In October 2019, A. Lange & Söhne debuted the ODYSSEUS – The first luxury steel sports watch and a new entrant in the highly competitive ‘Luxury Sports Watch Category’ (Read all about it here). Despite that, the ODYSSEUS was very well received and shone with its distinctive design, mechanical excellence and immaculate finish. According to A.Lange & Söhne, “the ODYSSEUS was designed for active people who wish to wear their Lange watch even in situations when a precision mechanical model would ordinarily be set aside
At Watches & Wonders 2020, A.Lange & Söhne unveiled a new version of the ODYSSEUS in white gold with a grey dial. In my opinion, the launch is a wise move by A.Lange & Söhne, as it has successfully tapped the emotional connect that its enthusiasts crave – a link between the German Watchmakers’ legendary past and flourishing present.
The finissage of the 40.5mm case and the lugs is characterised by the interplay of brushed surfaces and polished chamfers. Residing above and beneath the crown are two pushers that correct the day and the date. These are beautifully tapered, further accentuating the look of the three-part white-gold case.
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 lancet-shaped hour and minute hands, the hour markers are luminous. 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.
The new ODYSSEUS is fitted with a hand-stitched leather or black rubber integrated strap (with air ducts on the inside for superb wearing comfort) and a white gold prong buckle.
Powering the watch is an L155.1 DATOMATIC manufacture calibre developed exclusively for the ODYSSEUS. It features a date mechanism combined with an automatic winding system. When fully wound, the mainspring barrel delivers a maximum power reserve of 50 hours. To guarantee high rate accuracy regardless of external factors, the new self-winding calibre operates at a frequency of 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour (4 hertz). The newly designed balance is regulated with four countersunk poising screws that are flush with the outside of the balance-wheel rim. This design reduces turbulence despite the higher frequency. Together with the freely oscillating balance spring made in- house, the minimised air resistance has a positive impact on the movement’s rate accuracy and energy efficiency.
Visually, the movement is quite similar to most Lange movements. You have a skeletonised and partially black-rhodiumed unidirectional winding central rotor with a centrifugal mass in platinum. Thanks to the skeletonisation of the rotor further details of the manually executed, lavish finissage of the movement can be observed. In line with Lange’s philosophy, all parts are lavishly hand-finished and the movement is assembled twice. Many artisanal details can be discovered with a glance through the sapphire- crystal caseback. They include the German silver plate decorated with Glashütte ribbing, the wave pattern engraved on the balance bridge, and the screwed gold chaton above the escape wheel.