A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Outside Date
A lucid design vocabulary and mechanical finesse characterise the Saxonia Outsize Date that is now available with an argenté-coloured dial. The Lange outsize date and subsidiary seconds in a symmetric arrangement underscore the prominent look of a watch that combines technical refinement with formal harmony.
who together with Walter Lange re-established A. Lange & Söhne 30 years ago, said: “A Lange watch is a fusion of the arts. It melds the passion of watchmakers for mechanical solutions and craftsmanship with the inimitable style of the manufactory and its venerable history.”
Presented in 2018, the Saxonia Outsize Date lives up to this ambition in every respect. The two versions with black dials are now complemented by two versions with argenté-coloured dials.
The name Saxonia refers to the impressive history of Saxony. The region in south-east Germany leveraged its inventiveness and imagination as an early pioneer in the country’s industrialisation. Ferdinand Adolph Lange, the architect of Saxon fine watchmaking, also contributed to the reputation of the state with his exclusive and innovative pocket watches. His unfaltering quest to persistently improve mechanisms and thus make them more precise still constitutes the foundation of Lange’s entrepreneurial philosophy. It is reflected in each of the twelve models of the current Saxonia watch family.
Starting in 1990, Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s great-grandson Walter Lange
contributed significantly to the renaissance of Saxon precision watchmaking. When asked what characterises an A. Lange & Söhne watch, he said: “It was important to us from the very beginning to develop decidedly modern timepieces with sleek, classic looks.”
In the Saxonia Outsize Date, the true Lange style embraces numerous design details such as the chamfered and polished solid-gold baton appliques. The outsize date is another typical element featured in the launch of the first wristwatch collection in 1994, which included the first Saxonia model. On the clearly and minimalistically designed dial with applied baton indices in solid gold, it is positioned at 12 o’clock. The subsidiary seconds dial at the 6 o’clock position counterbalances the face. With a diameter of 38.5 millimetres and a height of 9.6 millimetres, the case in white gold or pink gold exhibits classic proportions.
The common denominator of all Lange watches is the attention to detail invested in finissage and the passion for technology, artisanship, and materiality. Assembled by hand twice, the self-winding manufacture calibre of the Saxonia Outsize Date is an impressive example. It is based on the calibre L086.1 of the Saxonia Automatic. Due to the complex date mechanism, the number of parts increased to 286, up from 209 in the basic movement. The extraordinary design features two separate display surfaces for the units and tens that are at least twice as large as in watches of a comparable size. This significantly enhances legibility.
A large central rotor with ball bearings and a platinum centrifugal mass assure efficient winding of the automatic L086.8 movement. The strong mainspring barrel delivers a maximum power reserve of 72 hours. Further mechanical highlights include a classic screw balance and a freely oscillating balance spring manufactured in-house. The characteristic Lange style comes to the fore in various movement details such as the three- quarter plate made of untreated German silver decorated with Glashütte ribbing and the hand-engraved balance cock with the elegantly curved whiplash spring for precision beat adjustment. The finissage of the tiny movement parts with lavish polishes and exquisite decorations corresponds to the high artisanal standards for which A. Lange & Söhne is known.
Thus, in the Saxonia Outsize Date, design, mechanical prowess, and craftsmanship interact to form a fusion of the arts that lives up to the founders’ ambitions in every respect.
Dresden watchmaker Ferdinand Adolph Lange laid the cornerstone of Saxony’s precision watchmaking industry when he established his manufactory in 1845. His precious pocket watches remain highly coveted among collectors all over the world. The company was expropriated after World War II, and the name A. Lange & Söhne nearly vanished. In 1990, Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s great-grandson Walter Lange had the courage to relaunch the brand.
Today, Lange crafts only a few thousand wristwatches per year, predominantly in gold or platinum. They are endowed exclusively with proprietary movements that are lavishly decorated by hand and assembled twice. With 66 manufacture calibres developed since 1990, A. Lange & Söhne has secured a top-tier position in the world of watchmaking. Brand icons such as the Lange 1 with the first outsize date in a regularly produced wristwatch, and the Zeitwerk with its precisely jumping numerals display, rank among the company’s greatest successes.
Exceptional complications such as the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater, the Triple Split, and the so far most complicated model, the Grand Complication presented in 2013 in a six-watch limited edition, reflect the manufactory’s determination to achieve ever new pinnacles in its tradition-steeped horological artistry. Launched in 2019, the sporty-elegant Odysseus marks the beginning of a new chapter for A. Lange & Söhne.