A. Lange & Söhne’s Lumen series, which seems to electrify the indications on otherwise sober dials, now includes a fourth model: The Datograph Up/Down Lumen.
You might recall that the German watchmaker’s Lumen series, launched in 2010, starts with an existing A. Lange & Söhne watch design and transforms it into a more contemporary, open-dialed version of itself that also glows at night thanks to a special luminescent treatment.
To create the Lumen transformation, A. Lange & Söhne places a special coating on a sapphire-crystal dial to filter out most of the visible light, but not that part of the UV spectrum needed to charge any luminous layer or indication. And, since a darker surrounding surface means that the glowing display appears even brighter, A. Lange & Söhne darkens the already semi-transparent sapphire dial to enhance the luminous contrast against the dark background.
With the new Datograph Up/Down Lumen, A. Lange & Söhne has given the glow a pleasing green hue. In darkness, the outsized date offers a dramatic, fully visible date flip at midnight, a moment given extra bright emphasis because the number disc’s luminous layer recharges all day under the semi-transparent dial. The dial’s green color also emanates from the hour and minute hands, the chronograph sweep seconds hand, the seconds hand, the power reserve arrow and the minute counter. Perhaps most boldly, the tachymeter scale also glows bright green.
The watch itself, launched in 2012, is classic column-wheel flyback chronograph with especially prominent power reserve display indicating how much of the 60-hour power reserve remains available.
While the dial here is unusual and dramatic, my eyes still widen most when this (and most any A. Lange & Söhne watch) is turned to its sapphire caseback.
You’ll be the one glowing as you ogle A. Lange & Söhne’s beautifully finished 454-part manually wound caliber L951.7, with Lange’s proprietary cam-poised balance wheel and freely oscillating Lange hairspring, beats at a leisurely frequency of 18,000 bph. In combination with the 300-marker minute scale, this allows time measurements (on the front) to one-fifth of a second.
The new model, available in a limited edition of just 200 watches, comes in a 41-millimeter platinum case and is worn on a black alligator leather strap with a platinum prong buckle. Price: $100,500.
Specifications: A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Up/Down Lumen
(Ref.405.034, 200-piece limited edition)
Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L951.7; manually wound, decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; plates and bridges made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand. Power reserve: 60 hours.
Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes and subsidiary seconds with stop seconds; flyback chronograph with precisely jumping minute counter; power-reserve indicator; outsize date
Case: 41mm by 13.4mm platinum, crown for winding the watch and setting the time, two pushers for operating the chronograph, one rapid correction pusher for the outsize date
Dial: Basic dial (outer ring) in German silver, polished; inner segment in coated sapphire crystal; outsize date, subsidiary dials, minute scale, tachymeter scale and power-reserve indicator luminous. Hands: Rhodiumed gold hour and minute hands, luminous; chronograph hand in rhodiumed steel, luminous; seconds hand and minute counter in blued steel
Strap: Black alligator leather with platinum prong buckle.