With the Zeitwerk Lange & Söhne has been able to create an icon that can step out of the shadow of the Lange 1, and hold its ground. Yet with the Zeitwerk the brand also created something else in the process: the perfect canvas for audible complications. Already available as Striking Time, which chimes the hours and quarters, and as a Minute Repeater, it is now joined by a Decimal Strike.
As the name already indicates does this watch chime every ten minutes. It does so by two gongs of which the hammers are visible at the front of the watch, a trademark of every Zeitwerk with an audible complication. For this particular model, they are finished with a tremblage engraving. Although a detail, it really adds a layer of complexity and enjoyment to the watch, as Lange & Söhne highlight this engraving by laying it quite deep in the hammers and bridges and polish the sides to perfection.
In relation to the other Zeitwerk’s is the dial of the Decimal Strike more of the same. A good thing, because everything is well proportioned and very pleasing to the eye, with the large numerals and the big sub-seconds at six o’clock. A pusher on the right side of the case allows the owner to switch the decimal strike on and off. This case is special because it is crafted from Honey Gold. This is a gold alloy developed by Lange & Söhne themselves. An advantage is that with a hardness just over 300 Vickers it is harder than most 18K gold, making it less sustainable to scratches. It also gives the watch a unique hue that is best described as a warmer version of yellow gold, yet not quite rose gold. A great match with the opaline dial by the way.
As if the dial side of this watch is not enticing enough, the movement will win you over for sure! What makes the Zeitwerk so special is that it needs quite a bit of energy every minute, to change the large jumping numerals display. On top of that, it now needs to chime every ten minutes, which takes energy as well. In both cases, the direction of this energy needs to be precise, as the jump of the numerals needed to be instant and stopped at exactly the right moment, and the chime needs to be en point, not too fast nor too slow. By placing a constant-force escapement between the mainspring barrel and the going train Lange & Söhne solved this problem. The fact that is can run all these complications and still provide you with a 36-hour power reserve is nothing short of extraordinary. Lange & Söhne will make 100 pieces of the Decimal Strike, and the expected price will be just below $130.000,-