A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk, 140.029F, White Gold

£53,500
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This Zeitwerk* by A. Lange & Söhne makes use of an innovative digital display, inspired by the very origins of the brand itself. Introduced in 2009, it combines a striking black dial with a white gold case, powered by an impressive hand-wound movement.

Telling Time Differently

A jump hour watch can be deceptively simple in appearance. Its execution, however, is rather more complicated. Aside from its polarising aesthetics, the difficulty of creating a jump hour movement contributes to this. The trick when designing these is controlling a large and sudden release of power, without cogs flying everywhere. The discs holding the numerals are normally quite large and take a lot of force to move from one notch to the next. This is why you will often find large, or double barrel springs in these pieces. In fact, to power both jumping hours and minutes, A. Lange & Söhne thickened their mainspring, flipped it upside down and then suspended it. This means that it is wound from the inside and unwinds from the outside, resulting in a much higher torque output than normal.

However, traditional watch movements and gear trains are not equipped to deal with these levels of torque. While they need to transfer enough of this possibly destructive energy, they also need to ensure that the excess is dissipated in a safe manner. Normal escapements can’t deal with it, which is why Journe used a remontoire d’égalité to ensure that the power delivered to the discs of his jumping Vagabondage models was perfectly regulated. This is especially important when you don’t only have to worry about jumping hours or minutes, but also seconds. A. Lange & Söhne went one step further and designed a remontoire with a free-spinning flywheel damper that uses blades to cause air resistance to safely release this extra energy.