A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk - 140.029 - Full set
White Gold | Black dial
It is a daring task to challenge the Swiss when it comes to fine watchmaking and mechanical perfection, but if there’s one brand able to take on the contest it is the German watchmaker that turned Glashütte into a fine watchmaking destination, A. Lange & Söhne. Founded by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in 1845, the brand combines Saxon precision with aesthetic impeccability, resulting in hand-crafted timepieces of the highest standards.
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 and Datograph collections embody this iconic spirit, introduced not long after great-grandson Walter Lange revived the avant-garde family brand from Glashütte together with his friend Günter Blümlein.
Years earlier, the company’s main manufacture was destroyed during a bombing on the last night of war in 1945. A few years later, in 1948, the brand disappeared during the occupation by the Soviet Union. But Walter Lange proved the legendary watchmaker’s spirit did not pass on.
In 2009 the brand reinvigorated itself again, with the launch of the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk, equally bold in function as in its design – seemingly breaking with the longing for tradition all the rage at the time. A daring move that resulted in another icon, known for its digital time-display with a jumping numerals mechanism – the first in history to reach 60-seconds jump precision (a complication that took more than century to have been resolved).
The Zeitwerk is available in four precious metals: platinum, yellow gold, white gold and pink gold within a collection that has expanded over the years, yet every model remains exceptionally rare. Only 20 of the highest trained A. Lange & Söhne watchmakers are skilled enough to assembly this watch.
This A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk – Ref. 140.029 – watch distinguishes itself with a white gold case and a peculiar monochromatic appearance, by its black dial crafted from solid silver and a pronouncedly designed time bridge (ZeitBrücke) made of rhodiumed German silver, brushed against the grainy dial surface and framing the displays of hours, minutes and seconds.
The ZeitBrücke reflects one of the rare cases having a functional watch part of the movement integrated into a signature watch aesthetic – as the screw on the left and bearing jewel on the right testimony. This design choice, accounted for by Nils Bode, not only renders a thinner movement, but it also infuses the unique watch face with both symmetry and idiosyncrasy.
The model further equals watchmaking pioneering as the Zeitwerk is the first mechanical wristwatch displaying the time digitally with highly legible jumping numerals: made possible by three different discs, a tens- and a units-minute disc and a hour ring. The jumping hours and minutes find their root in the 19th century, patented by the Austrian Josef Pallweber and granted to IWC amongst others. Yet, the Pallweber model allowed for vertical indications only, horizontal alignment only came about a mere 120 years later in the meticulously precise Zeitwerk (a work attributed to the master watchmaker Jens Schneider, today no longer part of A. Lange & Söhne).
The white gold watch case measures 41,9 mm in diameter and 12,6 mm in thickness, featuring a prominently striking crown at 2 o’clock that hints to the architecture of the movement, with the balance wheel using up the 3 o’clock position. With characteristic A. Lange & Söhne notched lugs, case construction and finishing – with a mirror polished bezel and case back and contrasting brushed case band – the watch wears both elegantly and comfortably. The movement of the vast discs is beguilingly noticeable on the wrist (due to the remontoire system ejecting its energy).
The dial windows are a contemporary interpretation of the Five-Minute Clock (1841) at Dresden’s Semper Opera House, co-produced by Ferdinand Adolph Lange at the time. The watch face further retrieves its harmonious aesthetic from the space between the time bridge and the power reserve indication on top, with watch hands made of rhodiumed gold. Signing off, the eminent arc brand signature refers to its cradle underneath: Glashütte i/SA (‘in Saxony’).
The watch with delightfully open caseback spots a matching white gold pin buckle.
The A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Ref. 140.029 houses the L043.1 caliber, equally introduced in 2009 and considered to be a work of art in watchmaking architecture and finishing alone. This 33,6 mm hand-wound movement consists of 415 components (including 68 rubies and 2 signature-style screwed gold chatons) with a 36-hour power reserve (guaranteeing optimal precision by the Maltese-cross or ‘stop work’ on the mainspring barrel), a lever escapement and screw balance beat-adjustment system with 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour.
Furthermore, a smart remontoire system – as a secondary power source – and a windbreak (Windflüge) ensure timekeeping precision by making the discs jump (simultaneously if required), 1608 times a day (as accurate as every 60 seconds for the minute disc).
The extraordinary myriad of hand-finishing on the watch can be observed through the open sapphire caseback, with outstanding chamfering, interior angles and an engraved balance cock from the hand of one of Lange’s master engravers. Plates and bridges are made of German silver, giving the movement a warm silver tone.
Condition & set
The A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk timepiece with reference 140.029 is in mint condition and has perfect mechanical functioning. The piece comes as a full set, including original boxes, papers, service history and manual.
The watch has been serviced by A. Lange & Söhne in December 2020.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment.
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Calibre L 043.1
|Size (Case)||41,9 mm|
|Material (Case)||White gold|
|Bracelet||Smoked brown nubuck and original ALS strap