Somewhat eclipsed by the immediate success of the Lange 1 with its off-centred oversized date when it was unveiled in 1994, many of us forget that the Saxonia also had a big date on its dial. The difference was that the Saxonia featured the date in a symmetrical position, just below noon and was counterbalanced by the small seconds counter at 6 o’clock. The underlying symmetry of the Saxonia would distinguish it from its sibling the Lange 1 and become one of the characteristics of the collection. Presenting the A. Lange & Söhne’s new Saxonia Outsize Date, a harmonious and symmetrical fusion of core traits with a dark soul – and in terms of concept, there’s a bit of the old Sax-O-Mat in this new watch.
A fusion of family traits
The Saxonia was one of the four pillars that trumpeted Walter Lange’s resurrection of the brand in 1994. The epitome of purity and elegance, the name of the collection pays tribute to the German region of Saxony where the brand was founded by Lange’s ancestor, Ferdinand Adolph Lange, in 1845.
Coinciding with the 200th anniversary of F.A. Lange’s birth in 2015, the Saxonia was given a facelift, reviewed here by our Managing Editor Brice. As with all gestures of this hallowed German brand, the facelift was subtle enough not to offend purists but gave the dial a more contemporary attitude.
An iconic date window
For 2018, A. Lange & Söhne unveils the Saxonia Outsize Date, a balanced fusion of key design elements of the brand with the minimalist soul we associate with the Saxonia family. The hallmark outsize date window was directly inspired by the 1840s five-minute clock crowning the stage of the grandiose Semper Opera House in Dresden. Designed to be visible from every seat in the audience, but without the space to house a traditional round clock, Dresden court clockmaker Gutkaes came up with an ingenious five-minute digital clock displaying the hours and five-minute intervals in separate windows.
The insignia outsize date window complies with the rigid Saxonia rule of symmetry and is placed in a prominent, central position just under the 12 o’clock indices. Instead of the classic arrangement of two white date discs with black numerals, the new Saxonia Outsize Date features black date discs with white printed numerals to harmonise with the black galvanised solid silver dial.
A dark dial framed by gold
Presented in elegant 38.5mm cases, the Saxonia Outside Date will be available in either white or warm pink gold polished cases with a brushed metal case band. The lustrous black dial hosts applied solid gold indices, hands and date window frames to match the metal of the case. The small seconds counter at 6 o’clock is snailed for a touch of contrast and bears Arabic numerals, just like those featured in the date window.
A superb calibre
The Saxonia Outsize Date is powered by an adaptation of calibre L086.1, the motor behind the Saxonia Automatic family since 2011. The new self-winding calibre L086.8 keeps the hours, minutes, small seconds and jumping outsize date window in perfect synch and can be viewed through the sapphire crystal case back. With just one mainspring barrel, the large central platinum rotor ensures a sturdy power reserve of 72 hours. As with most Lange calibres, the movement is secured in place by the classic three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver and features a manually engraved balance cock.
Overall, with this combination of a date window at 12, a small second at 6, the minimalistic design of the Saxonia and an automatic movement, we are in front of a modern (and dark) concept of what was the Sax-O-Mat back in the days – not the worst reference.
More details on www.alange-soehne.com.