Without a doubt, one of the most unique and coolest watches from A. Lange & Söhne is the Zeitwerk model. However, if you want to think of an even cooler Zeitwerk —if that is even possible—, you need to think of the 100-piece limited edition Zeitwerk Luminous in platinum ref. 140.035. Originally launched in 2010, this is one of the most coveted Lange timepieces out there as the 100 pieces that were made, quickly sold out. The A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Luminous is fitted with a super heavy 41.9 mm x 12.6 mm platinum case and a smoky grey transparent dial, that gives the wearer the ability to see through and appreciate the time discs underneath. The Arabic numerals on the discs that rotate to mark the hours and minutes through the digital apertures are coated with ultra-bright superluminova. As the superluminova charges throughout the day, it creates an amazing lume show when the watch is worn at night or in low light conditions. If you are a lume lover like us, there's no other watch you would want to own.
The dial with the innovative 'Time Bridge' —that penetrates the dial and is part of the movement— displaying the hours and minutes also features a power reserve up/down indicator at 12 o'clock and subsidiary seconds subdial at 6 o'clock. Originally fitted with a black alligator strap with the Lange buckle, the Zeitwerk Luminous is far from conventional as the time changes at a fraction of a second with a quick jump of the minutes and hours. With a prominent winding crown located at 1 o'clock, the wearer can set the time in the most precise way as the seconds will reset to zero when pulling the crown out. The Zeitwerk is the very first mechanical wristwatch with a digital time display format.
The beating heart powering the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Luminous is the Lange in-house manual wound movement calibre L043.3 composed of 415 parts and 68 jewels and which provides a power reserve of 36 hours when fully wound. The jumping numerals mechanism always delivers a precise reading of the time. It consists of a large hour ring that occupies the entire diameter of the movement and of two minute discs, one for the tens and one for the units. All numerals are identical in size and arranged for natural left-to-right reading.
1. German silver time bridge
2. Transparent sapphire-bearing jewel
3. Tens-minute disc with the numerals from 0 to 5
4. Units-minute disc with the numerals from 0 to 9
5. Hour ring with the numerals from 1 to 12 A patented constant-force escapement is integrated between the barrel wheel and the balance.
Within the span of each minute, this mechanism only gives the mainspring a tiny moment in which it can unfold its full power. A blink of the eye suffices to advance the numeral disc(s) and at the same time to retension a small remontoir spring. During the following 60 seconds, the remontoir spring passes the energy it has just received to the escapement group and thus sustains the oscillation of the balance. Of course the movement in German silver is fully visible via the display case back.
On the wrist, the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Luminous in platinum ref. 140.035 is simply exceptional and top heavy in a good way. This is one of the most unique watches from Lange and one that many dream to own. This rare bird is part of the upcoming Phillips Watches Auction FOUR in Geneva. The watch has an estimate between 50,000 and 100,000 Swiss Francs. As a reference, the last Zeitwerk Luminous that sold at auction, fetched $162,000 USD.
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