A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual And Saxonia Thin With Aventurine Dial: Watch Wardrobing The WIS Way
I recently discussed how the A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst is perfect to wear with more formal attire, adding the perfect pinch of je ne sais quoi to an outfit carefully chosen for a special event.
But what if your mood, outfit, and/or day’s activities are a little different, necessitating a different watch? A. Lange & Söhne recently released two other new watches that might just suit, making all three wondrous wardrobing watches.
While you can find the in-depth discussion of the Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst here, today it’s all about the new Langematik Perpetual and Saxonia Thin with aventurine dial. Then on Thursday, July 22, please join us on Clubhouse as we discuss all three of these watches in this context live.
A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual
The A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual is pure WIS geekery wrapped up in a totally classic – and Germanic – design. In my estimation it is for people in love with complicated mechanics, but who might need to have things very orderly – think an executive or creative with an immaculate desk (not me for sure) with every pen and paperclip in its proper place.
I imagine this timepiece worn with a crisp business suit, tailored and pressed to perfection, ready to take on the boardroom or talk investors into adding more to the deal. This watch exudes confidence, skill, and knowledge.
Celebrating 20 years of existence in 2021, most recently before this year the Langematik Perpetual was released in 2019 in the brand’s proprietary Honeygold in combination with a solid silver dial in white with classic grooved stamping on the outer ring.
At the time of its initial release in 2001, it was the only automatic perpetual calendar on the market to feature a large date, a zero-reset function, and one corrector to adjust all the displays simultaneously.
In celebration of that milestone, in 2021 it was released in white or pink gold with a deep blue solid silver dial that adds more depth to the design in my opinion. In not altogether typical manner for A. Lange & Söhne, the hands for the hours, minutes, weekdays, and month are inlaid with Super-LumiNova for excellent legibility.
Despite its multitude of functions as befits the king of calendars, the dial layout remains organized and classic, yet with a variety of Teutonic design elements to keep it interesting. Two excellent examples are the leap year indicator cutting into the month subdial at 4 o’clock and the 24-hour indication with day/night display that shares its space with the weekday subdial at 9 o’clock. Compact, efficient, and striking.
But perhaps most important is that the dial is arranged according to the principle of information hierarchy: the large double-window date is positioned prominently at 12 o’clock so that it is the first display the eye takes in after the time. The weekday is next, placed in the subdial to the left (in the west we read left to right) before moving to the month on the right. The less frequently used information – 24-hour/second time zone, leap year, moon phase – isn’t in your face, but is nonetheless easily found.
All the indications on this watch may be advanced simultaneously using the recessed corrector in the case at 10 o’clock or set separately if so desired.
A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual: Caliber L922.1 Sax-O-Mat
The meticulous movement screams craftsmanship. And I have quite an affinity toward it in particular because of its offset rotor. When it comes to perpetual calendars, I have a strong preference for automatic movements as they make more sense to me in the context of such a complicated timepiece; automatic winding keeps the watch “perpetually” wound if it is worn, avoiding the owner having to set so many calendar functions at once.
The bidirectionally winding 21-karat gold rotor with platinum mass is beautifully nestled into the German silver three-quarter plate and visible through the transparent case back, where it resides near the hand-engraved balance cock with its elegant swan-neck regulation spring and screw balance.
Another fantastic feature of it is the large date at 12 o’clock; in fact, the Langematik Perpetual was the first perpetual calendar to feature this Lange-typical element.
And let’s not forget A. Lange & Söhne’s characteristic zero-reset function, which sees the second hand jump straight to zero when the crown is pulled out to set the time, enabling precision setting.
However, it is not the movement nor the information hierarchy guiding the look of the dial that make me favor this watch; it is that its proportions are so perfect. With a case diameter of 38.5 mm, it sits superbly on any wrist.
The height of 10.2 mm is also splendid as it provides the watch with enough substance but remains consummately comfortable. And it fits perfectly under an impeccably laundered shirt cuff without even the barest whiff of struggle.
For more information, please visit alange-soehne.com/en/timepieces/langematik-perpetual/langematik-perpetual.
Quick Facts A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual
Case: 38.5 x 10.2 mm, white gold or pink gold
Movement: automatic Caliber L922.1 Sax-O-Mat; 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, three-quarter plate in German silver, balance cock engraved by hand, 46-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, hacking seconds with zero reset; perpetual calendar with large date, weekday, month, moon phase, leap year, and day/night indicator
Limitation: 50 pieces in each metal
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin with aventurine dial
I am particularly partial to A. Lange & Söhne’s recent foray into the use of aventurine, which began with the first Saxonia Thin in a 39 mm white gold case with a blue aventurine dial at SIHH 2018. This is a dress watch with a twist, and it is possibly the best example of a unisex watch that I’ve seen in a long while, a real showstopper with a stunning play of light I could look at all day and night.
And it is a perfect addition to the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia line because the watches found here have unmatched purity in design, finish, and overall execution. Even among the classically inclined collections of A. Lange & Söhne, the Saxonia is to me the home of the brand’s ultimate dress watch.
And among all the watches in A. Lange & Söhne’s collection, the Saxonia Thin sports the purest design: all you get here is the time. And the absence of a bezel to speak of really directs all the attention to the pared-down dial, allowing observers to immerse themselves in the eternity of the night sky that is aventurine.
When the Saxonia Thin originally launched in 2016 it had a then-fashionable largish diameter of 40 mm, but it was later replaced by a 37 mm version, which is still available today in either pink or white gold with a silvered dial.
Then in 2020, A. Lange & Söhne launched a white gold black aventurine version of the Saxonia Thin, whose case is 40 mm, just like the discontinued regular versions of the Saxonia Thin. But the added millimeter in case diameter as compared to the previous aventurine version in no way took away from the watch – quite to the contrary.
While I already loved that blue version, the black edition was perhaps even more irresistible as it is ever so slightly more understated. And while while some say that sartorially you are not supposed to wear a watch with evening wear, this one would look so perfect combined with a velvet tuxedo jacket, an evening gown, or even just designer jeans. There is not an outfit alive I wouldn’t wear this with if the mood struck me.
And now A. Lange & Söhne has released a new version with blue aventurine housed in pink gold following the incredible success of the Little Lange 1 with blue aventurine dial announced at the digital Watches and Wonders 2021 in April 2021.
I asked A. Lange & Söhne’s head of products, Tony de Haas, why the brand has chosen to work with aventurine so frequently of late.
“In addition to our classic colorways like argenté, rhodié and black, we have always brought in new ideas to the design of our dials,” he answered. “We have coated solid-silver dials with mother-of-pearl, made dials from pink gold, and created a broad spectrum of differently structured surfaces. What fascinated us about gold flux right from the beginning was its brilliant luster and incredible depth. If you take a look at pieces of jewelry or art objects from the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries made of aventurine, you know that this material doesn’t lose its brilliance. On top of that, it is crafted in an elaborate artisanal process that matches our own approach to fine watchmaking. The optical effect of the material unfolds particularly beautifully on the flat dial of the Saxonia Thin, but also in the Little Lange 1 Moon Phase, where the moon-phase display seems to open into space.”
Apart from the case size and case metal, A. Lange & Söhne did not change a single thing about this version of the Saxonia Thin. It is powered by the brand’s 2.9 mm high Caliber L093.1, which is a manual-wind movement honoring all the Glashütte traditions. And it is the thinnest movement A. Lange & Söhne manufactures.
Its three-quarter plate crafted in untreated German silver features gold chatons secured by blued screws, and, of course, a beautiful hand-engraved balance cock. The only downside of this watch is that it is limited to just 50 pieces as, without a doubt, the demand must be much higher than that for this scintillating timepiece.
A few words on aventurine
I realize that A. Lange & Söhne calls this material “blue gold flux,” and if I ever had something to critique about this brand this misnomer and the confusing descriptions in the brand’s press releases would totally be it. The entire rest of the watch industry calls this material aventurine.
There is in fact a lot of misinformation and mythology floating around about aventurine; that is not a new phenomenon. For that reason, a couple of years ago I put together an article called Aventurine: Sparkling, Glittering, Mysterious, And Placing A Galaxy Of Stars On Your Wrist that is meant to take the mystery out of the material and explain its origins, manufacture, and use today.
In a nutshell, making aventurine glass dates back to the seventeenth century when it was first (accidentally) made in the city-state of Venice. This is not so surprising as high-quality glass objects were one of the items that city was – and remains – renowned for.
The trick to making it is to have the copper particles crystalize in a homogenous way throughout the melted silica. This challenging process requires some experience, but when done just right the result is spectacular.
A. Lange & Söhne puts its aventurine glass over a solid silver dial, which gives the creation a distinct degree of depth. The result of all the special care taken with this watch is obvious, making it to me probably the most beautiful time-only timepiece currently on the market, one that can be worn anywhere and anytime.
For more information, please visit alange-soehne.com/en/timepieces/saxonia-thin/saxonia-thin.
Quick Facts A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin with aventurine dial
Case: 40 x 6.2 mm, pink gold
Dial: silver with blue aventurine
Movement: manual-wind Lange Caliber L093.1, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, power reserve 72 hours, hand-engraved balance cock, untreated German silver movement, assembled twice
Functions: hours, minutes
Limitation: 50 pieces