While the movement took five years to develop, the perfectly balanced dial was another story. Imagined by Blümlein and Reinhard Meis, the strong aesthetic was set in 1994. Blümlein, like George Daniels, was a firm believer that watches should be designed from the dial down – perfecting the part of the watch that buyers would spend 99% of their time looking at. He also knew that to design a chronograph that was going to be made completely in-house, it would have to stand out from the rich catalogue of timers that have come before. He knew their out-sized date window, inspired by the five-minute clock at the Semper Opera House in Dresden, was a recognisable feature, so including this was a must. Yet, when you add such an intrusive complication, space for the necessary additions that come with a chronograph, such as sub-dials, becomes a premium.
Instead of cutting into the sub-dials, or squeezing them below the date window, Blümlein moved them down. Carrying over a trait from the asymmetric Lange 1, he created two visually satisfying equilateral triangles on the dial. The first is formed by the centre of the sub-dials and the centre of the date window; the second is upside down, formed by the three Roman numerals at 10, two and six. It’s a non-traditional way of creating a harmonious dial.
Once this dial design was set, there was the small matter of the case. Blümlein believed that a large presence on the wrist brought a sense of luxury. He was once quoted as saying, “When handling our watches, I want the owner to get the feeling of closing the door of a Mercedes.” While the round case shape that we see today might seem like the obvious choice, according to Alp, Meis had originally preferred a tonneau silhouette. This, however, didn’t make it past 1994, and was swapped for the round, three-part construction that we see today.