Monochrome Watches
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Lang & Heyne’s rather stellar Homage to the Glashütte Tower Clock

Honouring the historic Glashütte Tower Clock in the best possible way, by creating a watch.

| By Robin Nooy | 3 min read |
Lang & Heyne Homage to Glashütte Tower Clock

German high-end independent watchmakers Lang & Heyne have created a rather special looking watch. It is special because it replicates a historic clock tower, situated in the region of Glashütte. This watchmaking hub in the south of Germany is also home to the Lang & Heyne manufacture, located in Dresden specifically. But there’s more to Lang & Heyne’s Homage to the Glashütte Tower Clock than just its design. Highly limited, it is a splendid display of Haute Horlogerie and the capabilities of the Lang & Heyne manufacture.

The clock in question is located in the St Wolfgang evangelical church in Glashütte, which was built in 1521. Between 2007 and 2010 the church was completely renovated but it wasn’t until 2019 that the tower clock got some much-needed love. By then it needed a full restoration, which is where Lang & Heyne come in. The operation to remove, dismantle, restore and reinstall the clock was funded by Lang & Heyne, with the restoration work being done by Uhrentechnik Volger & Hippe. After a couple of weeks, the work was done and the clock could return to its rightful place again, complete with restored blue outer dial and sun and moon hands.

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In honour of that very clock, Lang & Heyne now presents a homage wristwatch based on the existing architecture of the Friedrich II and III time-only watches. It uses the brand’s signature round case with triple lugs design, in 18ct rose gold. In terms of dimensions, we’re looking at 39,5mm in diameter and 10,5mm in height. The crown is onion-shaped and flanked by two subtle protruding guards. A sapphire crystal covers what is a truly stellar dial.

The design of the dial is a direct copy of the face of the clock tower in Glashütte. The deep, almost velvety-blue tone is made in champlevé enamel set over an 18k rose gold base dial. With this technique, a craftsman carves out a design into a base, then fils it with enamel powder and bakes it in a kiln while leaving the original metal exposed. Circling the dial are twelve Roman numerals, encircled by a dotted minute track. The numerals from 9 to 12 have a swirling “X”, which is also present on the original wooden dial. The sun-and-moon hour and minute hands are carved by hand and add a touch of romantic drama to the watch. The last element on the dial is the Lang & Heyne logo.

As mentioned this watch is based on existing Lang & Heyne architecture and the same goes for the movement. Visible through the sapphire caseback is the in-house made Calibre VI, a hand-wound movement finished to Haute Horlogerie standards. The finishing includes anglage, frosting, blued screws, gold chatons, hand-applied engraving and more. The pivot for the balance wheel on the balance cock is topped with a diamond, a recurring element in Lang & Heyne’s movements. The Calibre VI runs at a leisurely pace of 18,000vph and provides 55 hours of autonomy once fully wound.

The Lang & Heyne Homage to the Glashütte Tower Clock watch is fitted with a dark blue alligator leather strap and an 18k rose gold pin buckle or folding clasp. It is strictly limited to just 5 pieces, at a price that’s on request. Considering the amount of work put into this stellar dial and set of hands, you can rest assured this will cost a pretty penny.

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4 responses

  1. Mucho y muy buen trabajo en la esfera, Calibre pésimo para el nivel al que aspira el reloj. La mediocre reserva de marcha ha sido conseguida a costa de usar esos 18 vph. Y esos 30 metros de resistencia a salpicaduras, fatal al menos para mi. Tienen sentido en un repetidor de minutos supercomplicado pero aqui señores, es que da grima. La alta relojeria no acaba de desterrar las malas cifras de hermeticidad de sus nuevos lanzamientos, (excepciones hay pero pocas)
    Yo valoro mucho el hermetismo en los relojes.  Aún en los que no son de uso diver o naútico, le doy importancia máxima a una de las causas de rotura o fallo más abundante en este mundillo.
    No solo por el ingreso de agua, sino también por la posible entrada en contacto con otros líquidos mas agresivos durante la a veces larga vida util de los relojes de cierta calidad.

  2. @ARBcuentatiempos I think it’s totally irrelevant to compare a classically perceived dress watch with a sports watch. The two genres are for different purposes and, perhaps, for different people. There are of course many watch collectors, me included, who understand how to appreciate both genres in their individual merits.

  3. The most common way a watch comes in contact with water is when someone washes their hands. This cannot be prevented, but I have never noticed any problems with any watch with a water resistance of 30 m and I wash my hands – especially in times of pandemic, obsessively often. Another topic is the strap, but I don’t want to discuss this. However, I have one watch made in 1946 and even when the hands are sensitively washed, the glass evaporates. No water resistance is indicated on the watch. In a word, with normal use of a watch, I do not solve the water resistance. I don’t know why this is a topic.

  4. Flat hands would suit better this realisation on a conceptual level pairing them with flat dial.

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