How shall we define our Weekly Watch Photo series? Nice photos of nice watches. Today, though, we’ve taken it up a notch, with incredible photos of an incredible watch. Thanks to our friend Jacques-Olivier, professional photographer of Passion-Horlogère, we are proud to show you the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Up-Down and its stunning movement. If the A. Lange & Söhne Double Split can be seen as the ‘Über Chrono’, its little brother Datograph may be the ‘Super Chrono’. Feast your eyes and enjoy this piece of mechanical art!
The Datograph, alongside the Double Split, is part of the ‘Unrivalled Masterpieces’ collection. For a large part of the watch industry, we would agree with anyone saying that such a name is totally presumptuous. But when you’re standing before these A. Lange & Söhne chronographs for the first time, you understand that in their case, it is justified. The Datograph is a technically advanced flyback chronograph that keeps the tradition of the Saxonian manufacture in terms of quality and finishing. Presented in 1999 in a 39mm case, it has been updated in 2012 with a larger case, a new design of the dial (baton indexes instead of Roman numerals) and the addition of a power reserve indicator – this lattermost detail is why its full name is in fact Datograph Auf/Ab, or Up/Down in English.
The A. Lange & Söhne Datograph is a 41mm platinum watch that features a flyback chronograph, the traditional A. Lange & Söhne outsized date at 12 and a finely integrated power reserve indicator at 6. The Datograph is a very well balanced watch that boasts no eccentricity and represents the German way of manufacturing timepieces. Classical in its design, the Datograph is nonetheless a marvellous technical piece of artwork.
The Calibre L951.6 is clearly THE attraction of the Datograph. Ask several watch lovers what a beautiful chronograph movement is and you will certainly be given A. Lange & Söhne as an answer. It’s a classic manually wound movement with a column-wheel mechanism, a precisely jumping minute counter and flyback function. This jumping minute counter makes it easy to read the elapsed time when the chronograph is stopped. It runs slow, at 18.000vph (2.5hz) just to enhance the power reserve and keep it ‘old school’. But more than the technical specifications, what impressed us was its architecture and finishing.
The closer you dive into the movement, the more details you see. Every part of the chronograph mechanism is hand finished. Just have a look at the levers with their bevelled angles and straight graining finish. Same goes for the jewels enshrined in screwed gold chatons, or the bridges in untreated German silver, adorned with Glashutte stripes or hand engraving (on the balance cock). The sensation of depth is hard to express in photos but the multiple layers of the movement and the complexity of the levers and bridges is something that no one can ignore. We simply love it.
And thanks to these wonderful photos, we can enjoy a very interesting visual tour of the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph. Thanks a lot to Thierry and Jacques-Olivier for letting us use them; and take a look at the review on Passion-Horlogère (in french) of this mighty chronograph.