Unless you’ve been living under a rock in some distant far away land, then you’ll know that even getting a hold of a Nautilus or Royal Oak Jumbo is nigh on impossible. Steel sports watches with integrated bracelets from pretty much any high-end watch brand is hot topic. As we’ve seen throughout the year, watch brands not ordinarily associated with said timepieces, have started to introduce their own interpretation of steel watches with integrated bracelets but perhaps the brand most have been waiting to see such a model of this ilk from is Lange. Lange are known for making high-precision timepieces that are not only refined but sought-after, and to top it off – Lange aren’t known for steel watches, it’s just something they don’t really do (well, that is if you exclude the super rare pieces they covertly made in the past).
Lange have opened up a new chapter with the introduction of the Odysseus and it is one that will likely be met with some scepticism. The Odysseus is essentially a luxury sports watch for people who appreciate fine watchmaking but also live active lives. The prominent design of the stainless-steel case with a diameter of 40.5 millimetres and a height of 11.1 millimetres, features an integrated stainless-steel bracelet, while still embracing the brands traditional elements. This applies particularly to the sculpted, slightly cantilevered middle band of the three-part case. Its surfaces are decorated with a satin contour finish and the edges are emphasised with a chamfer. The combination of brushed surfaces and chamfered edges is echoed on the lugs and links of the massive stainless-steel bracelet. Specially sealed, tapered buttons for correcting the date and the day of week are arranged at 2 and 4 o’clock – hence the asymmetrical case design.
The dial is a three-dimensional affair, made of brass and has several levels with different surfaces. The notched applied batons and sub seconds dial feature matching concentric lines, which contrasts nicely against the grained inner surfaces of the main and subsidiary dial. A bevelled, argenté-coloured flange ring with a printed minute scale frames the dial, with 60, printed in red at 12 o’clock, providing even more contrast. The Odysseus sports the brands typical lancet-shaped hands for hours and minutes, that just like the batons, have been inlaid with luminous material.
A. Lange & Söhne don’t take shortcuts and as such have developed the new calibre for the Odysseus: the L155.1 DATOMATIC. The name DATOMATIC visible on the rotor is derived from the combination of Date and Automatic. The attractive 32.9 mm movement can be observed through the sapphire crystal caseback. It features a unidirectionally winding central rotor with a centrifugal mass in platinum. Thanks to the skeletonization of the rotor further details of the manually executed, lavish finissage of the movement can be admired.
So, I know what you are probably thinking; yet another steel sports watch, with an integrated bracelet, from another watch brand – but hold that thought. Lange are known for their high-end wristwatches, with finishing details that are second to none, in my humble opinion. So why bother with a steel sports watch? Perhaps the same question many people asked decades ago when AP and Patek introduced their luxury sports watches and look where those timepieces are now. I like what Lange have done here with the Odysseus is they’ve kept their identity, all the details you’d expect to see in any Lange are present. Not to mention the gorgeous movement, but what sticks out more than anything else is the fact that the Odysseus has an original look. I also like the fact that Lange haven’t fallen foul, trying to make a sports watch that looks like all other luxury sports watches out there. While there are perhaps some questionable design elements in Odysseus, I will reserve full judgement until I see it in the metal.
The new A.Lange & Odysseus, when available, will be priced at €28,000 (approx. £24,000). For more details, visit the Lange website.