A Lange & Söhne Gives Zeitwerk Minute Repeater the Honeygold Treatment for New NYC Boutique

A Lange & Söhne opened the doors of their latest boutique in New York City’s upper east side this week with the help of CEO Wilhelm Schmid, and a new Zeitwerk Minute Repeater rendered in Honeygold was presented to mark the occasion. That might be the poshest sentence ever to be written on this website, but don’t let that turn you away just yet, there’s an impeccably interesting watch underneath the glitz here. The Zeitwerk takes a unique approach to displaying the time, and it’s no different when a chiming complication is added to the mix. There is no hour and minute hand here, and there’s also no slide mechanism along the side of the case. It is an entirely over the top example of the kind of creative engineering the brand is capable of set into a material that is nearly as difficult to explain. 

The new boutique finds itself in New York’s lovely upper east side, on Madison ave at 63rd street, directly across from the Hermès boutique. The cozy space is accented with plenty of Lange ephemera, including a monolithic installment of a Saxonia Triple Split chronograph, which includes an oversized hyper accurate recreation of the movement around back. What I personally found the most compelling, however, was the display on the south wall, which was composed of small numbered boxes, each depicting a single piece of the 684 total pieces that comprise the Tourbograph Perpetual Pour Le Merite movement. It takes up an entire wall, and imagining them all placed within something that measures a mere 43mm in diameter is akin to pondering the nature of infinity, or the square root of -1, ie. difficult.


As nice as the new boutique is (truly, it’s a great space and I’d recommend a visit if you ever find yourself in the area), the new Zeitwerk released at the opening was undoubtedly the star of the show. The Zeitwerk collection is unique for its mechanically driven digital-display, setting the hour within a large aperture at the left, and the minutes represented by a pair of discs within an aperture at the right. At their center, a sub dial for the running seconds serves as a reminder of the mechanical movement underneath. Every Zeitwerk utilizes a movement with a constant-force escapement between the barrel and the balance, ensuring the instant advancement of the discs displaying the time. It also sends the exact same amount of force to the balance across the entirety of the mainspring reserve. Being a Lange, it’s also pretty easy on the eyes. 

Lange first placed a minute repeater complication within the Zeitwerk in 2015, taking a novel approach to the classic complication, bringing a level of practicality to the mix in the process. Rather than chiming the quarter hours, the Zeitwerk instead chimes ten-minute intervals, and is activated with the press of a button rather than a slide to tension a spring. The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater utilizes two barrels, and taps directly into their reserve to power the chiming mechanism at the press of a button. Because of this, the reserve must be greater than 12 hours to work, which is noted by a red dot on the power reserve indication at the top of the dial.

A press of the button will activate the repeater, with a low-pitched tone marking each hour, a double-tone (high and low) for each ten minutes elapsed, and finally, a high-pitched tone for the minute. Pressing the button at 4:37 would yield 4 low tones; 3 double tones; and 7 high tones. The idea being that you will hear exactly what you’d see on the dial, from left to right. The hammers responsible for the tones are visible on the dial side of the watch, nested under the apertures, maintaining symmetry across the dial. The quality of the tone they create is the subject of a huge amount of scrutiny, and are tuned by a watchmaker to ensure they hit the right notes, so to speak. 

One of the biggest contributing factors to the sound of these chimes is the case material itself. In this case, A Lange & Söhne are using their own alloy called Honeygold for the 44.2mm case. This results in crisp, but warm and soft tones from the gongs, and I’ll be completely honest here, I don’t spend enough time around minute repeaters to be in a good position to make a quality judgment. They sounded perfectly lovely to my untrained ear, though a touch on the quiet side, which I suppose is preferable to being a touch on the loud side. Most importantly, the Honeygold material is exceptionally beautiful in person, and I am sorry to say that I think its qualities cannot be truly appreciated in mere pictures. It has a subtlety beyond being a “lighter rose gold”, it feels very much like its own thing. 

As complicated as this Zeitwerk is, there’s an overall simplicity that makes the watch feel all the more approachable, if such a watch could be such a thing. It’s straightforward in every visual way, so it feels like a watch you could strap to your wrist every day if you were in such a position, meaning it’s stripped of much of the pretension you likely winced at in the first sentence of this article. Just 30 of these watches will be produced, and pricing falls in the ‘if you have to ask’ category, but it’s hard not to look at this watch without some level of awe. 

If you’re in the neighborhood you can see this watch now at the new Madison ave boutique, and if you’re not, you can learn more from A Lange & Söhne.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.