The Glashütte-based paragon of German watchmaking, A. Lange & Söhne, breathe the same rarefied horological air as Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe and, in much the same way, demand tends to outstrip supply – enough that there’s a good chance you won’t have actually tried on some of their latest pieces like the Odysseus. Now is your chance to see some of their most exclusive models in the metal with the A. Lange & Söhne exhibition at the Harrods Fine Watch Room.
As one of the fortunates that’s strapped most Langes to my wrist over the years, I can tell you that that’s a tragedy. It’s par for the course to say online images and adverts don’t do a watch justice, but in A. Lange & Söhne’s case it’s an understatement of proportions inverse to a grand, gold, Egyptian escalator. Which is fitting, given that as of now, you can experience the full gamut of Lange’s current collection at the Harrods Fine Watch Room.
Now, I’m going to be honest, I don’t often have cause to head into Harrods’ Fine Watch Room personally. Aside from getting lost en route among the maze of staircases and escalators, gold or otherwise, I generally see most upcoming pieces in the metal at Watches & Wonders each year, meaning I often don’t need to here in the UK. Obviously not everyone can hop over to Geneva to join us – which is why Lange & Söhne are styling their showcase with more than a taste of the illustrious watch show.
The main flavour in that melange of horological goodness – at least in A. Lange & Söhne’s corner – is always their awe-inspiring life-sized replicas of their watches. Before you ask, yes, the blown-up versions do in fact work, as you can see for yourself as the Harrods exhibition will play host to a gigantic Odysseus Chronograph. It definitely makes an impact.
That goes for the watch itself as much as it does its oversized doppelganger. The original steel sports watch from Lange made waves when it came out back in 2019 and has been a collection of firsts for the German watchmaker. Initially, it was their first sports-luxe timepiece; then, it became their first titanium cased watch. Now, it’s the brand’s first automatic chronograph, thanks to the L156.1 DATOMATIC calibre.
For most watchmakers an automatic chronograph is par for the course; for A. Lange & Söhne, it’s new ground. Not because they haven’t been able to do it of course – they just wanted to do it their way. And so, we ended up with funky shoulder pushers, twin day and date windows at 3 and 9 respectively, running small seconds and a function that resets both centrally positioned chronograph hands to zero. There’s a lot going on.
The only downside in fact is that only 100 pieces are being made and you can be sure all of them have been sold. Yes, that means that you may feel a dash of insatiable longing when you get it on your wrist, but Lange’s Harrods exhibition might be one of the few chances you’ll ever have to actually try it out for yourself.
That said, while the Odysseus Chronograph is certainly the showpiece, it’s also an opportunity to try out Lange’s wider collection. If you’ve only ever heard of the brand in passing, then this is your opportunity to find out what all the fuss is about. Which is ironic for some of the least fussy examples of pared-back elegance in watchmaking. Both updated incarnations of the iconic Grand Lange 1 and the ultra-cool Zeitwerk are there to try on and you might even see a couple of pieces even newer than the Odysseus Chronograph.
So, if you want to either stay updated with the A. Lange & Söhne has to show – or are simply intrigued by the prospect of what superlative, Glashütte-based watchmaker brings to the craft – then a visit to Harrods’ Fine Watch Room is in order sometime between now and 24th September to see the exhibit. Although it’s worth pointing out that if you can’t make it during the showcase there’s also A. Lange & Söhne’s permanent boutique which you’ll find on the ground floor. And hey, if for whatever reason elegant German watchmaking isn’t for you, the Harrods food hall always has some excellent free samples.
More details at A. Lange & Söhne.