Lang & Heyne Hektor Reviewed by Tim Mosso

by Tim Mosso

The Lang & Heyne Hektor is a complicated watch. No, it’s not a mechanical complication, but its place in the L&H universe requires some explaining.

Lang & Heyne Hektor

This indie brand from Dresden is known for face-melting finish and case backs that make German haut-de-gamme benchmark A. Lange & Söhne look almost austere by comparison. But the Hektor isn’t the Odysseus-killer that many expected. In fact, it appears to play in a commercial netherworld somewhere between true haute horlogerie sports watches and mainstream luxury offerings like the Chopard Alpine Eagle or Girard-Perregaux Laureato.

Lang & Heyne Georg

Lang & Heyne Georg

Prior to the 2021 debut of the Hektor, Lang & Heyne was known for making highly exclusive and ornate watches. Current production likely still sits under 200 units per year, but it was well under 100 until the last half-decade or so. Many of these were and are customized to suit the tastes of their buyers, movement finish generally is eye-watering, and the dominant aesthetic is driven by neoclassical codes – almost like modern Breguet’s song played through an Oktoberfest tuba.

Lang & Heyne Hektor

The steel Hektor sports watch hit the market at EUR 16,900, which was thousands – or tens of thousands – or hundreds of thousands – less than a typical Lang & Heyne product. As such, it’s a great accessory sports watch, but it’s also an odd fit for its hitherto uncompromising maker. In recent years, Lang & Heyne has witnessed the departure of Marco Lang, its sole remaining founder, the arrival of former Mortiz Grossmann tech chief Jens Schneider as Director of Development, and new ownership.

The 40mm stainless steel Hektor heralded this new era as a 99-piece edition comprised of three different dial variants each in equal 33-piece series. All include a matching bracelet, UWD 33.2 manual wind caliber, and an aesthetic half-way between traditional L&H and a Swiss “Holy Trinity” integrated bracelet sports watch.



L&H appears to have encountered a few of the same challenges as Lange did when adapting its well-known dress watch case design codes to the integrated bracelet Odysseus.

Crown and lugs of the Lang & Heyne Hektor

On the Hektor, an onion crown co-exists with Nautilus-like flanking wings, and the signature L&H triple-lugs merge with a tapered five-link bracelet design. Screw-fixed lug bars provide a nod to Swiss segment leader Audemars Piguet while imparting an air of rugged solidity.

To Lang & Heyne’s credit, all of this works well. The Hektor is well proportioned at 11.2mm thick and majestically broad at 52.2mm from end link to end link. While nowhere near as thin as a Royal Oak 16202 or a Nautilus 5811, the Hektor appears more imposing than either when on the wrist, and its feeling in the hand is of massive substance. Seen on the forearm, the Hektor’s commanding presence surrenders no ground to the Swiss, and its tapered elegance throws shade on the severely shaped Odysseus.

Dial side, the good news continues. This example includes the silver-grey dial variant, and it’s easily the most Teutonic looking of the trio – its counterparts feature cheerful green and blue faces. Unlike the Odysseus, which departs from Lange convention by employing a brass dial, the Hektor sports a precious metal silver dial base.

Lang & Heyne Hektor

“Petticoat” hands and indices are white gold and handsomely graced with ecru lume; a rose gold center seconds hand pops. Several concentric tracks of different planes and textures differentiate the expanse of the watch face, while a center disc exhibits a motif whose shape echoes the outline of the hour indices. The finely grooved hour track is gorgeously sharp and appealing.

Below the hands, a satin brushed bridge with beveled edges provides a window into the motion works that drives the display. Its locating pegs and fixing screw are polished to a blazing shine. Dispensing with the date is bold for this product class but imparts comely balance. So far so, sehr gut.



Prior to scrutinizing the movement, there’s no hard objection to Lang & Heyne’s decisions. Sure, the 50-meter water resistance with a push down crown means real water use isn’t advisable. Removable bracelet links are fixed by screws, the clasp deploys with trigger-action, and the twin-folding internals are sufficient if not exactly opulent. External case finish alternates between satin brush strokes and polish, but there’s nothing approaching Royal Oak Jumbo or Nautilus nuance in the metal profiles.

Still, for a handsome watch that launched under $20,000 – and in such exclusive volumes – all of this is an acceptable tradeoff.

Movement of the Lang & Heyne Hektor

The caseback – Lang & Heyne’s traditional strength – is where impeachment of the Hektor arises. This is a Lang & Heyne movement in a sense, because UWD – Uhren-Werke-Dresden – is a company founded by former principal Marco Lang and now controlled directly by L&H itself. But the UWD 33 caliber is an open-market customer caliber used by several other brands including Sinn and J.N. Shapiro among others. It’s a large and handsome 33mm manual wind movement, but the technical specifications and finish fall far short of L&H’s historic standards.

First, the good news. The UWD 33.2 is a proper fit for this 40mm watch, and its architectural layout is aesthetically pleasing. The elegant individual bridges for train wheels mirror similar layouts on traditional L&H watches. Skeletonized centers in these “finger” bridges impart an open and airy charm.

Ratchet and crown wheels of the Lang & Heyne Hektor

Ratchet and crown wheels give a taste of the full-fat Lang movements thanks to baroque solarization with mirrored center recesses, and a quirky click with integrated spring complements them beautifully.

Movement details of the Lang & Heyne Hektor

Screws are black polished, and the locating pegs for the bridges are polished on their tops; a similarly specular surfaced quasi-swan’s neck regulator crowns the balance bridge.



Second, sobriety. The first disappointment comes in the form of indifferent bevels. Sure, there are bevels, but they’re matte, dull, and mechanical; this is Panerai-level. Bevels retain visible milling marks from the machine that cut them. Close inspection of the polished screws reveals a total lack of chamfered slots. All jewel sinks feature media-blasted rather than polished wells.

Movement details of the Lang & Heyne Hektor

While the bridges are “skeletonized,” it’s mechanically applied, and the interior hollows exhibit lazy rounded contours to match.

Straight graining is the only decoration applied to the bridge tops, and media blasting is the only surface treatment on the base plate. All wheels are bereft of spoke or inner circumferential beveling, and they appear as mundane as the hardware on an Omega Seamaster. Those otherwise gorgeous crown and ratchet wheels feature clumsy surface-polished rather than micro-beveled teeth; again, Panerai comes to mind.

From a technical standpoint, the caliber 33.2 is only sufficient. Given its manual-wind architecture in a class dominated by automatics, this movement should have yielded a watch far thinner than 11.2mm. 48 hours is entirely inadequate in a class where even the $14,300 Laureato offers 54, Chopard’s $14,800 Alpine Eagle yields 60, and Oris’s $4,300 ProPilot X offers 120. A 3Hz beat rate is neither as graceful as a pocket watch’s 2.5 Hz/18,000 VPH nor as potentially precise as a modern 4 Hz.

Hacking seconds is fair but expected at this price, and there is no mention of positional adjustment or chronometric certifications.



Ultimately, the Lange & Heyne Hektor is a very sharp looking and fairly priced sports watch that fights for its place in a lineup of aristocrats unburdened by any concessions to price or practicality. By specs and finish, the Hektor also is a few steps behind its Swiss and Glashütte rivals in a packed genre. That said, the sheer exclusivity, solidity, and outward-facing beauty of the Hektor puts it right back in the game.

Silver dial of the Lang & Heyne Hektor

L&H watches are named after significant German rulers, and the horological Hektor likely pays tribute to sixteenth-century Joachim II Hektor, Elector of Brandenburg. But his namesake, in turn, draws notable parallels with the new sports watch. The mythological Hector of Greek lore was fierce and ferocious – just not as much as Achilles.

Lang & Heyne Hektor

It’s possible to be a standout and even a legend without being the absolute best. While most watch collectors profess devotion to miniscule distinctions of finish, pedigree, and technical esoterica, reality is that we respond to rugged good looks first and foremost. The ancient Greeks – themselves fools for aesthetics – would approve.

For more information, please visit

Quick Facts: Lange & Heyne Hektor
Edition: 99 pieces in total: three series of 33 split by dial color

Case: stainless steel; 40mm; 11.2mm thick; 52.2mm lug-to-lug; triple lug junction; push in crown
Water resistance: 50 meters WR
Clasp: Steel folding clasp: double deployant with triggers
Dial: Sterling silver with silver grey coating; white gold hour and minute hands and hour indices with ecru Super LumiNova; rose gold seconds hand; bridge for motion works with skeletonized center
Movement: Caliber UWD 33.2; manual wind with 48-hour power reserve; single barrel; 3Hz beat rate; hacking seconds
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
2024 Retail Price: EUR 16,900
2024 Preowned Price: $31,950

* Tim Mosso is the media director and watch specialist at Watchbox. You can check out his very comprehensive YouTube channel at

You might also enjoy:

Lang & Heyne And Squaring Off With Gorgeous Georg

Augustus by Lang & Heyne: No More Forgotten Anniversary Excuses

Why I Bought It: A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus (A Photofest!)

4 replies
  1. Anthony
    Anthony says:

    Perhaps the most lukewarm review by Tim Mosso I’ve ever read. I’d say the short version is:

    Overpriced, under finished, bizarrely long, outclassed and inadequate in the modern luxury sports watch category.

    • Tim Mosso
      Tim Mosso says:

      People ask whether I’m ever “honest” about my views of shortcomings and relevance of the watches I review since all of them are for sale on my website. There’s only so much I can fit into a five-minute YouTube video, so I just stick to the facts in those. In a written format, you can see my qualitative assessments and personal perspectives clearly. The Hektor is neither a class leader nor a failure of any kind. Like Jaguar cars, it’s something you buy because its good qualities win your affection and convince you to overlook the shortcomings. Essentially, you’re attracted to it on is own terms rather than cross-shopping the finest and least compromised products in its class.

      • LocalheroEd
        LocalheroEd says:

        I can see the comparison to Jaguar. I’d have gone for Bristol or Morgan for the same reasons plus exclusivity. All the best, Ed

  2. LocalheroEd
    LocalheroEd says:

    Good short version Anthony.

    Although rereading the last few paragraphs Tim states it’s ‘fairly priced’ and my take is he forgives the shortcomings due to its beauty.

    I’d say that despite its ‘majestically broad’ lug to lug it can’t shoulder the weight of expectation from the name on the dial.

    It amazes me they (Lang & Heyne specifically but equally applicable to others) don’t offer this as base, with additional hand finishing available for a surcharge. I’d like the bridges in gold, not a problem Sir it’ll be £££.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *