A. Lange & Söhne introduced a number of innovative new timepieces for 2011, including the new top of the line Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Mérite, which I previewed in December. Lange also added a very unique new acoustic function to their popular Zeitwerk collection, the Zeitwerk Striking. These two pieces have received most of the press so far, but quietly within the redesigned Saxony collection, Lange has unveiled a beautiful new dual time zone watch for frequent travelers – the Saxonia Dual Time. This is A. Lange & Söhne’s first dual time zone watch.
The new dual time zone timepiece is simple and elegant, and instead of displaying the date, like many other dual time zone watches, Lange chose to go the minimalist route, and instead left the date completely off. Some people may complain about the lack of this feature but when you look at how good it makes the dial look, I think you’ll agree that it is quite nice even without the date. And, as an international traveler, I can attest to the fact that the date is of little concern when I’m traveling.
What is important, though, is accurate time keeping while traveling through different time zones and while communicating with people in different time zones. Thankfully, that is where this new timepiece truly excels; in keeping times in two different timezones and while traveling between different timezones.
Two times can be read off the dial, at glance. The central blued hour hand represents the “home” time, so by setting it to the time where you live, it acts as a reference. When traveling across timezones, or while communicating with people in other time zones, the blue hand will always show your “home” time. Plus, the 24-hour subdial at the 12 o’clock, which has a blued hand, displays your “home” time, in a 24-hour format which allows you to determine if it is day or night at your home.
The solid gold central hour hand is used for your local time, so you when you aren’t traveling, you can set it to your home time or a second time zone, but when you do travel, is when this hour hand can be used to track different time zones along your journey, including your destination timezone. This is where most dual time watches require you to adjust the crown and set the timezone at your travel destination, but on this timepiece, it is much easier.
To change timezones and set your “local” time, all you have to do is push one of the pushers on the left flank of the case. The pusher at 8 o’clock advances the gold hour hand in one-hour increments, and the pusher at 10 o’clock moves the hour hand counter-clockwise in one-hour increments. This allows the wearer to easily set the hour of a second time zone, without needing to adjust the crown. Minutes for both timezones are displayed via the solid gold minute hand, which never needs to be changed (except for to set the minutes, independent of the time zones). Seconds are displayed via the small second subdial at 6 o’clock.
Powering this innovative German timepiece is the in-house L086.2 caliber self-winding mechanical movement. The movement features untreated German silver for the plates, as do all Lange timepieces. The movement is hand decorated and assembled to the highest standards, and includes a hand engraved balance cock. For superb timekeeping accuracy, the movement is precision-adjusted in 5 positions.
An in-house Lange balance spring is used and features a precision beat adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring. The movement has 31 jewels, 268 parts, a lever escapement, a 72-hour power reserve and runs at 3 Hz (21,600 vph).
The modestly sized case is 40 mm in diameter and 9.1 mm in height, which is a great modern size for most men’s wrists (not too big or too small). The case is fully polished and available in either pink or white gold. Both versions come with a beautiful solid silver argente dial.
The white gold version (Ref. 385.026) comes with a hand stitched black alligator strap and matching white gold buckle. The pink gold version (Ref. 385.032) comes with a hand stitched brown alligator strap and matching pink gold buckle. Retail price is $25,400 in pink gold and $26,600 in white gold.