A. Lange & Söhne launch two novelties to mark the collection’s 25th anniversary 

25 Years of Precision and Luminescence: Celebrating the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN and Unveiling the DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON HONEYGOLD ‘Lumen’.

DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN: Benchmark in short-time measurement for 25 years

In 1999, the DATOGRAPH ushered in a new era for the complication of short-time measurement, with a manufacture calibre newly developed from the ground up and a unique dial design. To mark its 25th anniversary, the pioneering chronograph is now available as a DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN model version in 18-carat white gold with a blue dial, limited to 125 watches.

It signified the birth of a trailblazing concept: in 1999, a mere five years after the first collection was launched, A. Lange & Söhne presented the DATOGRAPH ‒ equipped with their very first chronograph movement. The calibre L951.1, newly developed in the Saxon manufacture, combined a column-wheel chronograph with a flyback function, a precisely jumping minute counter and the typical Lange outsize date.

At a very early stage, the movement of the DATOGRAPH revealed the ambition of the Saxon manufacture to push horological boundaries and to explore new avenues. The DATOGRAPH was the prelude to a range of currently 13 innovative models with a chronograph function. Among these is the calibre L951.6 of the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN: presented in 2012, it was consistently evolved with a power-reserve indicator and an increased power-reserve of 60 hours.

Time measurement just like in aviation – with unambiguous readings at any given time

With its flyback mechanism, precisely jumping minute counter, outsize date and power-reserve indicator the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN is in a league of its own.

Because three switching steps are executed with one single push of a button, the flyback mechanism allows two quick consecutive time measurements, with virtually no delay between these. The chronograph is stopped, reset to zero, and started again in next to no time. This function was often used in the early beginnings of aviation. The precisely jumping minute counter does justice to its name as well: it jumps to the next increment at the precise moment when the chrono seconds hand completes the 60th second. The attribute “UP/DOWN” refers to the power-reserve indicator at 6 o’clock that provides information on how much of the 60 hours’ power reserve is still available. At the latest on the third day, when the hand pivots into the red section, it is time to wind the watch.

Thanks to the harmonious dial configuration, the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN is easily identified at first glance. The twin date aperture beneath 12 o’clock marks the tip of an equilateral triangle. The subsidiary dials for the small seconds at 9 o’clock and for the precisely jumping minute counter at 3 o’clock are located below the horizontal centre axis of the dial, forming the base of the triangle. The characteristic, axially symmetric dial design assures optimum legibility. In the new version of the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN, it is available in blue for the first time: the rhodié- coloured subsidiary dials, luminous hands and baton hour markers contrast crisply with the elegant blue hue.

The manually wound calibre L951.6 ‒ consisting of 451 parts, assembled twice and finished in typical Lange fashion ‒ breathes life into the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN. Thanks to the technical sophistication, complex architecture and the superior degree of finishing, it sets benchmarks in engineering and aesthetic appeal.

The classic column-wheel chronograph with a freely oscillating balance spring and a balance with eccentric poising weights beats at a frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour (2.5 hertz) and allows time measurements with an accuracy of one-fifth of a second. Through the sapphire-crystal caseback, the minute counter mechanism and the column wheel, which controls the start and stop sequences, can be admired in action.

The exceptional technical sophistication of the movement is paired with superb artisanal perfection. Acute internal angles of movement parts, as can be found, for example, in the clutch rocker of the chronograph mechanism, merit particular attention. To achieve this high degree of perfection requires remarkable dexterity and experience. Further traditional elements of this micromechanical work of art include bridges made of untreated German silver, the hand- engraved balance cock with a whiplash spring and the four gold screwed chatons.

In addition to the new DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN in white gold with a blue dial limited to 125 pieces, the model is also still available.

“To date, designing and crafting top-class chronographs ranks among the greatest challenges in precision watchmaking,” states Anthony de Haas, Director Product Development. “As early as 25 years ago, our engineers created a masterpiece with the DATOGRAPH that marries highly sophisticated functions with a well-balanced dial configuration. This singular combination of true engineering finesse and expressive design has made the DATOGRAPH an emblem of our philosophy to continue to explore new avenues, and serves as an incentive for future developments.”


A shining example of A. Lange & Söhne watchmaking artistry

25 years after the launch of the DATOGRAPH, A. Lange & Söhne introduces a lustrous new interpretation: the DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON HONEYGOLD “Lumen”. At Watches and Wonders 2024, the sophisticated timepiece combining a flyback chronograph with a precise jumping minute counter, perpetual calendar and tourbillon with a stop-seconds mechanism will be presented ‒ for the first time in Lange-exclusive honey gold (HONEYGOLD®) and as a “Lumen” version, limited to 50 watches.

Introduced in 2016, the DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON featuring three eponymous complications occupies an imposing position in precision watchmaking. While each complication alone already represents a technical feat, the most formidable challenge is not only to achieve the perfect interaction between the different highly complex mechanisms, but to devise a well- organised and easy-to-read face. The DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON HONEYGOLD “Lumen” now also exhibits its technical finesse and design assets in the dark.

The complications described below make the timepiece into a comprehensive work of art: DATOGRAPH designates a flyback chronograph with the typical Lange outsize date. The flyback mechanism allows quick consecutive time measurements because the three switching steps stop, reset to zero and start are executed with one single push of a button. The minute counter assures unambiguous readings of stopped times: it jumps to the next increment at the precise moment when the chrono seconds hand completes the 60th second. The functionality of the chronograph is complemented with a tachymeter scale for determining average speeds; it is located on the outer circumference of the dial made of coated sapphire crystal.

PERPETUAL refers to the perpetual calendar with its instantaneously switching displays. With a view to long-term time measurement, it is based on the Gregorian calendar and takes into account the different durations of the months, including leap-year deviations. Due to its stunning mechanical precision, the forward-looking moon-phase display will only deviate from the true lunation by a single day after 122.6 years. The rapid-correction button at 10 o’clock can be used to simultaneously advance all displays by one day. Three correctors on the flank of the case make it possible to separately adjust the moon-phase display, the day of the week, the month and the leap year.

The attribute TOURBILLON refers to the one-minute tourbillon with a stop-seconds mechanism; it offsets the influence of gravity on the going train. Once a minute, it rotates the rate-governing components ‒ balance, lever and escape wheel ‒ inside a filigreed cage about its own axis around the stationary fourth wheel. The highly aesthetic and horologically intricate device substantially improves rate accuracy of mechanical timepieces.

200 years after the tourbillon was invented, A. Lange & Söhne presented its stop-seconds mechanism in 2008, taking a huge step towards optimising this device. It made it possible to stop the tourbillon at will and set the watch to one-second accuracy for the very first time, regardless of the angular position of the balance or the orientation of the tourbillon cage. When the crown is pulled, a lever mechanism releases the stop lever, which guides the arresting spring in the direction of the balance. The contact pressure of the spring instantly stops both the balance and the tourbillon cage. When the crown is pushed home, the balance and tourbillon are released, and the watch instantly starts running again. The filigreed, precise mechanics and the fascinating choreography orchestrated around the fourth wheel can be observed through the sapphire-crystal caseback of the watch.

Not only does the DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON HONEYGOLD “Lumen” distinguish itself thanks to its ingenuous mechanisms but also because of the lucid arrangement of the displays, translating technical finesse into an exceptional design language. Comprising an equilateral triangle formed by the Lange outsize date in a framed twin aperture beneath 12 o’clock and the two subsidiary dials, the dial architecture is a well-organised model of clarity, despite the abundance of displays. The subsidiary seconds dial, the day of the week and the day/night indicator are located on the left-hand side, while the precise jumping minute counter, the month and the leap year can be found on the right. The moon-phase display at 6 o’clock is harmoniously embedded in the ensemble.

The DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON HONEYGOLD “Lumen” also reveals its radiant personality in the dark ‒ thanks to the semi-transparent dial and the luminous coating that make the displays and functions glow. The darker the surroundings, the more prominent the luminous elements appear. The hour and minute hands are inlaid with a luminous compound, while the chrono seconds hand is completely coated. The hands of the subsidiary seconds, month, day of the week and minute counter move above luminous subsidiary dials. The subjacent luminous compound causes the inscription on the circumferential dial ring with the minute scale and tachymeter scale to glow.

The luminous outsize date, a distinctive highlight, first featured in the GRAND LANGE 1 “Lumen” in 2013, rendering the ingenious disc mechanism visible. Guaranteeing that the outsize date display also glows just after the daily switching sequence, presented a considerable challenge. In typical Lange fashion, the solution was found: the tens cross and units disc are coated with a luminous compound and printed with black numerals, making it possible to closely observe the illustrious date switching performance at midnight.

The evolved manufacture calibre L952.4 beats at the heart of the DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON HONEYGOLD “Lumen”: it consists of 684 parts and is assembled twice. The classic column-wheel chronograph is equipped with a freely oscillating Lange balance spring as well as a Lange balance wheel with eccentric poising weights, assuring excellent rate stability across the entire power reserve of 50 hours. It is calibrated to a frequency of 18,000 semi- oscillations per hour (2.5 hertz), allowing measurements with an accuracy of one fifth of a second ‒ in the light of the minute scale featuring an impressive total of 300 markers. Typical Lange quality hallmarks such as bridges made of untreated German silver, polished gold chatons and blued screws can be admired through the sapphire-crystal caseback.

The dimensions of the DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON HONEYGOLD “Lumen” remain unmodified. With a diameter of 41.5 millimetres, the honey-gold case boasts a height of 14.6 millimetres. The DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON HONEYGOLD “Lumen” is the sixth model of the limited “Lumen” edition, and subsequent to the ZEITWERK HONEYGOLD “Lumen” launched in 2021, only the second model that combines the particular hardness and incomparable resplendence of honey gold with the luminous “Lumen” coating.

“In 2016, the A. Lange & Söhne engineers created one of our technically and aesthetically most sophisticated timepieces with the DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON,” explains Anthony de Haas, Director of Product Development. “It unites three classic complications – a column-wheel chronograph with a precisely jumping minute counter, perpetual calendar with instantaneously switching displays and a tourbillon with a stop-seconds mechanism, – and useful supplementary functions. The challenge presented also consisted in complementing the precisely harmonised interaction between the highly complex mechanisms with an optimally balanced dial design. The DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON HONEYGOLD “Lumen” spotlights the distinctive technical and aesthetic features of the watch to an even greater degree, allowing these to be experienced in the dark for the very first time. Once more, we live up to our ambition to test the limits of mechanical horology and cast new light on sophisticated complications.”