The new Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen
At first glance, you might think that this brand new Zeitwerk Lumen is basically the same as the 2010 model, but the material is different… After a quick look at the watch and its specifications, you will think that is correct. It has the same iconic display-inspired by the five-minute clock in the Semper Opera in Dresden-as well as the same T-shaped time bridge and the exact same case size as all classic (only understanding time) Zeitwerk, whether illuminated or not. But, in fact, this brand new Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen is a brand new watch, with different proportions, an improved dial with a different structure and a new movement that is much stronger than before… and it is also an unprecedented material in the Lumen series. So, all in all, there are many things to explain.
Let me talk about the case first. Yes, the diameter is still 41.9 mm and the height is still 12.6 mm, just like previous versions of Zeitwerk watches. However, due to the new movement and the revised display-which will be described in detail later-the proportions of the case are different. First, the bezel is now slightly thinner than before, making the watch less visually bulky. Since A. Lange & Söhne fully respects some ancient rules of proportionality, the lugs have also been modified to become more fashionable. Of course, we are talking about minor adjustments here, but some adjustments may make Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen more elegant on the wrist than before.
One of the main novelties of this edition is the material used for the case. The previous Luminous/Lumen version has always been made of platinum, but the case of this new model is made of the brand’s proprietary Honeygold, which is a special 18k alloy with “various mixtures and special heat treatment”, giving Gold has a higher hardness and a very subtle color. Limited to Lange’s limited edition watches-such as the 175th anniversary-this rare and difficult-to-process alloy first appeared in the Lumen series, but not in the Zeitwerk series, just like the previous 2017 Zeitwerk decimal strike. The case retains the same finish as before, with a polished bezel and lugs, and straight brushed sides. It is worn on the brown crocodile leather strap to bring the final warm touch, which is not available in previous Lumen watches, all with black and gray technical appearance… In this regard, this Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen feels quite surprising .
An important new element of this new Lumen watch is a button on the side of the case, which was not available in the previous time-only Zeitwerk. This is where the Zeitwerk Date has the greatest impact, because this new version of the movement is indeed based on the date model launched in 2019. It allows the hour indicator to be switched individually, making it easier to set the time. Of course, the minutes are still adjusted by the crown. Like Zeitwerk Date, a toggle pulse is generated when the button is released. “The advantage is that it can always be executed uniformly regardless of the driving force of the pusher,” explains A. Lange & Söhne. In the words of Anthony de Haas, this system is also more compact than classic buttons (think chronograph-like buttons), which allows it to maintain the same size as before.
Now, the dial… As part of the Luminous watch series, this Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen is of course equipped with a partially colored sapphire dial. The new feature of this watch is no longer glued together, but installed between two O-ring gaskets, which makes assembly easier and provides greater resistance to shocks. The sapphire dial has a light-transmitting coating that allows the luminous numbers that are not exposed to the aperture (usually hidden under the dial) to absorb enough ultraviolet light in the dark. Therefore, not only the numbers exposed in the holes are luminous, but also the numbers hidden under the sapphire dial are slightly visible…
The display still consists of a time bridge with two huge openings, a single disc for hours and a combination of two discs for minutes. The splint, redesigned for this occasion, is equipped with a larger sub-second dial, and now uses black rhodium-plated German silver (instead of black coating) to make it lighter and warmer. The power reserve indicator is still at 12 o’clock, and the hands on the dial are made of 18k honey gold.
Returning to the mechanical aspect, Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen retains the stunning display that makes this series unique, which means that the complex combination of three instantaneous jumpers displays the time in a digital format, and all numbers are of the same size. They switch precisely and read from left to right. Behind this mechanism is a complex constant force device. In fact, such a large disk needs to release a lot of energy. In addition, this one-minute remontoire (thus driving the unit minute disc) ensures that the balance wheel is always driven with constant power, thereby improving the accuracy of this watch. In short, this one-minute spring loaded and unloaded to drive the disc to jump is also beneficial to the accuracy of the Swiss watch…
But this is not new… The brand new is the L043.9 movement, which is based on the Zeitwerk Date movement architecture. But this is not just a small change, because the date complication is not a module to be deleted, which means that the Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen needs to reconsider the entire upper part of the engine. However, this also means that this new engine benefits from the structure of two barrels stacked on top of each other. Combined with a lighter balance wheel and a lighter remontoire, the power reserve has doubled, from 36 hours in the past to 72 hours now. It is also certain that this upgraded movement will enter the regular Zeitwerk situation sooner or later.
The combination of a longer power reserve and a new hour correction button makes this L043.9 movement a considerable improvement over the previous generation movement. The movement consists of 462 parts and operates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5 Hz). Looking through the sapphire bottom cover, the design and decoration are once again very attractive. The exquisite bridge on the top of the remontoire is the star of the show. The rest is equally impressive, with a hand-engraved balance wheel and escapement splint, a sun-dried sprocket, and a filament straight-grain constant escapement splint that can accommodate two recessed, screwed gold sleeves. . All parts are decorated, visible or not.
A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen (ref. 142.055) is a limited edition.