It was only a matter of time before the world’s favourite German watch brand unveiled a more luxurious version of their first and only sports watch: the Odysseus Datomatic. In this aim, A. Lange & Söhne have revised the half-year-old Odysseus in white gold and with a new dial. However, before taking a look at what’s new, it’s worth considering why a Lange Odysseus in white gold matters.
A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Datomatic: Responding to Demand
For an onlooker, the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Datomatic (hereafter simply Lange Datomatic) seemed an inevitability when first released last year. In light of the immense demand for luxury steel watches, especially when given a blue dial and high water resistance, a brand with the influence of Lange could not be left behind competitors Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet to name only a couple.
As a consequence, the Odysseus (named with a similar sense of adventure as the Patek Philippe Nautilus) offered a very different proposition to the buyer. Even with a distinctive dial and case construction as well as an exquisite movement, the emphasis was radically different to the norm for a Lange. Notably, resilience was put before conventional opulence with a more robust cal. L155.1 whilst the blue dial was an arguably clumsy lunge at the aforementioned market.
Don’t get me wrong, the design was executed with predictable restraint and innovation and the marketing aim was, no doubt, achieved but this watch didn’t appear to prioritise Lange’s usual customer. With the Lange Odysseus in white gold, however, we may just have the perfect compromise.
A Subtle but Clear Change
In reality, much more of the Lange Odysseus in steel remains than has been changed. The case dimensions of 40.5mm case remains unchanged whilst the movement also remains the robust and rather clever L155.1. Where the most obvious change appears is the dial – a point of contention for the original steel version.
The new white gold Lange Odysseus presents a more subtle and subdued appearance to its blue sibling. Where the original dial was a rich blue with a deep, matte pattern and concentric rings, the grey version provides a finer matte finish and a stamped pattern around the rim. For me, this is an appealingly toned-down play on the original though the movement and consequently the dial features remain unchanged.
Another considerable change from the original is the addition of a leather or rubber strap to the existing end links. The result is a strap which, whilst not a metal bracelet, flows seamlessly from the ends of the lugs. Interestingly, a metal bracelet is no longer available for this model with the likely cause being the increase in price and weight of adding so much more white gold. Even so, the rubber strap appears to be an interesting option given its obviously good construction and design echoing the case form.
In-House Lange L155.1
The movement inside the Lange Odysseus Datomatic is the L155.1 — an automatic movement related to that which you would find in the Saxonia. However, this movement has been adapted to a very different environment and one where the movement requires a more robust construction. In this aim, the movement has been strengthened from the use of a balance bridge to stronger teeth on the gears.
To add to the sporting feel, the beat rate has increased to 4Hz whilst the power reserve, less of a priority for a watch worn every day, has dropped somewhat to 50 hours. A key aspect of the movement is the dial arrangement. By placing the day on the opposite side of the dial to the date, Lange has accepted that this is a watch not designed to be concealed under a cuff but perhaps worn with short sleeves. As such, Lange have taken advantage of this aspect to make both indications larger and more clear.
Of course, this new Lange Odysseus in white gold is far from a revolution and, instead, is a timely addition to this newest of ranges in the A. Lange & Söhne collection. With a price of 39,500 euros, this variant of the Odysseus commands a roughly 15,000 euro premium over the steel variant. For this price, some customers may prefer a more complex Saxonia although, if you want the everyday practicality of the Odysseus, it’s the only watch for you.
Availability: EUR 39,500
- Dimensions: 40.5mm x 11.1mm
- Material: 18k White Gold (& rubber or leather strap)
- Display: Grey dial / Applied and polished markers and hands / Luminous material in markers and hands / Day & date / Small seconds at 6 o’clock
- Water Resistance: 120m / 394ft / 12 ATM
- Movement: in-house L155.1: Time, day & date / Automatic & manual winding / Hacking / 50-hour power reserve / 4Hz, 28,800 vph, 8 ticks-per-second / Balance bridge and reinforced date gears / Platinum automatic rotor