A Guide to the Original Lange Datograph – Versions, Production Dates and Unique Pieces
The Lange Datograph was launched in 1999 to critical acclaim, immediately becoming the modern, high-end chronograph because of the incredible L951.1 movement inside. First launched in platinum with a black dial, that version of the Datograph has become the quintessential Lange chronograph, although many more variants of the watch were created subsequently. Last year the first generation Datograph was replaced by the Datograph Up/Down, which retained many of the key elements of the original.
This reference attempts to provide as much detail on the Datograph as possible. However, this only covers the dial colour and case metal variations of the Datograph. There were also extremely minor changes to the movement and dial design over its production, which is a subject for another article. All Datographs referred to below are the first generation. We begin with the Datograph variants on leather strap.
This is obviously the most common and longest lived of all the Datograph models.
Nicknamed the “Dufour Datograph”, because this model is the only watch Philippe Dufour owns which he did not make himself, this was the first rose gold Datograph. Less common than the silver dial version.
Platinum, rhodium-plated dial with matching sub-dials and blued steel centre seconds hand
This is the only limited edition of the Datograph produced. 10 pieces were made for Milanese retailer Pisa Orologeria. Engraved X/10 on the case back and sold with an extra solid platinum case back. The watch was also delivered with two straps, brown and dark blue.
Pink gold, silver dial with matching sub-dials
Replacing the earlier rose gold with black dial model, this is the more common version of the rose gold Datograph.
The one and only Datograph in yellow gold, and possibly the only Lange model made in this metal with a black dial. Production date is unknown but I estimate it was produced for a year, at most two, making it quite rare. In fact, this is likely the least common of the regular production Datographs.
Datographs with bracelets
And now the Datograph watches on matching bracelet. Note that these are the official models delivered from the factory with a bracelet, Datographs which were originally sold with a leather strap could have been subsequently fitted with a bracelet.
Likely the earliest version of the platinum Datograph on bracelet.
1999-? This version has a bracelet which is soldered onto the case, meaning it cannot be removed.
The last generation of the platinum Datograph on bracelet.
The last generation of the pink gold Datograph on bracelet.
Jewelled Datographs Next we have the jewelled versions of the Datograph. This is not an exhaustive list as additional jewelled watches were made as custom orders. All gem-set Datographs are 1 mm wider and 0.2 mm thicker at the bezel than the plain versions to accommodate the gemstones on the bezel. Unfortunately no images are available as Lange is unable to provide images which can be published.
Platinum, rhodium-plated dial set with round diamonds in the centre and on chronograph sub-dials, bezel set with blue sapphires
Platinum, rhodium-plated dial set with round diamonds in the centre and on chronograph sub-dials, bezel set with baguette diamonds
Made for Singapore retailer Sincere Watch Ltd.
I am also aware of two unique versions of the Datograph, both of which were made for people connected to the company. Lange did create pieces with unique dials such as these, not only for the Datograph but for other models as well, in the early days of the company, but it no longer does as far as I know.
Photos taken at 2009 LOG dinner in Geneva, thanks to the owner.
Ref. 403.035 (?)
Platinum, metallic blue dial with matching sub-dials
Produced sometime in the year 2000 for a director of Mannesmann VDO, which at the time owned Les Manufactures Horologères (LMH), the parent company of Lange.
Platinum, black dial with matching sub-dials and outsized date
Produced in 2001 at the request for a senior manager at Mannesmann VDO.
Many thanks to the PR team at Lange Uhren for their help in compiling this. If anyone has additional information or photos of pieces not presented help, please drop me a line.Back to top.