“What If” – The A. Lange & Söhne Datograph in STEEL
What if… What if I could imagine and create my dream watch, the timepiece I always dreamed of, the watch that does not exist and that I’d love to own one day. Well, if you read Monochrome on a regular basis, you already know that we’re not shy when it comes to making predictions and using Photoshop to imagine potential Rolex watches (don’t worry, we will be doing it again for Baselworld 2017…). Today though we have something a bit different. I’ve been playing around with Photoshop again but not to create a potential Rolex, but rather to imagine my dream watch, a watch that I’m pretty sure will never exist but that haunts my nights. For me, it is the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph, the ultimate chronograph by my standards and a watch that I’ve dreamed about seeing in stainless steel… What if?
My name is Brice Goulard. I am the Managing Editor of Monochrome-Watches and therefore, I am a watch journalist. But above all, I am a watch collector and a watch lover. That’s where it all started. I wouldn’t be here, writing about watches, if I didn’t have that huge attraction for watchmaking in general and for high-end watches especially. This means that besides writing about all kinds of watches, I also have my preferences, my own collection and, like every good collector, I have a wish-list of watches I’d love to own – and believe me, it is long and would cost me several million… This wish-list of course comprises existing watches but we live in a digital world, and without saying that I’m a watch designer (I’m far, far away from that), I do have certain skills in digital creation along with a good imagination. This leads us to this idea, born between Frank, Monochrome’s founder, and I : “What if we could create our ultimate dream watch?“. For me, this would be an A. Lange & Söhne Datograph, in stainless steel.
Why the Datograph?
I’m a collector of sports watches and chronographs. Most of my watches are related to these themes, whether they are dive watches or iconic chronographs. Also, I personally prefer modern watches to vintage watches. I know some would kill for a Patek Philippe 1518 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, a Paul Newman Daytona or a Big Crown Submariner. I recognize the immense beauty of these watches and their impact on the current state of the industry, but they’re just not the kind of watch I wear. This partially explains why the Datograph. The other reason is the immense respect I have for A. Lange & Söhne, for the story behind the brand, a sort of Phoenix that rises from the ashes, and the immense admiration I have for the quality of manufacturing. The Datograph, considering its movement, is to me an achievement, a milestone for the brand. It simply has one of the most stunning chronograph movements currently produced, both in terms of finishing and technicality. And I love the Datograph Up/Down more than any other chronograph by Lange because it remains pure, not overloaded by dozens of complications. This watch is mega – and even Philippe Dufour himself owns one. And if Philippe says it’s good, it has to be – and even if he didn’t own one, this wouldn’t change my mind.
Stainless steel, a poor’s man material at first, is hot these days. So hot that most records at auctions are held by steel versions of watches originally created in precious metals (see the 11 Million Swiss Francs achieved by a steel 1518 recently). You might think that I imagined the Datograph, a watch normally available in gold or platinum only, in steel for this same reason. You’d be wrong. The reasons why I want a Datograph in steel, besides the fact that it will probably never exist (which makes it even more desirable), is that I properly wear my watches as wrist tools and I’m always looking for resilience and comfort. And for that, steel is the most relevant material (even if titanium would perfectly do the job too). It is more scratch resistant than gold or platinum and it is lighter too. Don’t forget that besides being an A. Lange & Söhne, the Datograph is a stop-watch, a kind of timepiece made to be sporty, and we all tend to forget about that.
A Silver Panda dial?
Besides the change of material for the case, I had to imagine something to make the Steel Datograph slightly different from the Platinum version (with black dial and silver sub-counters). However, as much as I love this watch, we had to keep what makes it visually appealing intact: its dial. Thus, what you see here is a silver-dial Datograph with black sub-counters, a sort of dressy Panda version. If only…
Keep in mind that this article and its illustrations are the result of a watchnerd’s mind and nothing you see here is officially coming from A. Lange & Söhne. This is pure imagination, creativity and dreams. And dreaming is free…
Original photos were found on professionalwatches.com and were shot by Jason Pitch.
The stainless Datograph you’ve visualized is stunning. If ALS does one, I’m on it immediately. Thanks for your imaginative article.
Stunning idea! Or perhaps in polished grade 5 titanium? even a better idea imho 😉
I would sell my mother in law for this watch 😉
Not “entiiiiiirely” sure I could afford it even then.
Nevertheless, this would have me begging the wife for some fiscal leniency.
And if it also came in @ 10 Bar proof, welllll………………..
……….. “cleanup in aisle 5 please.”