A. Lange & Söhne presents two new versions of the award-winning mechanical digital watch in platinum and pink gold. Thanks to the evolved calibre L043.6, the exceptional timepiece now has a power reserve doubled to 72 hours and offers even greater convenience. The revolutionary design concept has been subtly reworked as well, enhancing its expressive style. Even though the minute-by-minute progression of the large jumping numerals may seem to be moved by magic, it is precisely controlled by a reliable calibre with seven patents.
This innovative approach is closely intertwined with the tradition of our manufactory. For the ZEITWERK, the master watchmakers at A. Lange & Söhne took their inspiration from the famous five-minute clock at the Semper Opera House in Dresden. At the time, court clockmaker Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes was commissioned to create it. He was asked to develop a time display that would be easily legible even from the rearmost seats. It was a challenge that forced Gutkaes to rethink the assignment.
Contrary to all large-format clocks with hands, he opted for a revolutionary solution: a clock that displayed the time digitally in five-minute steps. In 1841, he completed the five-minute clock with his co-worker Ferdinand Adolph Lange. The unusual idea behind this clock was transposed to the ZEITWERK, even though it switches five times more often than its source of inspiration, namely once per full minute.
The ZEITWERK has a patented mechanism with three jumping numerals discs that make a glance at the watch a special experience. The hours and minutes are displayed from left to right by large-format numerals that are 2.9 millimetres high and 2.3 millimetres wide. The harmonious arrangement on the curved time bridge and the size of the displays ensure superb legibility.
Additionally, this aesthetically original and technically elaborate display endows the dial with vibrancy and verve because the underlying mechanism switches the three numerals discs – one displays the hours, the other two display the units and the tens digits of the minutes – within fractions of a second. The most exciting event happens at the top of the hour when all three numerals discs are simultaneously advanced by one increment. With this precise choreography, the moment becomes the event.
To create this lucid and innovative display, Lange’s designers questioned the conventional principles and rules of precision watchmaking afresh. This was necessary, because the challenge of fitting the mechanism in the limited dimensions of a wristwatch and at the same time providing enough energy to produce the synchronised switching steps was enormous.
Some key figures make this impressively clear: For instance, the hour ring with a diameter of 30.0 millimetres extends to the outer circumference of the movement. In addition, there are two discs – the tens-minute and units-minute discs. Their diameters are 19.0 and 12.7 millimetres, respectively. Both discs are separated by a height difference of merely 0.2 millimetres, which calls for highly precise settings by the watchmaker.