A. Lange & Söhne Introduces A Trio Of Exceptional Limited Editions
Say hello to the Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, pink and white gold versions of the Langematik Perpetual, and a blue copper dialed version of the Saxonia Thin.
Who doesn’t like a little surprise? In April, Glashütte-based A. Lange & Söhne unveiled its 2021 lineup at Watches & Wonders in Geneva. And today, to the delight of the brand’s dedicated followers, the watchmakers have announced three additional limited edition timepieces.
Watchonista got a chance to sit in on a Q&A with Anthony de Haas, the maison’s director of product development, to get a behind-the-scenes look at the development of this terrific trio.
Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst
While many watch launches are the subject of much anticipation and speculation, the news that A. Lange & Söhne is bringing back the Cabaret was an unexpected delight.
The company had quietly retired the collection back in 2010. “Unless you are Jaeger-LeCoultre or Cartier, a rectangular watch is a niche,” said de Haas. It didn’t mean that the Cabaret’s beauty wasn’t appreciated, however.
And while bringing the silhouette back under the banner of the prestigious Handwerkskunst collection of limited edition handcrafted timepieces makes sense, the announcement was still totally unexpected.
It is, in short, a watch that you didn’t know you needed until now.
It’s not quite a comeback, though, as A. Lange & Söhne has no plans to resurrect the Cabaret collection. By applying the artisanal signatures of the Handwerkskunst studio to the Cabaret, it elevates the look of the watch, making it look and feel like pure luxury. These techniques include tremblage engraving on the solid white gold dial.
Unlike a machined dial, a skilled artist carves the design out of precious metal. Layers of clear enamel are then applied, filling in the tiny metal canals while maintaining a lustrous color. The A. Lange & Söhne logo is then carefully printed onto this surface, so it appears as if it is floating above the dial.
“The biggest technical challenge is preventing the enamel from cracking,” said de Haas. The more openings a surface has, he explained, the more stress points created, and the Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst has five of them. There are two apertures for the big date and tourbillon; two registers for the small seconds and power reserve; and an opening for the center hour and minute hands.
The same attention to detail is evident throughout the Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst. Measuring 29.5.3 x 39.2 x 10.3mm, the silhouette of the platinum case is matched to the rectangular shape of the mechanism. The calibre inside this case, the L042.1, is similar to the 2008 Cabaret Tourbillon movement – the first tourbillon with a stop-seconds feature. Moreover, the lozenge motif of the dial is echoed by the engravings on the black-rhodium plated tourbillon and intermediate wheel cocks, providing a visual thread between the dial and the movement sides of the watch.
“We started with a crazy idea. We wanted to create an element of surprise even though it took many years of development until things fell together,” added de Hass. These challenges are what made the Cabaret the perfect project for the Handwerkskunst team.
The A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst is limited to 30 pieces with the price given upon request.
Not all surprises need to be big to delight us. The 2021 limited edition update of the Langematik Perpetual, for example, is artful. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the now legendary watch, it features subtle upgrades like the ZERO-RESET mechanism and the main corrector for simultaneously advancing all calendar displays.
“The Langematik Perpetual was also the last timepiece to be produced by Lange’s co-founder and first CEO, Günter Blümlein,” said de Haas. “That’s why this is a special project for us.”
Günter Blümlein and his team wanted to create an uncomplicated calendar complication. And Blümlein once said in an interview, “Innovation and differentiating design elements are key parameters for us.” And the ZERO-RESET mechanism fits that bill.
When the crown is pulled, the balance wheel stops, and the second hand jumps to the zero position, simplifying and speeding up time setting. The L922.1 Sax-0-Mat calibre with a bidirectional winding rotor also ensures that the maximum power reserve of 46 hours is attained with just a short time wearing it.
This new edition also looks grand on the wrist. Of course, there’s the signature Lange big date. Plus, thanks to a movement height of merely 5.7mm and an overall thickness of just 10.2mm, the watch has a streamlined silhouette. The dial is expressed in Lange’s signature blue, and the case has a diameter of 38.5mm and a height of just 10.2mm. Executed in either 18K rose or white gold, it has an extremely elegant and timeless feel.
The Langematik Perpetual is limited to 50 pieces in each color and priced at $91,800.
The third piece announced today is a new iteration of the classic Saxonia. This time-only watch shines not because complications but by the way it conjures so many emotions using simple yet expertly executed cues. The solid-silver dial, for example, is coated with blue gold flux, which in turn creates a galaxy of twinkling copper-colored particles.
The bare-bones design of the Saxonia Thin feels as if the hand of German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his principle of “less is more” guided it. One of the biggest changes to this edition is that it is physically smaller than other Saxonias – it measures 40mm with a height of 6.2mm. “Launching the 40mm Black Flux Saxonia in 2020 was a huge success,” said de Haas. And while the Lange team likes to surprise with new executions, they are always listening to collectors to get a feel for what they want.
And even though it feels like Lange has perfected the minimalist timepiece, this version continues to push the envelope when it comes to haute horology. It is powered by the Lange manually wound manufacture calibre L093.1, which is decorated, assembled by hand, and precision-adjusted in the brand’s manufacture in Glashütte, Germany.
The brand has used the dark-blue gold flux dial before, but this time it’s paired with an 18K pink gold case and indices that make the copper flecks glow. “It’s a new combination for us,” commented de Haas. But it’s a marriage he expects will sell out quickly because it brings unexpected warmth to what some consider to be a colder aesthetic.