If you missed the opportunity to spend 90k euros on the Lang & Heyne Friedrich II Remontoir Prototype “00” in May at the auction, here’s your chance. Get one of nine limited-edition pieces of the Friedrich II Remontoir that will be created by this German watchmaking atelier to celebrate nine years of partnership with the Hong Kong-based exclusive luxury retailer The Lavish Attic.
Friedrich II is a name Lang & Heyne attributed earlier to the watch that the company website describes as “reduced to the essential”. The Saxon ruler who unknowingly provided his name was also called The Serious, and the new timepiece is a serious work of watchmaking art, should you need a connection.
The Lang & Heyne Friedrich II Remontoir presents several features that make this watch a rather exciting exemplar. The watch comes in a 39.2mm diameter mirror-polished case with 10.7mm thickness, with a two-piece black enamel dial. Technology that is available today allows for cutting the enamel mass into slices. The two enamel pre-cut discs are fixed on a metal support with a recessed small seconds dial. The small seconds sub-dial reads “Enamel”, so there is no doubt, with “Made in Saxony” in proud capital case just above the seconds track. The discs are polished and covered with varnish by printing, with the Arabic indexes printed, too, and then hand-painted with luminous material. The “00” instead of “12” is a nice touch, and the “9” is painted red in reference to the limited edition and the partnership. The lancet-styled hands are filled with Super-LumiNova, and all dial elements perfectly convey the Saxon watchmaking spirit of enormous appeal in their perfect simplicity. Reduced to essential.
A remontoir d’égalité or a constant-force device is another not-so-obvious attraction of the new Lang & Heyne Friedrich II. The transparent caseback reveals the hand-wound calibre VI-I, 33mm in diameter and 4.9mm thick, with the remontoir on the escape wheel. The company claims this is the first time a remontoir is found in the small seconds mechanism. As we have no immediate information to prove otherwise, L&H keeps the prize.
The balance wheel oscillates at 2.5 Hertz, and the seconds hand advances in one-fifth-of-a-second increments. With this in mind, the Lang & Heyne engineers have created a technically complex additional mechanism in which a storage spring absorbs some energy with each half oscillation. It is responsible for a gradual transfer of power so that the small seconds hand makes accurate jumps, just like it would in a quartz watch. The mainspring provides 24 hours of proper functioning or 42 in the not-so-perfect mode, so it will not win in the power reserve competition. However, the choice of titanium for the calibre material is noteworthy.
Medium-hard grade 2 titanium is used for the plate, bridges and balance cock. This light but highly resilient and corrosion-resistant material confronted the Dresden artisans with specific challenges. It was about adapting traditional skills and methods and modifying them appropriately. Notice the matte shine results from sandblasting the surface with ceramic beads. Specialists painstakingly polished the edges with wood and polishing paste. Poor frictional behaviour of the material requires specific bearings; in this calibre, those for the mainspring barrel and winding stem are made of bronze. The balance bridge is manually engraved, as usual. A swan-neck fine adjustment is used for the precise tuning of the regulator. A warm grey shade of the calibre is in harmony with the beautiful purple screws, making the caseback as much an attraction here as the dial.
The new Lang & Heyne Friedrich II Remontoir The Lavish Attic Edition is offered on a leather strap with a pin buckle or a folding clasp. The watch is available for pre-order, and customers have a choice of case materials: stainless steel is EUR 59,600; rose gold is EUR 63,900; white gold is EUR 66,700, and platinum will cost EUR 74,500 (All excl. VAT). For more details, please visit www.lang-und-heyne.de.