Auto-inspired watches, and A. Lange & Söhne gets glowing.
YOU MAY BE forgiven for confusing the new Datograph Up/ Down “Lumen” ($100,500, lange-uhren.com) from blue-chip German maker A. Lange & Söhne with a fanciful creation by one of Switzerland’s footloose independent watchmakers.
Over the last five years, Lange has lightly spiced its production with the occasional release of a “Lumen” edition—an existing model with a semitransparent dial and a heavy dollop of SuperLumiNova on key displays like digits or moon phases. Now the company has added the treatment to one of its most important and beloved models: the large-date flyback chronograph that cemented it in the first rank of the world’s luxury watchmakers.
“For the product designers, the question was how the
Lumen concept could be applied to a design that could hardly be improved,” says Anthony de Haas, director of product development. “At the bottom line, we decided to enhance the iconic triangular dial configuration of the Datograph Up/Down by throwing as much light as possible on it.” De Haas is naturally limited by the brand’s sober and utilitarian design ethic, yet he clearly relishes the chance to add some 21st-century pizzazz.
To that end, he and his team have been liberal, yet still within the bounds of taste, in throwing lume on a large number of surfaces. The date, subdials, and, of course, the hands glow a soft greenish color, while the tachymetric scale running around the dial casts a more subtle and darker green. The semitransparent dial, besides allowing the charging of the luminescent date, shows off the finishing on the movement plates below. Nevertheless, the most compelling part of the movement, the beautiful column-wheel, lateral-clutch chronograph mechanism, is still on the other side, where you will need a flashlight to see it in the dark.