It is now official that at SIHH 2012 A. Lange & Sohne will unveil the Datograph Up/Down. And what a frickin’ beautiful watch she is. The “Up/Down” (“Ab/Auf” in German) is a reference to the new power reserve function on the iconic Datograph watch that first debuted in 1999 with the Caliber L951.1, a movement that set the standard for a manufacture chronograph movement. The 2012 Datograph also gets a few more subtle changes including a larger case size (41mm vs. the original at 39mm) and a markedly greater power reserve (60 hours vs the original at 38 hours). Also gone are the Roman numeral hour markers, now solely baton hour markers (I have mixed feelings on this). So while clearly not a step-change from the original, the new Lange Datograph will offer aficionados something a little bit different for their collection. This watch will undoubtedly be one of the best new releases for 2012.
A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Up/Down Watch
platinum case, manual-wind Lange Calibre L951.6 (60 hrs pwr reserve)
Hard to beat a movement that looks like this, don’t you think?
A. Lange Calibre L951.6
Did you Know?
Lange Datograph History
According to the watch wise-men at Hodinkee:
It [the Lange Datograph] is the watch that, according to many, started the trend in manufacture chronograph movements that we are still seeing many play catch up to today. Keep in mind, this is a true in-house chronograph that launched in 1999, which means ALS had one before Patek Philippe – 2006’s 5960 was an in-house and automatic and 2010’s 5170 was Patek’s first manually wound in-house chrono. AP and Vacheron, to this day, have not released a true in-house chronograph, though both of their products are exceptionally well made. So, 1999’s Datograph was a very big deal.