“Lange Zeitwerk Decimal Strike”
While classic chiming mechanisms emulate analogue watches by striking hours and quarter-hours, the “Lange Zeitwerk Decimal Strike” sounds the time as it appears on the digital display, in hours and ten-minute intervals.
Presented in a limited edition of 100 examples, this model also stands out with the special material from which its case is crafted: Lange’s proprietary “honey” gold.
The “Zeitwerk” family of watches is one of Lange’s most recognisable, even if it’s not quite as iconic for A. Lange & Söhne as the “Lange 1”.
Two chiming versions have been produced:
The “Zeitwerk Striking Time”, which chimes on the hour and on the quarter hours;
The “Zeitwerk Minute Repeater”, so-called “decimal repeater”, rather than chiming the hours, quarter hours and minutes past the quarter hour, it chimes the hours, number of ten-minute intervals past the hour, and number of minutes past the last 10-minute interval.
In 2017, A. Lange & Söhne launched a third chiming « Zeitwerk »:
The “Lange Zeitwerk Decimal Strike”, which chimes on the hour, and also at every 10-minute interval.
Decimal striking is an interesting way to connect the dots between chiming and the digital time display. As with the other two striking Zeitwerks, energy management is key; the energy load on the mainspring can vary much more than in a conventional wristwatch, especially at the top of the hour when all three disks jump simultaneously, and the extra load on the mainspring might adversely affect accuracy. To address this, the “Lange Zeitwerk Decimal Strike”, has, as do all Zeitwerks, a constant force mechanism (the complication known as a “remontoire d’égalité” in French, … a former term used to designate the many mechanisms created to obtain a constant transmission of power to the escape-wheel or others devices).
All three striking Zeitwerks, including the minute repeater, use the mainspring barrel to power the strike train (most minute repeaters have a separate barrel for the strike train but the Zeitwerk minute repeater does not) so the constant force mechanism is genuinely useful in keeping the watch running correctly.
The Zeitwerks have always seemed more interactive than many other complicated watches – not in the sense that you actually fiddle with it physically, but in the sense that if you have one on, you find yourself wanting to look at it much more than you’d ordinarily want to look at your watch, just to see the show when the digits switch. The “Lange Zeitwerk Decimal Strike”, like the “Zeitwerk Striking Time”, adds a score to the performance – one engineered specifically to go with jumps of multiple number wheels, unlike the “Striking Time”, said Jack Foster in its article (see biography).