German luxury watch brand A. Lange & Söhne has unveiled the second generation of its digital mechanical watch.
In 2009, A. Lange & Söhne introduced a watch that became iconic not only for the brand, but for the entire market. Visually bold and mechanically captivating, the Zeitwerk has become one of the brand’s most emblematic models and iconic high-end watches. Combining traditional German watchmaking design codes with an unprecedented way of displaying the time, the watch used large jump numerals for the hours and minutes, as well as a constant force escapement as the clock controller. Since then, various complications have been added to the Zeitwerk, such as chime, minute repeater, tithe repeater, and date.
Zeitwerk, with its original time display, was inspired by the famous five-minute clock at the Semper Opera House in Dresden. At that time, the court watchmaker Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkes was commissioned to develop a clock that could be read from the rearmost seats of the hall. Unlike all large-format clocks with hands, he opted for a revolutionary solution: a clock that showed the time digitally in five-minute increments. It is here that Zeitwerk creates a link between traditional German and modern high-end watchmaking.
The new pair of Zeitwerk watches replaces the classic models that have been in the collection for 13 years. Outwardly, almost nothing has changed. The watch has undergone a technical update, having received a completely new movement. Apart from the dial, this pair of watches is completely identical to the 2021 Lumen, which also had an updated movement.
Thus, the 2022 Zeitwerk case retains a diameter of 41.9mm but is 12.2mm thick, 0.4mm thinner than the first watch. The case still combines ground and polished surfaces, has a crown at 2 o’clock and sapphire crystal on both sides. The new pusher at 4 o’clock is for quick adjustment of the hour dial, a feature introduced on the Zeitwerk Date and used here since both models share the same base caliber.
Changes to the dial are minimal. The Zeitwerk 2022 retains its signature time display thanks to three large discs in two holes, allowing the time to be read digitally from left to right. New is a redesigned power reserve indicator with a red segment and slightly larger small seconds. The central bridge with open screw and stone is still part of the dial. In general, the new Zeitwerk is as close as possible to its original design.
Changes concern color and materials. Previously available in white gold with a black dial and rose gold with a silver dial, the Zeitwerk 2022 is available in two new combinations: 18k rose gold with a matte black dial, on a black crocodile leather strap (ref. 142.031) and 950 platinum with rhodium dial on a dark brown strap (ref. 142.025).
The watch is powered by the new in-house caliber L043.6, which is an evolution of the L043.8 Zeitwerk Date caliber and the L043.9 Zeitwerk Lumen Honeygold caliber. Energy distribution still relies on a one-minute, patented, constant-force escapement to accurately jump the minute discs when the second hand hits zero. Being a versatile device, it even makes an additional contribution: it ensures that the movement is also provided by a uniform force, which improves course stability.
In addition, the Zeitwerk 2022 benefits from a new cam balance governor with its own balance spring and a patented beat control system. The movement operates at a frequency of 2.5 Hz and consists of 451 components. As expected from A. Lange & Söhne, the finishing of the movement is stunning, warm, incredibly attractive and extremely detailed.