For the first time ever, the coveted “Golden Hand” award was given to a non Swiss luxury watch manufacturer. A. Lange & Sohne won the top honor at the recent 2009 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve event for its watch called Zeitwerk (as pictured). A. Lange & Sohne is a German watchmaking company.
For nearly ten years the “Golden Hand” or “L’Aiguille d’Or” as it is known award has been like winning an Academy Award inside the world of haute horlogerie.
The Zeitwerk went up against 362 other luxury watches and when the prize was accepted by A. Lange & Sohne’s founder, Walter Lange, he was understandably emotional. He mentioned how the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990 was fundamental to a revival of watchmaking in Germany and how he himself returned to Germany after this event. One year later, the company which bears his grandfather’s name was established. Since then the German brand has produced popular men’s watches like the Lange 1 and Tourbillon “Pour le Merite.”
Today A. Lange & Sohne produces women’s watches and men’s watches, ones that range from “elegant three-handed dress watches to masterpieces of great complexity.”
The Zeitwerk presents outsized jumping digital displays for the minutes as well as the hours, in addition to a conventional power reserve indicator and subsidiary seconds with a stop function.
The case, which measures 41.9mm in diameter and 12.6mm in height, “displays brushed finishing on its central section, and a rich polish on such sections as the strap lugs and bezel. The solid silver dial is characterized by a ‘time bridge’ central section in contrasting German silver, which elegantly unifies the digital hours, digital minutes, and traditional subsidiary seconds. The symmetric arrangement is completed perfectly by the semi-circular power reserve scale at 12 o’clock which sweeps gradually to and fro to indicate the degree of tension remaining in the spring barrel.”
The Zeitwerk is comprised of 388 hand – finished parts and the 66-jewel Lange Calibre L043.1 features the company’s signature elements of a “three-quarter plate in untreated German silver with Glashutte ribbing, a hand-engraved balance cock, and certain movement jewels (two, in this instance) set in screwed gold chatons.”
The watch is available in 18K pink, yellow or white gold, as well as platinum.
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