Lange (A. Lange & Sohne) has always believed that there is no contradiction between innovation and tradition. Ferdinando Adolf Lange and his son have long relied on scientific research when they wanted to take the ideal of making the best watch in the world a long time ago. Modern generations of Lange engineers and movement designers often collaborate with universities and research institutes to research the latest technology for demanding Lange watch owners. A strict rule was born: every innovative technology must be truly useful. Three examples from 2010 reflect the forward-looking traditional watchmaking process.
Looking for harder gold
Saxony’s metallurgy has a long history, even dating back to medieval alchemy. At that time, people believed that mysterious magic stones could turn cheap metals into gold. The luckiest result in the record is the European porcelain invented in Dresden 300 years ago. Lange did not find the mysterious magic stone, but developed a new alloy that is stronger than all existing alloys. Chemically speaking, the new ‘honey-colored’ gold is a type of 18K gold alloy with a gold content of 75%. Honey-colored gold can have a charming color between rose gold and platinum, thanks to copper and zinc. A small amount of manganese mixture combined with special high temperature treatment makes the alloy have extraordinary hardness.
Honey-colored gold has a Vickers hardness of 300 to 320 HV, which is twice as hard as gold and rose gold with Vickers hardness of 135 to 150 HV. In the Vickers hardness test, a pyramid-shaped diamond is pressed against the surface of the test material with an accurate force, and then the hardness of the material is calculated by a special formula based on the diagonal length of the permanent indentation. The benefits of the new alloy are obvious: the honey-colored gold has beaten all other gold alloys in the scratch resistance test.
Like inverted sunglasses
LANGE ZEITWERK showed a new look of time, and caused a warm response with precise word jump and iconic design. The new ‘Luminous’ version makes it easy to read in the dark. The technical challenge in developing this watch was to provide light for the numbers that were hidden under the dial most of the time. Lange’s experts found the solution: adding a translucent but UV-permeable coating to the sapphire crystal dial. It’s like inverted sunglasses: the light transmission in the visible spectrum is weakened, so only the outline of the word-jumping structure can be seen. Ultraviolet has a wavelength of 250 to 430 nanometers, so it can penetrate the coating unhindered, giving the Superluminova digital energy that can glow for several hours at night.
Why Lange’s star is so bright
1815 MOONPHASE symbolizes Lange’s constant pursuit of extreme precision. The moon phase transmission of the watch is extremely accurate. Only after more than a thousand years will it deviate from the actual moon age cycle by one day. A closer look at the coating of the moon phase disk will tell you how Lange’s experts are about the details? Mystery: They want to show the unique charm of the night sky on the watch. Experts and scientists who have just joined the team to help develop the moon phase disk work together to develop a new coating that is closer to nature.
The traditional moon phase disk coating technology in the watchmaking industry is not enough to meet the requirements of bright colors and clear outlines made by Lange technicians for decorative details. The new process requires a very hard carbon film to be processed by physical vapour deposition (PVD) as a gold moon phase disc. The roughness of the surface of the moon phase disc is precisely adjusted, so it can be adjusted to the ideal hue and has high wear resistance. The interference effect caused bystanders’ eyes to see a dark blue canopy like a clear starry sky, and the stars were cut with excimer lasers that make complex semiconductor circuits. This ultra-precision technology does not leave any burned marks on the edges, so the stars with perfectly smooth edges are shining and particularly brilliant.