A. Lange & Söhne re-opens their flagship boutique in Ginza, Tokyo with a Kagami Biraki (鏡開き) ceremony with the breaking of a barrel of Sake. We cover briefly the event and the two new variants of the Saxonia family announced.
First the watches…two new dial variants were introduced to the white gold and pink gold Lange Saxonia Automatic. Priced at S$33,700 including GST, it is the same as the other existing variants of the Saxonia Automatic.
The Lange Saxonia Automatic Terra-brown dial versions
The Lange Saxonial dials are in a brown hue which Lange calls terra-brown, to reflect the earthy origins of the hue. Our correspondents on the ground in Tokyo report that the dial has a beautiful hue which is somewhat reminiscent of a dark milk chocolate, although the Lange chosen term of terra-brown is also quite descriptive. The dial remains in solid silver as with all Lange dials (safe a few special editions in gold and the enamel dials on a brass base).
Our preference, looking only at the high resolution TIFF fines (yes, these are huge files, 20MB each), and pixel peeping with a color calibrated monitor, our preference is for the pink gold version of the Lange Saxonia Automatic Ref. 380.042 as the hue of the dial complements the case, hands and markers beautifully. And perhaps the pink gold versions, like most other pink gold Langes, look quite dressy. And will be equally at home in a bespoke suit or paired with elegant shirt and jeans.
In white gold, the Lange Saxonia Automatic Ref. 380.044 looks all the more rugged and sporty.
The case remains at a very wearable 38.5mm diameter, and the movement is the now tested L086.1, which measures in at a thin 3.7mm high. Power reserve is 72 hours, and features the normal Lange standards like the untreated German Silver (maillechort) three quarter plates, the gorgeous gold rotor with a peripheral platinum weight, the hand engraved balance cock, and the exceptional finishing.
The Kagami Biraki (鏡開き) Ceremony
The Kagami Biraki (鏡開き) is a Japanese traditional ceremony which started out as a ritual to bless the fourth Tokugawa Shogun’s war efforts some 300 years ago. Today, the ceremony is widespread and performed at weddings, new year celebrations, sporting events, and most commonly at companies’ opening ceremonies and anniversaries.
Live photographs from the Lange Boutique in Ginza, Tokyo courtesy of Deployant Friend, Eric Bowles who was present at the ceremony.
The VIPs would be invited onto the stage, but instead of handed a pair of scissors to cut the ribbon during the usual ribbon-cutting ceremony, they are handed a wooden mallet. The breaking of the cask of the sake symbolises new beginnings and hope for the future to come. A deeply symbolic ritual, many people believe the sake barrel ceremony brings good fortune to be bestowed upon the company and its employees.
Lange Saxonia Automatic Specifications
Lange manufacture calibre L086.1; self-winding, crafted to the most exacting Lange quality standards, decorated and assem-bled by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; plates and bridges made of untreated German silver; balance cock en-graved by hand
Movement parts: 209
Escapement: Lever escapement
Oscillation system: Shock-resistant screw balance; balance spring manufactured in-house with a frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour, precision beat adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring
Power reserve: 72 hours when fully wound
Functions: Time display with hours and minutes, subsidiary seconds with stop seconds
Operating elements: Crown for winding the watch and setting the time
Diameter: 38.5 millimetres; height: 7.8 millimetres
Diameter: 30.4 millimetres; height: 3.7 millimetres
Glass and caseback
Sapphire crystal (Mohs hardness of 9)
380.042 Pink gold
380.044 White Gold
Case: Pink gold and White gold
Dial: Solid silver, terra brown
Hands: Pink gold and Rhodiumed gold
Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather strap, red brown and dark brown
Buckle: Lange prong buckle in pink gold and white gold