Hands-On: The A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Annual Calendar US Edition
Hands-on with the US only limited edition from the master watchmakers in Glashütte.
Being that A. Lange & Söhne already made waves this year with their 2018 SIHH novelties – most notably – the Triple Split chronograph. It struck me by surprise when I saw the release for the new white gold Saxonia Annual Calendar US Edition with gray dial. If Lange was going to introduce a new timepiece off-cycle (from SIHH releases) then it would indeed need to be something special. And sure enough, this is.
In the metal, the most striking difference between the standard production model is a new deep gray dial that lends contrast to the white markers and annual calendar indications. The outsize date window features white numerals set against a gray background, another unique contrasting touch.
First the basics. For those unfamiliar, an annual calendar presents the date, month, and day accurate to one year. The most notable exception on the Saxonia Annual Calendar US Edition is the addition of a moon-phase.
Packed inside a 38.mm white gold case and viewable through a sapphire crystal caseback is Lange’s automatic L085.1 ‘SAX-0-MAT’ caliber with an annual calendar (plus moon phase) complication that only requires one adjustment per year. Which is necessary when the short month of February turns to March. Beyond that yearly adjustment, owners will only have to mark their calendars once every 122 years to adjust the moon phase ahead by one year. An engineering marvel indeed.
As a fan of micro-rotors, Lange has stolen my heart with this piece. The Saxonia Annual Calendar’s rotor is made from 21-carat gold and a platinum center mass, adding extra weight to provide peak unidirectional inertia. Lange didn’t stop there; the non-logo portions of the rotor are plated with black rhodium. The rotor is finally finished with circular graining, a first for the brand. Which as you can see from our hands-on photos adds an impressive effect.
The first reaction I had when experiencing the piece was its presence on my medium sized wrists. At just 9.8mm in height, the Saxonia Annual Calendar US edition will fit easily under any cuff. The supple blue alligator strap had already worn in nicely on our nearly new sample piece. The tang buckle (also in white gold) is nicely finished and feels very smooth on the bottom of a wrist.
The ZERO-RESET feature was intuitive to use and the sharp action return on the seconds hands was a delight in person. Of course, most of our time was spent staring at the intricate hand-finished movement. Even without a loupe, it’s easy to respect the incredible work that Lange puts into every piece in their collection. At every glance, more and more sharp details were uncovered as the watch was passed between our team.
Pricing and Availability
Just 25 pieces of the Saxonia Annual Calendar will be produced and they’re only available at the brand’s US boutiques. Each is priced at $54,500 USD. While that’s understandably a lot of money, I predict these won’t last long.
(Photography by Liam O’Donnell)