Novelty: ZEITWERK DATE | A. Lange & Söhne
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ZEITWERK DATE Our contribution to digitisation

The ZEITWERK DATE is A. Lange & Söhne’s first mechanical digital watch with a date function. However, due to the space occupied by the large numeral discs and the prominent dial with the time bridge, it was not possible to simply integrate a conventional date or even an outsize date. For this reason, our developers devised an unusual solution for this extraordinary concept. A peripheral glass date display with printed numerals from 1 to 31 circles the dial. A small colour segment on a ring beneath it always advances by one increment exactly at midnight. The current date is thus emphasised in red, providing a quick and intuitive reading. The date display can be adjusted with the button at 8 o'clock; the switching impulse is generated when it is released.

ZEITWERK DATE, date display on grey dial

The exceptional concept of a digital watch that has won multiple prizes was implemented with micromechanical perfection by A. Lange & Söhne when the ZEITWERK was introduced in 2009. Ten years later, the ZEITWERK DATE distinctively reveals its affiliation with the ZEITWERK family, given its striking face and the precisely jumping digital display. The unique mechanism that indicates the hours and minutes with jumping numerals advances the numeral discs within fractions of a second. In the ZEITWERK DATE, this function is handled by a newly conceived movement.

Digitisation L043.8

 

The lineup of technical innovations in the ZEITWERK DATE includes an additional button at 4 o'clock. It is used to separately advance the hour indication, thus solving a problem that originated in the date display in the first place. Since it calls for a time setting that is accurate to 24 hours, it would take too long to adjust the time via the crown – minute by minute. The integration of the hour button was associated with a considerable design effort. To enable the correction independently of the switching cycles of the movement, a clutch uncouples the hour ring from the jumping numerals mechanism each time the button is pressed. The switching impulse is generated when the button is released.

 

The new manually wound calibre L043.8 stands out with its clearly organised movement architecture. Still in place: the patented constant-force escapement that handles two tasks. As a remontoir device, it powers the balance with a uniform amount of force for the entire running duration. Additionally, it delivers the once-a-minute impulse for switching the three-disc jumping numerals display.

ZEITWERK DATE movement with ratchet wheel and remontoir bridge

The characteristic Lange hallmarks of the ZEITWERK DATE include the lavish finissage of the 516-part movement. A number of its components, for example the engraved ratchet wheel and the filigreed remontoir bridge, can be viewed through the sapphire-crystal caseback.

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