Glashütte, Germany is a small town with a big emphasis on watchmaking. Located in the pastoral Müglitz valley just 45 minutes outside Dresden, there are barely any hints a capital of the replica watch world could be hidden among the green Saxon hills. It requires a genuine effort – and the helping hand of Google Maps – to visit the city.
Maybe that’s how the Germans like it. If it were up to me, I’d place a sign on the autobahn leading up to Glashütte proclaiming how special this town of just 7,000 people is: “Exit now to discover Germany’s horological heartland.” With a photo of a watch beside it.
And it wouldn’t be just any watch. It would be this watch – the luxury fake A. Lange & Söhne Rattrapante Honeygold “Homage to F. A. Lange” Limited Edition, released last fall to commemorate the 175th anniversary of watchmaking in Glashütte.
Jack introduced us to the Rattrapante Honeygold when it was first announced, as part of a capsule collection of three limited-edition watches. Given its limited nature of 100 pieces, most of us will never have an opportunity to see it in person. And even if you can see it, you probably can’t afford it – and even if you can afford it, you probably can’t find it. It’s priced at an eye-watering $134,000, and collectors the world over have already snapped up every example.
But as luck would have it, we were able to source an example from a private collection to show off in a bit more detail in this A Week On The Wrist.
The First Solo Rattrapante From A. Lange & Söhne Fake With Black Dial
When you say “rattrapante” and “Lange” in the same sentence, most watch enthusiasts will have some sort of visible reaction. After all, this is the brand that debuted the world’s first double rattrapante in 2004 with the Double Split, and the first triple rattrapante in 2018 with the Triple Split. So it might be hard to comprehend that this is the first time we’ve seen the complication independent of any other in a Lange wristwatch. But it’s true.
This is now the thinnest A. Lange & Söhne clone watch to incorporate a split-seconds mechanism. It’s also the first Lange chronograph that’s unaccompanied by another complication (or tourbillon) and housed in a Honeygold case, the company’s proprietary extra-hard 18k gold alloy. The unique color of Honeygold lies somewhere between pink and yellow gold, with a pale straw color that has a tendency to pass for a white metal; its exact hue avoids clear definition, darting between tones depending on the light.
More impressively, Honeygold hits approximately 300 Vickers on the Hardness Scale, which makes it harder than platinum and almost twice as hard as 18k yellow gold (and also twice as difficult to machine). The specific composition of the Honeygold alloy is a closely guarded secret in Glashütte, but previous online reports have hinted at the presence of silicon and other materials. Regardless, Lange has used Honeygold very sparingly since its 2010 introduction; only 11 total different watches, all limited, have featured it in the past decade. As you might expect, it’s just as deliciously sweet as its namesake in person.
For the first time, Lange has chosen to combine a Honeygold case with a black dial, here made of solid silver. Matching the case metal, we have gilt lacquer accents placed on the dial; in fact, the only visible part of the watch that isn’t in gold or black are four small red accents, placed at the poles of the railroad-style minute track, that bring a punch of color to a traditional design.
There’s another first on the dial that’s easy to miss. It’s the arrangement of the twin sub-dials for running seconds and elapsed 30 minutes. They’re vertical, placed at six and 12 o’clock, respectively, rather than the more traditional horizontal placement in the watch’s lower half. The dial of A. Lange & Söhne fake uk is further balanced by the mention of “Glashütte in Sachsen” horizontally across its center that is, in fact, a reference to 19th century Lange pocket copy watches. Plus, there’s no outsized date, no cut-off numerals, and no lume. The uninterrupted symmetry of the dial offers a quiet and subtle appearance that hides the chronograph’s complexity; you would never guess what’s waiting on the other side.