A Lange & Sohne Watches: The Top Eight Watches From Germany's Best Watchmaker


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Jul 17, 2014
A Lange & Sohne Watches: The Top Eight Watches From Germany's Best Watchmaker
Streamed live 47 minutes ago: Sep 13, 2021

WatchBox Studios

A Lange & Sohne is Germany's finest volume watchmaker. Although only re-founded in 1990, the reborn Lange has established itself as a worthy rival to Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and even high horology independents like Greubel Forsey. Tonight's show highlights eight watches -- eight landmarks -- that tell the story of A Lange & Sohne from 1990 to 2021. Below, find a review of the A Lange & Sohne Odysseus sports watch, the most prominent Lange watch of the moment.

More than any other model, the A Lange & Sohne Odysseus Datomatic, reference 363.038, reflects the values of the German watchmaker in 2021. Although clearly inspired by the popularity of watches like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711, the Lange Odysseus breaks new group in the luxury sports watch segment with a unique design and movement detailing that surpasses the Swiss. At 40.5mm in stainless steel and bound to a matching steel bracelet, the Lange Odysseus isn't revolutionary at first glance.

Watch collectors who spend time with the Odysseus are bound to fall for its charms. The intricately detailed dial in blue (steel case) or grey (white gold case) sports a level of attention to nuance that Audemars, Patek, and even Vacheron do not achieve. Part of this is a product of Lange's innate ambition to challenge Swiss watchmakers in every segment, but Lange's historic design tropes also play a role. The unique day-date display draws inspiration from the "panoramadatum" of the Lange 1 dress watch and the digital time display of the Zeitwerk jump hour.

A Lange & Sohne watchmakers spare no detail and gild their dial with plenty of white gold hardware; the calendar frames, hour indices, and hands are 18-karat white gold brightened with rhodium. Legibility is excellent, and luminous paint ensures nighttime visibility matches that of daytime.

Prior to the Odysseus, very few Lange watches were constructed of stainless steel. For the sake of durability, the standard Odysseus includes a stainless steel case and an integrated bracelet to match. If there is any common thread to the objections lodged against the Odysseus, it's the reaction to Lange's proportioning of the case lugs relative to the bracelet. Watch buyers who seek a better balance of case and band have the option of buying the white gold Odysseus on a rubber strap. Those who do choose the steel Odysseus will find that the bracelet and clasp are highly adjustable.

A Lange & Sohne movement finish is legendary, and it prevails on the company's first sports watch. Each Odysseus is powered by an automatic winding Datomatic caliber L155.1. Based on the rotor automatic caliber L086, the L155.1 has been toughened for sports watch use thanks to a full balance bridge and an elevated beat rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour. Hand-engraved bridges, black polish, Glashutte stripes, engine-turned perlage, and mirrored anglage live up to the legend of Lange's Glashutte-based watch workshops. For security against water intrusion, the A Lange & Sohne Odysseus is water resistant to 120 meters.

This episode also contains reviews of the following watch models: Lange 1 191.025 and 191.028; Datograph Flyback 403.035; Tourbograph Pour le Merite 702.025; Zeitwerk 140.029; Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Merite Handwerkskunst 761.050; Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna 180.026; Saxonia Thin Copper Blue 205.086.

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