It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long since we last witnessed the introduction of a new Zeitwerk Minute Repeater. In 2020, Lange unveiled the captivating Blue Zeitwerk MR. Fast forward three years, and Lange has decided to reintroduce us to the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater, but this time in a different metal. My personal fascination with this timepiece was piqued when I had the opportunity to observe its meticulous assembly during my visit to the Manufacture in Glashütte in 2015. What sets the Zeitwerk apart is that it is the sole Lange creation meticulously assembled by a single watchmaker from start to finish. We’ve previously discussed the complexity of crafting chronograph complications, often considered among the most challenging to produce. Well, the minute repeater takes the top spot in terms of complexity, and as you’ve heard me mention before, Lange’s commitment to excellence knows no bounds!
The Zeitwerk is a topic that hasn’t been frequently discussed here, but it’s something we’ve quietly admired for quite some time. And it’s not difficult to understand why – just look at its undeniable coolness! While the Zeitwerk is not a recent addition and has been a consistent part of Lange’s line-up, this Minute Repeater version shares the same case as the Zeitwerk Striking Time. However, there is a noteworthy distinction to be made.
Introduced in 2015, this Zeitwerk marked a ground-breaking milestone for A. Lange & Söhne. It was the first model to feature a striking mechanism utilizing a decimal minute repeater, which elegantly chimes the hours, ten-minute intervals, and minutes, as opposed to the more conventional hours, quarters, and minutes. As I mentioned earlier, Lange is known for its unwavering commitment to excellence, and achieving this remarkable feat is no small endeavour. Given Lange’s dedication to precision, it’s only logical that they would strive to create a more accurate minute repeater.
Naturally, as a Zeitwerk, the time is elegantly presented through a jumping hour digital display, featuring an hour ring and two minute discs. The use of jumping discs inherently demands more power. To address this challenge, Lange ingeniously designed a patented constant-force escapement, ensuring a consistent supply of energy throughout the entire power-reserve duration.
Traditionally a minute repeater is activated by a slide leaver usually located on the case band, however, the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater features an elaborate pusher system for activating the striking mechanism at 10 o’clock. To maximise the quality of the sound, the engineers calibrated the movement with the case down to the smallest detail. To make sure the minute repeaters resonance is never interrupted, due to depletion of mainsprings power, the striking mechanism cannot be activated if the remaining power reserve is less than twelve hours. This is smartly indicated by the power-reserve at 12 o’clock, with a red dot.
The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater is home to the L043.5 manufacture caliber, a meticulously crafted movement comprising an impressive 771 components, each of which is beautifully hand-finished. Beneath the exquisitely hand-engraved balance cock, you’ll discover the distinctive balance wheel, featuring eccentric poising weights and a free-sprung balance spring, both skillfully crafted in-house. This intricate timepiece beats with a frequency of 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour, creating a harmonious and precise timekeeping instrument. It is encased in 18-carat honey gold, boasting a diameter of 44.2 mm, making it truly exceptional.
The predominantly grey dial consists of 925 solid-silver, boasting a finely-textured satin finish. This elegant canvas is artfully complemented by a time bridge crafted from black-rhodiumed German silver, creating a striking visual contrast. This architectural time bridge serves as a defining element, housing both the hour and minute apertures on the same level. What adds to the visual intrigue is the prominent placement of the black-polished steel gong hammers. Positioned on either side of the large subsidiary seconds dial, they strike with purpose: the hours on the left and the single minutes on the right. Notably, for the distinctive double-tone ten-minute counts, both hammers come into play, striking both gongs with a subtle offset in timing, adding to the auditory and visual appeal of this remarkable timepiece.
The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater in Honeygold is price upon request, which is limited to 30 pieces worldwide, and only available in Lange Boutiques. For more information visit alange-soehne.com.