INTRODUCING: A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater Honeygold
A timepiece with an inimitable sound owing to a proprietary gold alloy that is visually stunning as it is robust.
Gold has almost always been used in alloy form in watchmaking and jewellery. However, there has been a surge in manufacturers offering proprietary gold alloys in recent years. These metals are as unique as the watches themselves, with different qualities and hues that appeal to fans. The Swatch Group-owned Omega and Blancpain use Sedna Gold, Hublot has King Gold and Magic Gold, Panerai uses Goldtech for its diving watches, and Roger Dubuis has EON Gold.
German watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne’s contribution to this category is Honeygold, which possesses a champagne hue and improved hardness (it is more robust than platinum). Created in 2010, this 18K gold alloy includes undisclosed proportions of copper and zinc – this patented recipe is a closely guarded secret. Honeygold is challenging to work with due to its hardness, which is why Lange only uses it on a select few models. This year, the chosen one is a minute repeater from the Manufacture’s Zeitwerk family – the first mechanical wristwatch that displays the time digitally with jumping numerals.
It is the second time a Zeitwerk model is clad in this noble metal – the first was the Zeitwerk Honeygold “Lumen” in 2021 – but the first time it’s used with a minute repeater. The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater chimes ten-minute intervals instead of conventional quarter-hours, with a low-pitched tone for the hour, a double (high-low) tone for each elapsed ten-minute period, and a high-pitched tone for each elapsed minute. Utilising Honeygold for this watch endows it with an individual, expressive sound paired with a rich and warm timbre that is easily discernible from the platinum version of the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater.
The Zeitwerk Minute Repeaters stand out in other ways. For one, they use a pusher instead of a sliding trigger. The power for the striking mechanism stems from the twin mainspring barrels for easy operation. To guarantee the flawless interaction of the whole ensemble, elaborate safety and blocking mechanisms have also been integrated into the movement. For example, if less than 12 hours of power remain in the mainspring (indicated with a red dot on the power reserve display), the repeater function is locked. While the repeater is in action, the time display will also not jump, and the crown cannot be pulled. This prevents the minute repeater’s racks from moving during operation, therefore affecting the performance. Any minute and/or hour jump is performed immediately after the tone sequence ends.
As with all Zeitwerk models, the in-house Calibre L043.5 features a constant-force escapement between the barrel and the balance. It releases power to the escapement in one-minute intervals, thus ensuring that there’s sufficient energy to power all operations (including any big multi-disc jumps), even when the mainspring is nearing the end of its reserve. In addition, the brand’s iconic hand-engraved balance cock and escape-wheel cock can be seen through the exhibition caseback, along with the intricately hand-finished German silver plate and bridges.
The 44.2mm Zeitwerk Minute Repeater Honeygold is completed with a rhodié-coloured dial and a dark-brown, hand-stitched leather strap. Limited to just 30 watches, they are available at select A. Lange & Söhne boutiques, including Singapore and Thailand.
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