When this watch was launched, our founder Frank wrote this “On 24 October 2019, A. Lange & Söhne launched one thing solely new, an necessary step for this normally somewhat conservative high-end watch model; it was a sports activities watch, made in stainless-steel, with a bracelet – three unprecedented options for ALS that made this very watch, the Odysseus, a scorching subject of dialog.” Since then, the mud ought to have settled, however the Odysseus stays one thing of an oddity and a watch that continues to be extremely mentioned (additionally due to its availability). However a number of months after the steel version, the model enlarged the vary with a extra luxurious, not-so-sporty version of its sports activities watch, now made of white gold. We had the chance to have a overview pattern on the workplace, and right here’s what we discovered about this A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus in White Gold.
Two issues are sure concerning the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus. It was a daring transfer from a normally conservative, sometimes German model. And it was, regardless of this, a in some way anticipated transfer too. The reason being easy; luxurious sports activities watches with built-in bracelet, watches that mix haute horlogerie feeling with robustness and casualness, are hotter than ever. A sports activities watch by ALS was an extended due idea, however it has been launched on the proper time. One thing else that needs to be famous, Lange’s tackle the sports activities watch was certainly… very Lange. There’s no Royal Oak or Nautilus feeling right here, the Odysseus is a watch like no different. And a watch that actually created heated discussions, since every part on this watch felt unprecedented. Not less than, it made an impression.
Briefly, what’s Odysseus? Despite the fact that it has been created to compete in a class dominated by AP, PP and VC, Lange did issues its personal manner, with out making an attempt to be like the remainder, however to be a Lange with sporty credentials. As Frank mentioned when he wore the look ahead to the primary time, “That is the Lange, for each Lange proprietor, you could put on within the bathe, on the seaside, within the swimming pool or on the deck of your yacht. Heck, lastly a Lange that we will put on with out the worry that goes together with sporting a treasured gold gown watch.” Which means, the Odysseus is at first an A. Lange & Söhne watch, with robustness and ease of use. Interval. However a number of months later got here one other version, this time manufactured from 18okay white gold, with out the metallic bracelet. Fairly a change of notion.
The white gold Odysseus
Again to fundamentals. The ALS Odysseus is a Lange in a waterproof, round-ish case with casualness and daily-wearer credentials in thoughts. A watch that managed to merge the mechanical great thing about all different Lange watches with the power to put on the watch just about in every single place, anytime, with every part – besides the place a correct instrument watch could be required. And in that perspective, the usage of stainless-steel wasn’t solely utterly unprecedented for Lange (to the exception of a handful of metal Lange 1 watches) but in addition very a lot instrumental in the entire design of the watch.
However now, there’s a white gold case out there, and with out the metallic bracelet. Not a shock, since AP and PP have lengthy created luxurious sports activities watches in treasured metals too. The 18okay white gold Odysseus is, for many elements, similar to the inaugural stainless-steel model, nonetheless, some design elements have been up to date. As for the case, if we put the usage of gold aside, nothing has modified. The WG Odysseus nonetheless measures 40.5mm in diameter, about 11mm in top and retains the identical 120m water-resistance. The crown screws down and the watch options two sapphire crystals, each entrance and caseback.
The design of the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus is sort of complicated and nicely balanced. At first, it has a superbly spherical case, emphasised by the polished bezel. The perimeters, nonetheless, reveal much more complicated strains. The precise facet includes a module framing the crown and, despite the fact that it isn’t a crown-guard gadget, it provides dynamism to the case and breaks the general spherical design. These two components are literally vastly built-in pushers used to regulate the date and the weekday. Despite the fact that manufactured from gold, the ending of the case is identical, with a mix of polished accents and brushed surfaces. All in all, regardless of the sporty credentials, it nonetheless feels solely in keeping with the remainder of Lange’s manufacturing.
What additionally created this reference to the model’s DNA is the dial, with a sure Zeitwerk-ish format. As an alternative of going for a standard central HMS show, the model determined to stay true to its origins and to have a sports activities watch with a small seconds and two outsized home windows to show the day of the week and the date, as all the time with a double-window and two-disc structure. What has modified on this white gold version, apart from the apparent new gray color, is that the brass-based dial eliminates the concentric sample for the hour chapter ring and grained central floor, to now present a much more traditional – dare I say conventional – mixture of textures. The central space of the dial is matte and easy, whereas the hour chapter ring has embossed grooves positioned in a radial manner – virtually like a graphic guilloché sample. The identical texture is discovered on the periphery of the small seconds.
Below the sapphire caseback ticks a motion that couldn’t be extra Lange. The Odysseus got here first with an unique motion, designed particularly for this assortment, and the white gold mannequin retains it solely. The Calibre L155.1 Datomatic beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) as an alternative of the standard 3Hz that appears to be the popular frequency for Lange watches. The upper beat charge offers extra stability to the steadiness when experiencing shocks, which makes it extra apt for sporty actions and advantages the general accuracy. The central rotor, embossed with DATOMATIC, includes a platinum centrifugal mass and is open-worked. Along with the traditional three/four plate in German silver, the Odysseus inaugurated a steadiness held in place by a transversal bridge, as an alternative of a standard cock, as soon as once more to enhance shock resistance. Nearly 33mm in diameter, it fills the area provided by the caseback properly and is adorned with the identical refined finishes as all Lange watches.
Lastly, the very last thing to find out about this White Gold A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus is that it’s (for now a minimum of) solely out there on straps – black rubber as offered right here, or brown leather-based. In each circumstances, it’s closed by a prong buckle. And earlier than you ask, no you may’t take away the end-links between the lugs, and no you may’t put on it on a traditional strap.
When the stainless-steel Odysseus was offered, I (and a lot of the MONO staff) had blended emotions, simply comprehensible because the watch was really unprecedented. Nevertheless, as soon as the watch was on my wrist and when you take away the picture of the RO and Nautilus out of your thoughts, I not solely understood the entire idea behind this watch, but in addition actually loved my time with it.
Now, with the white gold, I’d change my place. Positive, the next emotions are subjective and private. And, to make issues clear, the white gold A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus is a perfectly executed watch. Nevertheless, now that the watch is available in treasured steel, I in some way miss the informal apparel of the unique metal mannequin, which was one thing that actually set the watch aside. Additionally, the brand new gray dial is, in my view, not as putting because the dial used on the metal mannequin. Not solely the gray color is simply too shy, however the brand new patterns are bringing again the watch in traditional territories, whereas it ought to have remained on the sporty facet of issues. The mix of grained and concentric textures was extra dynamic, one thing this white gold isn’t anymore for me.
The second factor comes from consolation. Whereas the general weight of the white gold watch might be about the identical because the stainless-steel mannequin on its bracelet, the load distribution is solely completely different. The scale of the case remains to be nice and I’ve no situation to handle on this facet. Nevertheless, resulting from the usage of gold for the case and rubber for the strap, the watch feels top-heavy and in some way loses its pure steadiness. That may simply be me, and I’m encouraging anybody on this watch to strive it. You’ll presumably have a totally completely different feeling by yourself wrist.
Availability & Value
The A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus in white gold is now out there from boutiques and retailers. It’s priced at EUR 42,400 (with German VAT), USD 43,500 or GPB 37,700.
For extra particulars, please go to www.alange-soehne.com.