A. Lange & Söhne’s Zeitwerk Minute Repeater is an extraordinary, highly original watch that perfectly captures the personality of this grand Saxon brand. As the only mechanical wristwatch to combine a jumping numerals display with a decimal minute repeater, the Zeitwerk is visually and acoustically exceptional. Following the first platinum Zeitwerk Minute Repeater of 2015 and the white gold model of 2020, the brand releases a limited edition of 30 Zeitwerk Minute Repeaters crafted in warm Honeygold.
Honeygold is a top-secret alloy developed for Lange in 2010. Its unique colour, which looks like liquid honey, is reserved for Lange’s most exclusive timepieces. Harder than platinum and other gold alloys – and therefore much more challenging to shape and finish – Honeygold has an extremely subtle and elegant tone.
Two of the brand’s insignias, the double date window of the Lange 1 and the two windows for hours and minutes of the Zeitwerk, were inspired by the famous clock crowning the stage of the Semper Opera House in Dresden. Designed to be visible from every seat in the audience, Dresden court clockmaker Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes devised an ingenious five-minute digital clock displaying the hours and five-minute intervals in separate windows in the late 1830s.
What you see is what you hear
The Zeitwerk debuted in 2009 and welcomed the sophisticated Minute Repeater in 2015. Unlike anything else on the market, the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater marries its original horizontal hours and minutes display to an even more original decimal repeater. This rare complication chimes the time exactly the way it is displayed. By activating the button on the case at 10 o’clock, the repeater chimes the hours, the corresponding ten-minute intervals and the minutes. For example, the time 7:52 illustrated in the photos would result in seven low-pitched tones, five double tones and two high-pitched tones. You can see the hand-tuned gongs circling the dial and the mirror-polished hammers in action in the lower half of the dial.
Now crafted in Honeygold, the 44.2mm case with a height of 14.1mm displays polished and brushed surfaces. According to the brand, the proprietary gold used for the case produces a “clear, reverberant sound, paired with a rich and warm timbre”. Another original feature is the button mechanism to trigger the repeater. Since the power for the striking mechanism is delivered by the twin mainspring barrel, there is no need for a slide to tension a separate spring. This also means there is no large lateral opening in the case that could cause acoustic disruption.
The grey dial features the signature rhodium-plated German silver time bridge, bevelled apertures for the hours and minutes, and a small seconds counter in the middle. Thanks to the patented jumping numerals mechanism, all three discs advance simultaneously on the hour. Above the horizontal time display is a recessed semi-circular power reserve indicator with a white track and a small red dot (12-hour mark). When the power reserve of the watch dips under 12 hours, the striking mechanism is blocked.
Composed of 771 parts, the in-house movement is elaborately finished by hand with hand-engraved motifs on the balance cock and escape-wheel cock and hallmark Glashütte ribbing on the untreated German silver three-quarter plate. Fitted with elaborate safety and blocking mechanisms to protect the movement, the calibre L043.5 has a constant force escapement between the barrel and the balance, working as a pacemaker for the instantaneous advance of the discs in one-minute intervals. Beating at 18,000vph, the power reserve is 36 hours.
The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater Honeygold comes with a hand-stitched dark brown leather strap and an 18k Honeygold and white gold deployant buckle. It is a limited edition of 30 pieces, and the price, as you might have guessed, is upon request. To give you some context, the white gold edition of 2020 came with a EUR 449,000 price tag, and things have not gotten any cheaper…
For more information, please consult alange-soehne.com.