World of Watches (Singapore) - - Features -

The beau­ti­ful im­ages and videos about Lange’s watches and move­ments be­lie a much more dra­matic his­tory that the Lange man­u­fac­ture shares with its home city, Dres­den. To­wards the end of World War II, the city was oblit­er­ated by ae­rial bomb­ing. Lange too ceased to ex­ist af­ter it was na­tion­alised to­gether with other com­pa­nies into a watch­mak­ing con­sor­tium to serve the needs of the Eastern Bloc. But both Dres­den and Lange have since re­gained their place in the world with the end of the Cold War. The for­mer, re­built brick by brick – from orig­i­nal rub­ble, in the case of the mag­nif­i­cent Frauenkirche church; while Lange has shrugged off the mass mar­ket tick­ers it made in the Com­mu­nist era to re­turn to the high watch­mak­ing of its roots. It is his­tory that in­forms the ethic at Lange, and the dif­fer­ence this makes is am­ply demon­strated in Lange’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the ubiq­ui­tous wrist­watch chronograph: the Dato­graph Up/down.


While the field is largely di­vided be­tween sports chrono­graphs made for every­day prac­ti­cal­ity and rugged­ness or dain­tier dress chrono­graphs meant to add a dash of dy­namism to a for­mal getup, the Dato­graph is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent in ap­proach. On the out­side, it is al­most aus­tere in its de­vo­tion to func­tion, driven by vis­ual clar­ity and bal­ance with­out any­thing su­per­flu­ous. Yet, turn the watch over and the Cal­i­bre L951.6 as­tounds with baroque rich­ness. Lange doesn’t seem to care about ease of man­u­fac­ture, since the L951.6 has got more parts than many per­pet­ual cal­en­dars, all fin­ished with stoic pa­tience and con­sum­mate skill. At the same time, it brims with tech­ni­cal innovation: un­like most chrono­graphs where the elapsed min­utes is a drag­ging hand, that on the Dato­graph jumps from marker to marker, mak­ing for much clearer read­ings. It’s just one of a series of in­stances where Lange spares no ef­fort in creat­ing in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to eas­ily over­looked is­sues, while re­main­ing well within the old school realm of me­chan­i­cal craft. More­over, not only is the L951.6 an in-house move­ment, Lange is also in the even smaller class of com­pa­nies that make their own hair­springs. No short­cuts.

Hand-wound chronograph move­ment beat­ing at 2.5Hz, with big date and power re­serve in­di­ca­tor (60 hours) Di­men­sions: 30.6mm x 7.9mm Num­ber of parts: 451

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