William Herrera

Grail Watch

A truly remarkable timepiece

Most of the time, watch enthusiasts disagree about a number of things, but the one item that most watch aficionados agree on, is that a minute repeater is truly an exceptional timepiece.

A. Lange & Söhne just launched the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater in Honeygold, the only mechanical wristwatch that combined jumping numerals and a decimal minute repeater. Sounding off on every hour, minute and second by way of the pusher instead of a slide, this is an innovative idea; using the twin mainspring barrel which provides adequate energy to go around sans the need to have another spring to tension. Another ingenious feature is that the striking mechanism can no longer be activated if the power reserve is lower than 12 hours, which is marked by a red dot on the indicator; this is to ensure that the repeater sequence would not be prematurely interrupted, which would make the watch stop running.

“Every minute repeater has its own, one-of-a-kind sound. Apart from gongs and gong hammers, the case material has the greatest impact on the sound. Similar to a musical instrument, different tone colors and sound impressions are created, depending on the material used. That is also the case with our novelty in honey gold. It sounds different to all other materials — truly distinctive,” stated Anthony de Haas Director Product Development A. Lange & Söhne.

“To attain this particular sound quality, all parameters are matched to one another,” extolled Tino Bobe – Director Manufacture. “The gongs that are meticulously hand-tuned deliver a pure, resonant sound and harmonize with the sound characteristics of the Lange-exclusive case alloy. Additionally, all components are carefully tuned by one of our master watchmakers. This requires multiple disassembly, reworking, reassembly and finally, testing procedures. Much of the manufacturing time is thus dedicated to perfecting the sound: to complete such a watch calls for acute hearing and extreme dexterity.”

“Every minute repeater has its own one-of-a-kind sound”

Only a master watchmaker has the virtuosity to handle the elaborate polishing of the gongs and blackpolishing of the gong hammers — thus the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater Honeygold is both acoustically and visually impressive.

While the repeater is running the switching action of the numerals discs is delayed, and the crown cannot be pulled. This feature ensures that there is no interference with the strike work sampling sequence and the acoustic indication of time is not impeded. The longest series of tones occurs at 12:59 hrs., taking about 20 seconds to complete the repeater sequence. If a new minute begins while the repeater is striking, the minute and/or hour jump occurs immediately after the tone ends. Thereafter, the next numeral disc switching cycle takes place with the regular timing when the seconds hand passes the 60-seconds mark.

The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater in Honeygold, with a gray dial, is limited to 30 pieces worldwide. Using a Lange manufacture Calibre L043.5, manually wound, with a 36-hour power reserve when fully wound, and striking mechanism is not engaged. Adhering to Lange standards, these pieces are crafted, designed, decorated by hand, and precision-adjusted in five positions; three-quarter plate is made from untreated German Silver, and the balance and escape wheel cock are hand-engraved. The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater in Honeygold measures 44.2mm in diameter and a height of just 14.1mm., with a sapphire crystal and caseback, the dial is 925 silver, gray, with an elegant hand stitched dark brown leather strap with a deployant buckle, also in 18 carat Honeygold.


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