A. Lange & Söhne Introduces the Lange 1 Time Zone Honey Gold Limited Edition

The boutique-exclusive, 100-piece limited edition world time is Lange's latest wristwatch in its proprietary honey gold alloy.
Lange 1 Time Zone Honey Gold 3

Exclusive (for now) to A. Lange & Söhne, honey gold is a gold alloy that’s a cross between pink and yellow gold, with the useful properties of being shinier and harder than ordinary 18k gold. Having been used recently on two limited editions, the 1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” and little known Lange 1 Honey Gold, honey gold returns once again with the Lange 1 Time Zone Honey Gold – perhaps for the last time?

The key differentiating factor of the new limited edition is the case material. At 41.9mm in diameter the honey gold edition is identically sized as the ordinary Lange 1 Time Zone. To match the case, the markers on the dial and the hands are in honey gold.

Lange 1 Time Zone Honey Gold 2

Though identical design-wise to the ordinary model, the honey gold Time Zone has minor tweaks on the dial. Most prominent is “Dresden” in the place of Berlin to represent the Central European Time (CET) time zone; Dresden being the capital of the state of Saxony and the closest big city to Lange’s home town of Glashütte.

The dots that separate the city names on the world time ring are dark blue, instead of the usual red, as is the hour track of the second time zone sub-dial, which is black on the ordinary version.

Lange 1 Time Zone Honey Gold 1

Mechanically the Lange 1 Time Zone Honey Gold is unchanged, being powered by the hand-wound L031.1 movement featuring twin time zones linked to a cities disc and day or night indicator, a power reserve indicator, and the brand’s signature oversized date display. The pusher at 11 o’clock advances the date display, while the other pusher advances the second time zone in one hour steps.

Lange 1 Time Zone Honey Gold 4

Price and availability 

The Lange 1 Time Zone Honey Gold limited edition is already available, only at Lange boutiques. Prices are €56,500 including 19% tax in Germany, and S$84,200 in Singapore (equivalent to US$60,500).

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Tiffany & Co. Brings its Historical Timepieces to Singapore

Watches from Tiffany's museum are on show in conjunction with Singapore Fashion Week.
Tiffany & Co. Atlas watch original

Tiffany & Co.‘s historical watches will be on show for the first time in Singapore from October 26 to 30, one of the events the New York jeweller is staging in its role as official jeweller of Singapore Fashion Week 2016.

The timepieces on show reflect the diverse history of Tiffany’s watchmaking, ranging from a fancy cocktail watch dating from 1939 to the distinctive Atlas, one of the jeweller’s quintessential creations of the 1980s (pictured above). In fact, firm founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1837 got into the watch business not long after its establishment, retailing its first pocket watches in 1847. And in 1851 it became the first retailer of Patek Philippe in America.

The riveted Streamerica wristwatch, the work of prominent watch designer Jorg Hysek

Alongside the 21 archival watches, the exhibition also includes Tiffany’s contemporary timepieces, including the East West and CT60, both inspired by vintage Tiffany & Co. wristwatches.

Cocktail watch, c. 1939

Open daily to the public, the Tiffany & Co. watch exhibition takes place at the Supreme Court Wing of the National Gallery from October 26 to 30, 2016.

National Gallery Singapore
1 Saint Andrew’s Road
Singapore 178957

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Up Close with the Patek Philippe Nautilus 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Refs. 5711/1P and 5976/1G

Patek Philippe's commemorative Nautilus editions raised many an eyebrow at launch, but how does it look in the metal? Read on.
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 1

Patek Philippe unveiled the Nautilus 40th Anniversary limited editions –  the Nautilus Ref. 5711/1P and the Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976/1G – two weeks ago. Most expected the anniversary to be a major occasion, but instead it was subdued while the response to the watches ranged from lukewarm to confused. The watches, however, deserve better. They look and feel much better, really much better, in real life.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 21


Launched in 1976, the Nautilus took a while to become the bestseller that it is, only really taking off a decade ago when the “Jumbo” sized ref. 3712 and then ref. 5711 were launched. Now it’s one of the definitive luxury sports watches, alongside the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, which was also designed by Gerald Genta.

So the 40th anniversary of the Nautilus is a big deal, and much was expected. When the pair of 40th anniversary limited editions were finally unveiled a few weeks ago, the reaction was decidedly mixed. Many panned the design of the anniversary editions, especially the seemingly enormous commemorative lettering on the dial.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 18

The good news is twofold. First, the lettering blends into the dial in real life and hardly stands out when the watch is on the wrist. And second, to address the other key criticism, the Nautilus Chronograph ref. 5976/1G is large for a Patek Philippe but not Brobdingnagian, especially compared to everything else in its class.

Continue reading for a more detailed perspective on the pair.


He ain’t heavy, he’s platinum

Arguably the more appealing of the two, the Nautilus Ref. 5711/1P-001 40th Anniversary Limited Edition is a magnificent product with a a wonderful tactile feel. But it’s weighed down, not by the platinum case, but by the stupendous and slightly absurd price of SFr100,000 (or about US$101,000).

Sized exactly the same as the stainless steel Nautilus ref. 5711/1A – which means it’s 40mm diagonally from bezel edge to edge – the anniversary edition is  entirely platinum, case and bracelet.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 2

Even at a distance the carefully finished surfaces and precise edges are obvious. This case finishing is also apparent on the stainless steel Nautilus, but the anniversary edition is gleamingly white because of the platinum alloy. The density of the metal means the watch feels compact, solid and as expensive as it actually is. But the platinum Nautilus suffers from the same weakness as the stainless steel model, a friction-fit, double fold clasp with a stamped metal safety latch that feels out of place on a watch this finely made.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 6

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 12

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 7

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 8

A bright, metallic blue that is a recognisably different from the graduated grey-blue of the steel version, the dial on the anniversary model is attractive, even with the widely disliked commemorative lettering on the dial.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 16

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 3

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 11

The anniversary text is stamped deeply, but not prominent. Despite being relatively large, the anniversary lettering on the dial recedes into the background because it is exactly the same colour as the dial.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 10

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 9

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 4

Even the baguette diamond markers are subtle, being set on white gold mounts. On the wrist the diamonds aren’t especially obvious.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 5

From the back the view is exactly the same as that on the steel Nautilus, with the same calibre 324 SC inside. Only the precious metal hallmarks on each corner of the back give the game away.

While well made and finished, this is a fairly ordinary movement for a watch this expensive, especially one meant to commemorate a significant event.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 13

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 18

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 15

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 14

The watch is similar enough to the ordinary Nautilus as to make it conservative, even boring, which should please traditionalists. Lay it side by side with the steel Nautilus automatic and the visual differences are immediately apparent, but not significant.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 17

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 19

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711-1P 40th Anniversary platinum 20

In fact, the platinum anniversary Nautilus is almost identical to the special edition platinum Nautilus that was made in small quantities for special clients in recent years. The case and bracelet are identical, as is the dial colour.

Despite everything, the platinum Nautilus is an easy watch to like.


A firm believer in big is better

The second anniversary watch is the less traditional of the two, primarily because it is big. While not as large as widely reported, the Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976/1G 40th Anniversary Limited Edition is probably the largest watch in Patek Philippe’s current line-up.

To set the record straight, the case is 44mm diagonally from one edge of the bezel to another (from 10 o’clock to four o’clock), big but not gargantuan; the ordinary Nautilus chronograph is 40.5mm measured the same way. Including the crown and “ears” of the case brings the diameter to just over 49mm, resulting in the misconception that the watch is gigantic.

While this is incongruous with Patek Philippe in general, since the brand is best known for slimly built watches, the new Nautilus Chronograph is not remarkably large compared to rivals like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore.

And despite the watch being noticeable because of the size, it is not especially flashy. Neither the dial nor the diamond markers are especially outstanding.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 1

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 2

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 5

Unexpectedly, however, the case is slimmer on the extra-large anniversary model than it is on the ordinary chronograph. While the regular model is 12.6mm high, the anniversary Nautilus Chronograph is 12.16mm. While that’s barely perceptible, the wider case diameter reduces the perceived height of the case so the anniversary chronograph feels slimmer than such a watch typically does.

The Nautilus Chronograph 40th Anniversary ref. 5976-1G next to the ref. 5980R

While imposing and heavy, suitably so for a watch of this genre, the Nautilus Chronograph lacks the elegant, precious feel of the platinum ref. 5711/1P. And the white gold case has a noticeably different colour from platinum, being slightly more grey with a faint hint of yellow, the natural look of white gold.

Nonetheless the case is finished as carefully as on the platinum watch, with finely brushed surfaces and mirror-polished bevels intersected by neat borders.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 15

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 7

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 8

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 12

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 11

The chronograph dial looks good in the metal, with the anniversary lettering even less obvious than on the platinum Nautilus. Because the dial is large and busy, with the chronograph sub-dial at six o’clock being the centre of attention, the stamped text is forgettable. That being said, the stamped text makes little sense, reading “1976 – 40 – 2016”, which will irk a semantic pedant.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 14

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 3

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 13

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 10

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 9

Though not at all apparent at a distance, the dial is actually more than one shade of blue, because the chronograph register is in two different tones, with a darker blue for the hours and a lighter one for the minutes. Distinguishing between the elapsed hours and minute counters that co-axial on the same sub-dial is a useful design feature, though the blues used are so similar the different is minute.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 4

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 6

Mechanically the calibre CH 28-520 C movement inside is identical to that found in the Nautilus Chronograph ref. 5980. It’s self-winding with a flyback function, as well as the usual features of a modern, mid- to high-end chronograph, namely a column wheel and vertical clutch.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 19

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976-1G 40th Anniversary 17


Price and availability 

Limited to 700 pieces, the Nautilus ref. 5711/1P-001 costs SFr100,000 or S$149,300.

The Nautilus Chronograph ref. 5976/1G-001 is a limited edition of 1300 watches, priced at SFr85,000 or S$127,000.

Both watches are available from Patek Philippe retailers and boutiques, with the editions being delivered gradually over 2016 and 2017.


Correction 25 October, 2016: First generation Nautilus chronograph should be ref. 5980R, and not 5960R as previously captioned.

 

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