With its first stainless-steel model, A. Lange & Söhne replica seeks to gain a foothold in the world of luxury sports watches. How does the Odysseus, which bears the name of a legendary hero from Greek mythology, perform in our test?
Sports, like so many things in life, are a matter of taste and talent. One person may choose to compete in the Ironman challenge while another considers chess to be a sport. The latter is in good company because the International Olympic Committee agrees with him.
Eager to woo adherents of both viewpoints, A. Lange & Söhne advertises its new Odysseus, our test watch, as a “sporty, elegant watch for very active people.” The elite manufacture has given this new A. Lange & Söhne watch fake with blue dial plenty of features that make it more robust and enlarge its field of activity. Choosing stainless steel as the material for its case already helps quite a bit because this alloy is much less susceptible to scratches than the precious metals gold and platinum, which Lange has used exclusively in its watches. And unlike Lange’s typical crocodile-skin straps, this model’s stainless-steel bracelet doesn’t mind a dip in a lake. Furthermore, wearing this watch while enjoying activities that raise a sweat doesn’t mean you’ll have to pay €290 plus VAT (around $375 total) to replace a stained but otherwise high-quality leather strap.
A Supple Stainless-steel Bracelet with a Sophisticated Clasp
High temperatures or physical exertion can also cause your wrist to swell slightly, but that’s not a problem for Lange’s Odysseus thanks to the clever adjustment system in its clasp. The circular logo on the buckle can be pressed down, thereby lengthening the strap in fine increments to add a maximum of 7 mm. Simply push the strap back into the buckle to shorten it. This practical mechanism works very well and we used it more often than we’d initially expected.
Alongside stainless steel as the material for the case and bracelet, the case’s increased resistance to pressure qualifies this watch to participate in a wider range of activities. The A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus copy with stainless steel bracelet is the first Lange watch that can withstand pressure of 12 bar, which corresponds to water pressure at a depth of 120 meters. Strictly speaking, the pressure resistance to a depth of 30 meters that Lange typically provides isn’t even suitable for a shower or a swimming pool. Thanks to its screw-down crown, the Odysseus can easily survive a dive from the deck of a sailboat. A sporty watch should be easy to read, both in the light and in the dark. The Odysseus meets this requirement with luminous material on its hour hand, its minutes hand and its large indexes; only the small seconds hand remains dark.
With all of these new features, is the Odysseus still recognizable as a Lange watch? There’s no cause for concern here because the manufacture has retained important characteristic features. This applies to the lance-shaped hands and to the seconds hand with its skeletonized counterweight, to the typeface used for the calibrated scales and, to a certain extent, to the case, for example, the shape of the lugs and the polished bezel. Of course, Lange’s big date display also contributes to recognizability. The large width of the bracelet at the lugs and the comparatively delicate hand for the small seconds admittedly take some getting used to, but all in all, Lange has adroitly combined new and old design features.
The Blue Dial — a Work of Art in Itself
The dial of high quality A. Lange & Söhne copy watch is a work of art: both the wreath of hour indexes and the subdial for the seconds are grooved, while the inner part of both the main dial and the subdial have rough surfaces. The bar-shaped hour indexes are made of white gold and each one not only slopes downward toward the center of the dial, but also has an M-shaped cross section and is filled with luminous material along its midline. The satin-finished minutes scale runs along the flange — a practical solution, and a somewhat unusual one for Lange. The red numeral 60 on the flange adds a dash of sportiness and also recalls the red numeral 12 that Lange used on rare anniversary models with enamel dials.
Also new, the day of the week appears in a window positioned directly opposite the double aperture for the big date. Like the dial, the disks for these two displays are blue — a small but important detail that’s all too often ignored. And when it’s overlooked, the mismatched color scheme detracts from the harmony of the design. In addition, the typeface chosen for the displays is the same one that spells out the brand’s name on the dial.
Lange not only developed the mechanism for the day-of-the-week display; it also redesigned the mechanism for the big date because the latter is now located near the edge of the dial, instead of closer to the middle as before. To achieve the largest possible display area, the big date indicator puts the digits into a ones ring and a 10s disk instead of in the previous cross shape. Furthermore, the ones ring is now larger and runs around the periphery of the movement, so it’s marked with the digits 0 to 9 twice.