For 2020, the new A. Lange Söhne sports watch Odysseus collection has been enriched an edition that incorporates integrated rubber strap or leather band. When it was first launched, A Lange Söhne’s new sports watch attracted divisive opinions, with commentators on blogs calling it “Lange’s code 11:59” referring to a competing luxury sports watch maker. However, it looks like the 2020 new Lange Odysseus is the Saxony manufacture’s latest expression of the luxury sports watch and the opinions of the watch connoisseur community have been very welcoming of the new Lange Söhne Odysseus.
“Around 12 years ago we (Lange) made the first attempt by making a watch like a Langematik in steel with a standard steel case and bracelet, we found that this was not the way to go. First, we felt it would annoy the owners of a PT or WG Langematik. Second, it would have been too easy.” – Anthony de Haas, Product Development Director on the birth of Lange’s first luxury sports watch, Odysseus
Featuring a specially textured grey dial, the aesthetic elements and dial layout with the large-format date and day display pretty much remains the same with its predecessor with its biggest change reserved for the bracelet – the element which divided the watch community during its debut.
Launching a new luxury sports watch was never going to be easy with Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak pioneering design, across the genre, every brand including Hublot, Girard Perregaux and Chopard has had to endure varying degrees of critical commentary regarding specific case elements like the bezel, however, Lange’s first luxury sports watch sidestepped many of the criticisms by going in an entirely unexpected direction. But of course, it’s not enough to have the technical characteristics – e.g. water proofness and robustness – to be considered a “true” luxury sports watch and while original bracelet may have divided Lange Sohne fans, the new 2020 Lange Odysseus appears to be overwhelming positive, amazing how a change of bracelet can result in a radical makeover.
“We tried the “Genta way” with a shaped case, and after many attempts: No way…. it looked like copy-cat of the big brands, you know who I mean…., then in 2012 we found a rough idea of what it is today.” – Anthony de Haas
Indeed, Anthony de Haas, Product Development Director at the Saxony manufacture told LUXUO exclusively that, “around 12 years ago we (Lange) made the first attempt by making a watch like a Langematik in steel with a standard steel case and bracelet, we found that this was not the way to go. First, we felt it would annoy the owners of a PT or WG Langematik. Second, it would have been too easy.”
Two years later, Anthony and the team at Lange tried the “Genta way” with a shaped case, and after many attempts, de Haas admitted, “No way…. it looked like copy-cat of the big brands, you know who I mean…., then in 2012 we found a rough idea of what it is today. The challenge for us was to create a new face for a watch. The extremely challenging part meant that it had to be new yet still 100% recognisable as a Lange.”
Regarding the furore and criticism of the bracelet, Mr. de Haas offered a concession, “For me the integrated bracelet is a very important part of the design together with the dial design with large day/datex. I know it’s controversially discussed, but if you think about it, it has been 25 years of Lange watches where a leather strap is standard and so a bracelet like this was bound to be quite shocking/unusual. It’s more the total view/design of the watch”
2020 Lange Odysseus takes sportive luxury to a new level
From the 40.5mm three-part, 18k white gold case with 11.1mm thickness and contrast polished and brushed finishing as its predecessor, all the aesthetic elements are identical to the inaugural version, right down to pushers which appear to be “crown guards” at a glance but are really meant to adjust the outsize date and large weekday indications. The new Lange Odysseus is still water resistant to 120 metres, which might give one pause to take a leather strap edition diving but on an integrated rubber strap – not a problem.
I wouldn’t take it diving but the Saxony manufacture is quite serious about fans taking the sportive raison d’etre of its new 2020 Lange Odysseus seriously: White-gold hands and notched baton appliques assure good legibility against the dark background. The numerals of the outsize date and the letters of the large-format day display stand out in white on grey. With a height of 2.4 millimetres, they are easily readable even in poor light conditions. Like the hour and minute hands, the hour markers are luminous. So you might be hesistant to take a five digit timepiece to the depths but you certainly can – Lange’s sports watch was designed exactly for that.
The embossed groove structure beneath the applied hour markers and the subsidiary seconds scale enhances the textured effect of the dial. It contrasts against the glossy matt inner surfaces of the main and subsidiary dials. The red 60 on the bevelled argenté- coloured flange ring with the printed minute scale provides a subtle colour accent.
Powered by the L155.1 DATOMATIC manufacture calibre developed exclusively for the new 2020 Lange Odysseus. The Datomatic, like the brand’s other naming conventions stands for the combination of date mechanism and automatic winding. To guarantee high rate accuracy regardless of external factors, the balance operates at a frequency of 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour (4 hertz). Recessed poising screws minimise air turbulence that could affect the rate. The movement has a maximum power reserve of 50 hours.
New Lange Odysseus Price and Specs
Movement Automatic L 155.1 Datomatic with 50 hours power reserve
Case 40.5mm white gold with 120 metres water resistance
Strap Leather or rubber