There is a new A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk in town, and it looks almost like the original from way back in 2009. In fact, if you look at this watch, which we featured in the Festive issue of WOW but did not dive into, you might not even notice anything different. Of course, this is A. Lange & Söhne so the new watch comes with a new movement, which is part of the ethos of the Glashütte manufacture. Think of it this way: there is no such thing as an update without a new movement. In fact, the new calibre L043.6 somehow finds space for 63 new components, yet the watch continues to be the good old jumping digital hour and minute watch, with small seconds. The new A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk comes in two versions, in platinum or pink gold.
No doubt you already know that the pusher at 4 o’clock reveals part of what is new here, and so does the power reserve display at 12 o’clock. The pusher now allows for fast forward adjustment of the hour indication, which will be useful for travellers and could not have come at a better time now that travel without restriction is once more on the cards (the watch debuted in October last year). As for the power reserve, it has been boosted to 72 hours, up from 36, thanks to the inclusion of twin mainspring barrels (the previous calibre L043.1 had just the one overworked barrel; it takes a lot of power to jump and brake the oversized displays). The constant force mechanism, that provided a steadying hand in controlling torque, remains in place but has been reworked for greater efficiency.
The new manual-winding calibre L043.6 has 451 exquisitely finished components, and that is one of the highest counts we know of for what amounts to a time-only watch. To be fair, calling the Zeitwerk a time-only watch is like calling a Bugatti Veyron a car… Excessive engineering and a ridiculous attention to detail is exactly what everyone has come to expect from A. Lange & Sohne, and it delivers with Zeitwerk. Now, you can be forgiven for feeling a sense of deja vu here, especially when it comes to that pusher and the improved power reserve. Rest easy because your mind is not playing tricks on you.
In 2019, A. Lange & Söhne debuted the Zeitwerk Date, it had the same quickset feature for the hours, and the improved power reserve. Absolutely everyone knew that the original Zeitwerk would receive these upgrades too – it was just a question of when. The case size of 41.9mm is unchanged, but the watch is somehow slimmer, coming in at 12.2mm (04mm thinner than the original Zeitwerk). The watch already wore reasonably well so we expect no changes in that aspect. Now, we have only an inferred idea about how A. Lange & Söhne managed to slim things down, even with increased parts, and the reason for our ignorance is that we have not seen this watch in the metal. The presentation in Singapore happened when this specialist was abroad, and he remains the only watch specialist on staff. Nevertheless, he did see the original Zeitwerk and had an extensive feel (literally) of the calibre L043.8 that powers the Zeitwerk Date, so we are reasonably confident in our expectations.
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