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SAXONIA family

The benchmark in short-time measurement since 1999

In 1999, the DATOGRAPH ushered in a new era for the complication of short-time measurement, with a manufacture calibre newly developed from the ground up and a unique dial design.

To mark its 25th anniversary, the pioneering chronograph is now available as a DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN model version in 18-carat white gold with a blue dial, limited to 125 watches.

Sophisticated beginning

It signified the birth of a trailblazing concept: in 1999, only nine years after the re-establishment of the brand, A. Lange & Söhne presented the DATOGRAPH, featuring their very first chronograph movement. The calibre L951.1, newly developed in the Saxon manufacture, combined a classic column-wheel chronograph with a flyback function, a precisely jumping minute counter and the typical Lange outsize date. At a very early stage, the movement of the DATOGRAPH revealed the ambition of the Glashütte manufacture to push horological boundaries and to explore new avenues.

The DATOGRAPH was the prelude to a range of currently 13 innovative models with a chronograph function. Among these is the calibre L951.6 of the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN: presented in 2012, it was consistently evolved with an increased power reserve of 60 hours and a power-reserve indicator.

Exceptional engineering

With its flyback mechanism, precisely jumping minute counter, outsize date and power-reserve indicator, the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN is in a league of its own.

Because three switching steps are executed with one single push of a button, the flyback mechanism allows two quick consecutive time measurements, with virtually no delay between these. The chronograph is stopped, reset to zero, and started again in next to no time. This so-called speed-switching function was often used in the early beginnings of aviation.

The precisely jumping minute counter does justice to its name as well: it jumps to the next increment at the precise moment when the chrono seconds hand completes the 60th second.

The A. Lange & Söhne outsize date allows an indication with numerals that are about three times larger than those in watches of comparable dimensions. This innovation not only makes the date much more legible, it also simplifies the setting process, because the date is not adjusted with the crown as is customary. Instead, it can be conveniently advanced day by day with a button. The outsize date consists of two separate display elements: the units disc and the tens cross. To correctly reproduce the date sequence, the disc and the cross must advance at irregular intervals.

The attribute “UP/DOWN” refers to the power-reserve indicator at 6 o’clock that provides information on how much of the 60 hours’ power reserve is still available. At the latest on the third day, when the hand pivots into the red section, it is time to wind the watch.

Stylish elegance with a lucid design

Thanks to the harmonious dial configuration, the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN is easily identified at first glance. The twin date aperture beneath 12 o’clock marks the tip of an equilateral triangle. The subsidiary dials for the small seconds at 9 o’clock and for the precisely jumping minute counter at 3 o’clock are located below the horizontal centre axis of the dial, forming the base of the triangle. The characteristic, axially symmetric dial design assures optimum legibility.

For the first time, the limited-edition DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN features a blue dial: the rhodié-coloured subsidiary dials, luminous hands and baton hour markers contrast crisply with the elegant blue hue.

Close-up of movement L951.6 of the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN

Manufacture calibre L951.6

The manually wound calibre L951.6 ‒ consisting of 451 parts, assembled twice and finished in typical Lange fashion ‒ breathes life into the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN. Thanks to the technical sophistication, complex architecture and the superior degree of finishing, it sets the benchmark in engineering and aesthetic appeal.

The classic column-wheel chronograph with a freely oscillating balance spring and a balance with eccentric poising weights beats at a frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour (2.5 hertz) and allows time measurements with an accuracy of one-fifth of a second. Through the sapphire-crystal caseback, for instance, the minute counter mechanism and the column wheel, which controls the start and stop sequences, can be admired in action.

The exceptional technical sophistication of the movement is paired with superb artisanal perfection. Acute internal angles of movement parts, as can be found, for example, in the clutch rocker of the chronograph mechanism, merit particular attention. To achieve this high degree of perfection requires remarkable dexterity and experience. Further traditional elements of this micromechanical work of art include bridges made of untreated German silver, the hand-engraved balance cock with a whiplash spring, thermally blued screws and the four screwed gold chatons.

Explore further

Watches and Wonders 2024
Watches and Wonders 2024
Discover the A. Lange & Söhne Watches and Wonders 2024 novelties: the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN and the DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON HONEYGOLD “Lumen”.
25 years of chronograph history
25 years of chronograph history
Since 1999, Lange’s DATOGRAPH has been a yardstick for the art of chronograph construction. A retrospective of its history.
Chronographs and their manufacture movements have been flagship products of A. Lange & Söhne since 1999.

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The A. Lange & Söhne salon in Zurich