The latest A. Lange & Söhne watch family is growing. The ODYSSEUS now comes in white gold with an integrated rubber or leather strap. The sporty-elegant timepiece with the large-format date and day display and a water-resistant case features a grey dial with a special surface structure for a very textured effect.
When A. Lange & Söhne’s product developers come up with new ideas, they first have to answer an important question: is it possible to integrate the concept into one of our existing product families? Or will it require a totally new approach? In some cases, this question is not easy to answer and different attempts are needed to find the best solution. This was the case with the ODYSSEUS. When it became clear that the combination of the iconic Lange outsize date in the classic double aperture with an equally large day display on the opposite side produced a distinctive design, the consensus was that this model would be the cornerstone for the sixth watch family at A. Lange & Söhne.
Launched on 24 October 2019, exactly 25 years to the day after the debut of the first new-era timepiece collection by Walter Lange and Günter Blümlein, it was obvious that the ODYSSEUS was designed for active people who wish to wear their Lange watch even in situations when a precision mechanical model would ordinarily be set aside. Its prominently sculpted design emphasises the dynamic personality of the watch.
The second model of the new family combines a 40.5-millimetre white-gold case with a grey dial. White-gold hands and notched baton appliques assure good legibility against the dark background. The numerals of the outsize date and the letters of the large-format day display stand out in white on grey. With a height of 2.4 millimetres, they are easily readable even in poor light conditions. Like the hour and minute hands, the hour markers are luminous. The embossed groove structure beneath the applied hour markers and the subsidiary seconds scale enhances the textured effect of the dial. It contrasts against the glossy matt inner surfaces of the main and subsidiary dials. The red 60 on the bevelled argenté-coloured flange ring with the printed minute scale provides a subtle colour accent.
The tapered buttons for correcting the day and the date are arranged above and beneath the crown. They accentuate the prominent shape of the three-part white-gold case. The finissage of the case and the lugs is characterised by the interplay of brushed surfaces and polished chamfers. Integrated straps are available in hand-stitched leather or black rubber. The latter features air ducts on the inside for superb wearing comfort.
The watch is powered by the L155.1 DATOMATIC manufacture calibre developed exclusively for the ODYSSEUS. Its name stands for the combination of a date mechanism and automatic winding. To guarantee high rate accuracy regardless of external factors, the balance operates at a frequency of 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour (4 hertz). Recessed poising screws minimise air turbulence that could affect the rate. The movement has a maximum power reserve of 50 hours. The skeletonised and partially black-rhodiumed central rotor with a centrifugal mass in platinum assures dependable energy delivery.
In line with Lange’s philosophy, all parts are lavishly hand-finished and the movement is assembled twice. Many artisanal details can be discovered with a glance through the sapphire-crystal caseback. They include the German silver plate decorated with Glashütte ribbing, the wave pattern engraved on the balance bridge, and the screwed gold chaton above the escape wheel.
Date-and-day mechanism of the ODYSSEUS
The dial of the model ODYSSEUS is characterised by the two-part day-of-week and date display. Located on the right, the Lange outsize date in the classic double aperture is complemented with an equally large day-of-week display on the left. The therefor newly developed mechanism consists of 99 individual parts.
A. Lange & Söhne’s mechanism constructed especially for the ODYSSEUS delivers a large and superbly legible display of the date and the day-of-week in a mechanical timepiece. The typical Lange font is used for both displays.
The day switching process
The date-and-day mechanism is powered by the hour wheel that rotates once every 12 hours. It transfers its motion to the 24-hour wheel that requires exactly one day to perform a full revolution. The day-of-week display is switched directly by the 24-hour wheel. At the same time, a program wheel controls the correct switching action of the units ring and the tens disc.
The outsize date switching process
To obtain the largest possible display area, the outsize-date display is divided into a units ring and a tens disc. Driven by the program wheel, the wheel train of the units ring is advanced once a day. The transition from the 31st day of a month to the 1st day of the next month is an exception: a recess in the program wheel causes the units switching action to be skipped once. The program wheel also advances the wheel train of the tens disc every 10 days. When the 3 is displayed, the switching sequence to the blank field takes only 2 days.
Correction of the displays
The date pusher at 2 o’clock and the day pusher at 4 o’clock enable both indications to be advanced in steps of one day. Thanks to the functional design, both displays can be incremented or decremented in either direction beyond midnight by turning the crown clockwise or anti-clockwise.