Easily the quirkiest and most entertaining-to-describe watch collection made by German A. Lange & Söhne is the Zeitwerk. Originally surfaced about a decade ago, that the Zeitwerk set is typified with its digital hour and electronic minute screen for the moment, along with a conventional analog subsidiary seconds dial and power reserve indicator. The total design of the watch is motivated by an historical”digital clock” in Dresden’s opera house that was developed in collaboration with the founder of the brand in the 19th century. A. Lange & Söhne watchmakers and movement engineers have clearly had an enjoyable time together with the Zeitwerk, that is currently its own family of watches inside the Saxon brand. What I feel nobody initially anticipated was for this more”modern-looking” set from the otherwise highly conventional manufacturer to be an area where A. Lange & Söhne experiments with musiA-Lange-Sohne-Zeitwerk-Striking-Time-Watch-6.jpgcal (chiming) watches.
Today, I have an comprehensive look in the A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk Dramatic Time (initially surfaced on aBlogtoWatch here) — that is a $100,000-plus timepiece which melodically chimes once every 15 minutes, behaving as a”quarter-striker” (in the classical parlance). This function may be switched on or off and can be a less common chiming function together with the more common minute repeater. A. Lange & Sohne does, indeed, make minute repeater versions of this Zeitwerk — as well as other”strikers” that really are another breed (such as the Zeitwerk Decimal Strike). The complexity in explaining these watches complete and nuances that make these various models distinct from one puts this assortment of watches into a basket that I’ll refer as being for”experienced collectors and timepiece experts only.”
Let’s reflect on this concept for a moment. There’s a tendency for well-funded novice watch collectors to go online, reference a handful of”top 10 lists” and testimonials concerning the”best watches,” then proceed to make a purchase not ultimately understanding or enjoying what they’re purchasing. This is sometimes unfortunate because the road to knowing many nice timepieces isn’t one of merely earning enough money, but rather of being educated enough to love the art form and technology behind it. In other words, nobody actually understands what makes the Zeitwerk Strikng Time a intriguing machine or complex timepiece unless they have spent years being subjected to the subject of horology.
Having said that, place a Zeitwerk Dramatic Time watch into the hands of a rookie watch enthusiast and they’ll no doubt be impressed. The weighty solid gold instance, handsome dial, and gorgeous hand-decorated and -built movement are exciting for anyone to experience. To understand how an A. Lange & Söhne movement feels distinct in contrast to lesser ones, to fathom the intriguing complexity of this motion (like the continuous force mechanism), and to appreciate the many hours of decoration and craft that enter every watch is a level of culture that can’t be purchased — but just earned.