A. Lange & Söhne Lights Up The Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen
Meet the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen, the latest addition to the brand’s coveted Lumen series and the first not to feature a platinum case. The perfect blend of elegance and exclusivity, it has quickly shot to the top of the wish list for savvy aficionados everywhere. Limited to 200 pieces worldwide and available exclusively from A. Lange & Söhne boutiques, we are privileged to present this extraordinary timepiece to our valued clientele. Keep reading to learn more about the Lumen series and its newest family member.
The Lumen Series
The Lumen series traces its origins back to 2009, when A. Lange & Söhne’s Director of Product Development – Anthony de Haas – made an observation. He was wearing an early version of the platinum Zeitwerk and finding it challenging to read the time in the dark. This is not at all an uncommon trait of high-end dress watches, which rarely feature luminous material on their understated dials. Still, de Haas was inspired, and he immediately set to work with his team on ideas to improve legibility in low-light conditions.
The obvious solution, of course, was to make the numerals for the the rotating hour and numeral discs that make up the jumping time display luminous. And that’s exactly what Lange did. However, it was not quite as straight-forward as that. Unlike traditional hands, which are always on display, the time discs on the Zeitwerk rotate frequently and continually (60 seconds for minute disc, 10 minutes for decimal and so on). This means there is not sufficient time for the luminous material on the numerals to absorb light (sometimes referred to as “charging”).
The solution was as ingenious as it is bold. The solid dial was replaced by one crafted from specially smoked sapphire, that only lets UV light pass through. This allows the SuperLumiNova coating on the numerals to “charge” during the day, resulting in an eye-catching glowing spectacle when the lights go out. And with that, the idea for the Lumen series was born. To date, A. Lange & Söhne has only produced four Lumen models, with the new Zeitwerk Honey Gold becoming the fifth. A testament to the rarity and exclusivity of the timepieces in this series.
The Zeitwerk Honey Gold Lumen
Since that first Lumen model in 2010, A. Lange & Söhne has continued to evolve the Zeitwerk collection. So much so, that this latest release is quite a departure from its iconic ancestor. Even if it doesn’t appear that way at first glance. The fundamentals remain unchanged, of course. A central time bridge plays host to the instantaneous jumping time display consisting of three discs, complete with large, highly legible numerals that are read from left to right. At the top of the partially-tinted sapphire dial is a power reserve indicator. The bottom half is occupied by a sub-seconds dial, which is slightly larger than on previous editions and is now crafted in black rhodiumed German silver (as opposed to being black coated).
As with previous Lumen models, the sapphire dial comes with a light-permeable coating. This mean UV light can penetrate to the numerals beneath, charging up the luminous material that coats them. And because allthe numerals are slightly visible through the tinted sapphire (not just the ones appearing in the apertures), the effect when the lights go down is nothing short of mesmerising.
The dimensions of the Zeitwerk case remain unchanged at 41.9mm x 12.6mm. However, the proportions have been tweaked ever so slightly, with a thinner bezel and slimmer lugs. These are the kind of subtle touches that Lange is renowned for. Almost imperceptible, yet the result of serious study and consideration of how to improve the wearer’s overall experience.
A more obvious change, of course, is the choice of metal for the case; Lange’s proprietary Honeygold. As discussed above this is the first time any Lumen model has been offered in a case metal other than platinum, and it really is a treat. The shimmering honey gold alloy brings a warmth to the piece, making it appear less technical than previous Lumen models. The expert finishing of the three-part case remains unchanged, however, with a polished bezel and lugs, and straight-brushed flanks. It’s paired with a brown alligator leather strap for the final, finishing touch.
A New Calibre
If you look closely, you will also note there is small, rectangular pusher extending from the case at 4 o’clock. Something not before seen on the time-only edition of the Zeitwerk. This allows the hour indication to be advanced independently, which is very useful for quickly setting the time. The minutes meanwhile are still adjusted by the crown. This switching impulse was first debuted on the Zeitwerk Date (2019) and is only generated when the pusher is released, ensuring consistent and uniform execution.
This is also our first visual clue that the Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen is equipped with a new calibre. The manufacture calibre L043.9 to be precise, which is based on the architecture of the calibre found in the Zeitwerk Date. One of the key benefits of this design is the stacked mainspring barrel configuration (two barrels – one on top of the other), which delivers a 72-hour power reserve. Or roughly double that of the original time-only Zeitwerk. Power is particularly important in the Zeitwerk because at the top of every hour a sophisticated mechanism simultaneously switches all three numerals discs by one increment. The switching point is controlled by a patented constant-force escapement, ensuring that the balance is always driven with constant power.
As with all Lange calibres, the calibre L043.9 is visually impressive as well. Composed of 462 components, many of which are visible through the sapphire caseback, the level of decoration and hand finishing is second to none. A loupe is necessary to fully appreciate the intricately hand-engraved balance and escape-wheel cocks, solarised winding wheels and filigreed, straight-grained constant-force escapement bridge that accommodates two recessed, screwed gold chatons. And in keeping with the company ethos, all parts are finished to the highest standard possible, regardless of whether they are visible or not.
This very special timepiece will be available exclusively from the A. Lange & Söhne boutique in Sydney. Please contact the boutique directly for further information on the new Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen.