Seeing all of the Watches & Wonders 2023 watch novelties hands-on drives us to all types of conclusions particular to the assorted manufacturers and collections we encounter. The brand new-for-2023 A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph watch has bolstered an concept that’s been slowly rising in me: Each new Odysseus makes me like the unique Odysseus much more. We’ll meet up with that thought later — first, let’s concentrate on what’s new right here.
The A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph is a luxurious watch in metal with a metal bracelet and is, due to this fact, a completely paid-up member of the newest pattern that’s been dictating virtually each final transfer of the finer watchmakers in Switzerland — in addition to these in Japan and, working example, Germany. We debuted this Odysseus in 2019 right here, which is when Lange made a splash with its first-ever steel-case, steel-bracelet watch. Earlier than the Odysseus, steel-cased Lange watches have been the prey of essentially the most devoted collectors, because the Richemont-owned Saxon watchmaker has produced its watches just about solely in 18k gold or 950 platinum. The Odysseus was extra than simply the debut of a new-old materials, it additionally shook the sluggish and calculated German firm up by being its first correct sports activities watch with a 120m water resistance score.
The titanium-clad Odysseus that got here in 2022 was primarily the identical watch, however in that light-weight materials — and this was all it took for Lange to provide what we applauded as one of many best-ever remedies of this brownish, light-weight steel. 2023 sees the primary new complication be part of the Odysseus assortment, in case the “outsized” date and day shows weren’t sufficient for some. The Odysseus Chronograph provides a stopwatch perform to the combination and does so in a relatively novel method — with out the usage of conventional chronograph subdials. Of their place are two center-mounted arms, each linked to the chronograph, one for the seconds, and one for the minutes totalizer.
That is as minimalistic an strategy to a chronograph as one can have — as you’ll know, most watches of this breed use subdials for the chronograph minutes and hours, and infrequently a 3rd subdial is added for the operating seconds. With these large day-date home windows, a number of textures and sectors, and a seconds subdial, matched to a posh case and five-link bracelet, the Odysseus has by no means been a minimalistic watch in any respect — and so it arguably might have responded effectively to a but busier dial.
It is very important understand that these large apertures — once more, the “outsized” date and day as Lange likes to name them — take up all of the house on the dial the place usually the chronograph subdials would go, and these giant shows take up but extra beneficial actual property on the motion with components hidden by the dial. This has left no different possibility for the model’s engineers however to make use of center-mounted arms for the chronograph, and the dial’s ensuing simplicity got here as a welcome bonus.
The A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph watch is powered by the newly developed L156.1 motion that marks one other notable first for the corporate: Its first self-winding chronograph motion. That’s proper, all the opposite unimaginable and spectacular A. Lange & Söhne chronographs — like Double Break up, the 1815 Chronograph, the Datograph, and all grand issues — had all the time been hand-wound. This gave us these metropolis-like actions that have been Lange’s very personal of their fashion and execution and which all the time had what it takes to make a watch fanatic’s coronary heart beat quicker.
The L156.1, then, has lots to reside as much as and, for essentially the most half, it does. A self-winding motion will virtually all the time have an enormous rotor in the best way, partially obstructing our view on the relaxation. Worse nonetheless, a self-winding system has different components — wheels, gears, and bridges — that should be put in on the caseback aspect, and these additionally are likely to cowl up a whole lot of these drool-worthy levers, wheels, arms, cams, and column wheels that we prefer to see from a correct chronograph mechanism. Nonetheless, the L156.1 Datomatic calibre impresses with 516 components, 52 jewels, and 4 screwed chatons.
In true Lange custom, your entire motion is assembled twice. First to check the match and accuracy, and as soon as these are confirmed, each half is meticulously completed and assembled once more. Plates in German silver, a stability bridge engraved by hand, a rotor with a centrifugal mass in 950 platinum are all right here to serve our leisure. Oh, and there’s a novel get together piece to the Odysseus Chronograph, too. While you reset the chronograph, its minute hand resets to zero instantly, whereas the pink seconds hand covers your entire distance traveled beforehand inside a fraction of a second, making one full revolution for every measured minute. Given all of the functionalities and huge shows, the L156.1 measures a beefy 34.9mm-wide and eight.4mm-thick.
Consequently, the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph watch is 42.5mm-wide and a few 14.2mm-thick. That sounds giant and the watch does little to disguise that — its grand impact is amplified by all of the shiny, thoughts you, fantastically shiny, metal round its exterior. On the wrist, the Odysseus Chronograph is a little bit of a brute, which is nice if that’s how you want your watches. And if not, then you could have loads of different Lange chronographs that may slide below a sleeve much more simply.
Restricted to only 100 items, the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph watch is priced at $145,000 — a reasonably excessive quantity even with the model’s excellent fame and the possibly stratospheric growth prices of its first-ever self-winding chronograph motion taken under consideration. This, in truth, has us come full circle: The $32,000 “base” Odysseus with the identical case (save the pushers), bracelet, and dial, appears like an absolute discount as compared. With all certainty, the Saxon model is aware of its clients very effectively, and there will definitely be loads of die-hard Lange collectors who’ll need to have the first-ever computerized chronograph of their assortment — and so they’ll be joined by a good variety of “flippers” too, who’ll try to promote these at a good increased value. Enjoyable to make use of, fantastically made, and an absolute brute on the wrist, the Odysseus Chronograph is the shock debut from the German watchmaker — however we now have a hunch it’s not the final. You possibly can be taught extra on the model’s web site.
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