Zach Kazan – A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus White Gold
When the Odysseus was announced this past fall by A. Lange & Söhne, it seemed to take over Instagram and watch media for a few days. For years, watch lovers had speculated about what the German brand known for opulent and immaculately finished precious-metal dress watches could do with a steel sports watch. Personally, to me that seems a bit like asking Ferrari to build a sensible mid-size SUV. But then again, if one thing has proven true over and over again in the last decade, it’s that the appetite for luxury sports watches (i.e., sports watches less inclined for participating in sports than for watching them, perhaps from a boat of some kind) knows no bounds. So, at the height of integrated bracelet, steel sports watch mania, ALS let loose with the Odysseus. A nod to their best clients and the current state of the market, the steel Odysseus is undeniably well-executed, but it’s hard to draw a straight line to it from any other watch in the Lange catalog.
And now, just about 6 months later, they’ve gone and recreated it, losing the bracelet, and adding a whole lot of white gold to the mix. Upon learning of the new Odysseus, my first thought was “Why?” So soon after the release of what had to have been among the most hotly anticipated ALS releases in recent memory, it seemed a strange move to rejigger it so quickly, regardless of my feelings on the steel version. But after giving it some thought, this precious metal iteration of the Odysseus, to me, feels like the real Lange “sports” watch, revealing the steel version as the on-trend, allocation piece that it is. Particularly on the rubber strap, the white gold Odysseus seems to embody the high end, sporting elegance that Lange was shooting for in the steel version. The gray dial, in my opinion, is also an improvement over the blue in last year’s steel version. It feels more durable and classic, and is just a bit more under the radar.
At $40,600 the Odysseus in white gold is strictly in the realm of fantasy for most, but for me it solves some of the idiosyncrasies of the steel version, at least in the context of Lange as a brand. A. Lange & Söhne