed’ in this special material. For 2019, a limited edition of 100 pieces of the Langematik Perpetual will be decked out in honey gold. The Langematik packs a lot of extras, besides the already striking hand-finishing for which the German brand is renowned.
The 3/4 rotor
A. Lange & Söhne uses honey gold sparingly, reserving it for special occasions. The resurrection of the Langematik Perpetual seemed like a perfect opportunity. The Langematik is one of the few watches from Lange that comes with the comfort of a self-winding movement, and not just any self-winding movement, but one of the few watches that feature a 3/4 rotor. It still ‘obscures’ a large part of the movement but that’s not an issue with movements that are built up with 3/4 plates. More importantly, it does not obscure the view on the balance and the beautifully hand-engraved balance cock. The 3/4 rotor is actually an interesting solution. You have the comfort of a self-winding movement, a rotor that does not obscure the view of the most intriguing part of the movement, namely the balance, and in terms of winding power, it will outperform every micro-rotor.
The 3/4 rotor, also called a winding mass, is executed in 21k gold with a platinum outer rim to add centrifugal mass. This ensures strong winding power and the mainspring will be quickly charged for the 46 hours of autonomy the watch offers when fully wound.
The movement, the self-winding calibre L922.1 Saxomat, is equipped with a zero-reset mechanism. When the crown is pulled out, the balance is stopped and the seconds hand is reset to the zero position. This makes it possible, or easier, to set the time precisely before starting the watch again.
So after using honey gold for seven limited editions, it’s now time for the Langematik to enjoy a case crafted from Lange’s very special type of gold. Honey gold is harder than other gold alloys. This means it is less prone to get scratched, but it also means that it’s less easy to machine, and that means it takes more time, tools wear out faster, resulting in a higher price. On the positive side of things, the colour of honey gold is soft and warm at the same time, and very different from regular 18k red or rose or pink gold. Colour-wise it actually sits between pink and white gold, due to the addition of copper and zinc, while mineral additives and a special heat treatment make the material harder than regular 18k gold.
Other models in Honey Gold:
- Turbograph “Pour le Mérite” (2010)
- Lange 1 Tourbillon (2010)
- 1815 MOON PHASE “165 Years – Homage to F. A. Lange” (2010)
- Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour le Mérite” Handwerkskunst (2011)
- 1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” (2015)
- Lange 1 Time Zone (2016)
- Zeitwerk Decimal Strike (2017)
The dial and indications
The solid silver dial is adorned with an embossed perimeter with applied gold Roman numerals. Placed centrally are the hour and minute hands, both in honey gold and filled with luminous material, and so are the smaller honey gold hands indicating the month and the day of the week.
The well-known outsized date is placed at the 12 o’clock position, while at 3 o’clock the month and leap year are indicated in a double sub-dial. At the 6 o’clock position is the small seconds counter coupled with the moon phase indication, and at the 9 o’clock position are the day of the week and the 24-hour day/night indicator, completing all indications you could wish for in a perpetual calendar.
In terms of operating the calendar functions, A. Lange & Söhne has made things easier by adding a recessed pusher to advance all the calendar displays; the usual recessed corrector buttons for individually advancing the day, the month, and the moon phase are placed in the case band.
Price will be EUR 85,000. Limited to 100 pieces, with deliveries starting in May 2019. More information at www.alange-soehne.com