It is often said that in watchmaking the entry-level complication – understand here any additional indication that isn’t the hours, minutes or seconds – is the date function. While this is true for most of the watches, when it comes to a masterpiece of engineering such as the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk, adding a date was a veritable technical challenge. Because of the ultra-complex display of this watch, adding a simple date window wasn’t possible. But this wasn’t enough to stop the team managed by Anthony de Haas, director of product development, who today gives us a full explanation of how the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Date was developed and how it is manufactured, in the video at the top of this article.
What’s so special about a date window? Usually, the answer is nothing. It is the most common, the simplest of all complications. You can find it in the most affordable automatic watches, simply because it is a disc rotating under the dial and driven by the hour hand. On paper, you can add a date to pretty much any movement. Easy, reliable, simple to execute. But when you don’t have a display with classic central hands, things get a bit more complex. And when you have a display composed of three massive (really massive) jumping indications, covering the entirety of space available on top of the movement… Well, you have to do things the A. Lange & Söhne way and redesign the date from scratch.
Furthermore, the Zeitwerk integrates multiple updates and improvements over the previous models. Without making the watch and its movement larger or thicker, the brand has managed to double the power reserve by redesigning the whole supply of energy, now with two stacked barrels. And finally, it also introduces new pushers, thinner and more secured, which work with a release system, and not a pressing system (like a chronograph).
Finally, there’s the decoration of the movement, the way it is double-assembled, fine-adjusted and finished… All of that, all the details about this A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Date are perfectly explained by Anthony de Haas in this video review. Enjoy watching.
More details at www.alange-soehne.com.