The A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus is a shocking watch on many ranges. Dubbed the ALS you possibly can put on each day, it’s a relatively Germanic tackle the luxurious sports activities watch, with a special method to the idea than, for example, the Royal Oak, Nautilus or Abroad. Extra advanced, much less built-in, not that skinny… far much less Genta-esque, actually. It actually has its personal character and, despite the fact that it got here as a shock in 2019, it has turn into successful for the model. Constructing on its reputation, the Saxon model determined to launch its first restricted version (as if the common metal model was simple to get!), the Odysseus Titanium. And sure, it’s a gorgeous watch on many ranges. Most likely one of the best of the gathering to date. But it surely’s additionally a watch that has provoked feedback.
The A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus, as offered in 2019
It would sound a bit cliché to start out this text by already saying that the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Titanium is a surprising watch. Reality is, this watch actually is that gorgeous by way of seems to be, execution, and design (despite the fact that the latter is private). I wasn’t the largest supporter of the Odysseus when it was launched in 2019, with its metal case/bracelet and blue dial. It took me a while to digest this watch, which clearly was a wholly new absorb Lange ‘s vocabulary. Over time, I modified my thoughts relating to the Odysseus, despite the fact that I’m not solely satisfied by the metal mannequin. And I can’t actually put the finger on the explanation why I nonetheless have doubts. It truly is an intangible feeling.
The introduction of the restricted version titanium mannequin modified my perspective on the Odysseus. The completely different materials, the brand new textures, the novel dial color… actually change the watch and elevate it to a special stage – in my books. Having seen, touched and worn the watch throughout Watches & Wonders solely confirmed what I had imagined after I noticed the pictures earlier than the truthful: the Odysseus Titanium is excellent. And it makes me unhappy since there’s an elephant within the room, a serious situation with this watch. However extra on that later.
As a fast reminder, let’s return to 2019 and the launch of the inaugural metal mannequin. What’s the Odysseus? Within the phrases of our founder Frank: “It’s a brand new Lange, in a spherical case, for the primary time in a non-precious steel, a Lange that’s strong, sporty, waterproof – and never simply showerproof – and that’s worn on a metallic bracelet, someway built-in to the case.” Whereas we may have anticipated Lange to create a watch as a direct competitor to the Royal Oak or the Nautilus, the fact is that the Odysseus performs in a barely completely different league. It’s not solely the identical idea, and it doesn’t adjust to all of the traditional codes of the luxurious sports activities watch class. The case is just not formed, it’s thicker and extra strong, and the show is advanced. Positive, it’s a metal watch from a high-end model, however in no way just like the Genta-related watches.
Following the launch of the metal/blue model, the model then launched a white gold mannequin worn both on a leather-based or rubber strap. And this yr, it was time for the primary restricted version, made from an much more shocking materials for ALS: titanium. What’s new right here? Apart from the plain new materials, this restricted version adjustments the way in which the case and bracelet are completed and provides a brand new dial color and texture. And the result’s fairly completely different from the metal mannequin, visually and on the wrist. Nevertheless, the specs and motion are an identical to the traditional Odysseus metal.
With the brand new Odysseus Titanium, we nonetheless have the standard Lange case, with its daring rounded bezel and powerful, pronounced lugs. Your complete watch is made from grade 5 titanium, and retains the identical shapes and proportions as earlier than – 40.5mm in diameter and 11mm in peak. There’s nonetheless the lateral module on the proper facet of the case to combine the day/date correction pushers and the watch retains its snug 120m water-resistance. The crown screws down and so does the caseback with a sapphire crystal.
Trying on the Odysseus Titanium intimately, you possibly can see that the majority the components are the identical because the metal mannequin. Nevertheless, they’re now executed in grade 5 titanium. However after all, titanium is completely different from metal on many ranges. To start with, it’s about 40% lighter than chrome steel, leading to a watch that feels very completely different on the wrist. The metal mannequin was nothing however overly heavy (about 160 grams), this titanium mannequin is way lighter at about 105/110 grams. Personally, I cherished this sensation on the wrist; nevertheless, I do know some collectors received’t recognize it and like (want) to really feel the load of their watch. A sure heft tends to contribute to the luxurious feeling you’ve of your watch.
Then, titanium has a special color than chrome steel, particularly when completed in a matte approach. Polished titanium is shiny and really chilly in color. However A. Lange & Söhne has given the Odysseus Titanium a wholly completely different ending. All of the brushed surfaces of the metal mannequin have right here been sandblasted, leading to a wonderful, grainy matte floor that absorbs mild and provides the watch a darker gray tone. These matte areas are mixed with thick, finely polished accents, accentuating the distinction. While you have a look at the watch carefully, the eye to element and refinement is apparent. The extent of ending is, as you’d anticipate from Lange, excellent and actually spectacular. The Odysseus Titanium is a really particular object to look at and contact. Apart from the visible fantastic thing about the watch, it additionally gives a singular tactile expertise.
The opposite vital replace on this titanium version considerations the dial. The show, with its Zeitwerk-ish inspiration, stays the identical. Central palms for the hours and minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock and, what relates this watch to the remainder of the gathering, the 2 home windows at 3 and 9 o’clock to show the present date (an outsize date, after all, with two discs) and the day of the week. This show was definitely probably the most polarising factor of the Odysseus when launched, however I nonetheless consider that it is sensible and provides it the required ALS id. No evolutions are to be famous to the palms and utilized markers, that are nonetheless made from polished white gold and stuffed with luminous materials.
In comparison with the metal model, the Odysseus Titanium brings first a brand new texture, a minimum of for the hour chapter ring. Whereas the metal mannequin had a traditional concentric sample, this new restricted version comes with a wave texture. The central a part of the dial retains the identical grained floor because the metal model and its multi-layer profile. The opposite change considerations the color, with a color named “ice-blue” – a tender, desaturated grey-blue tone that matches the chilly color of the titanium. This new color creates a softer look, with extra consistency, and fewer distinction. It’s enticing, contemporary and unique, but retains sufficient class to be certified as one thing made by Lange. Once more, that is private, however I actually cherished the color within the steel, and the way it blends with the remainder of the watch.
Similar to the case, the bracelet is made from titanium and has the identical matte, sandblasted surfaces with polished accents. The multi-link profile feels much less apparent right here as a result of completely different textures, and the way in which the bracelet performs with the sunshine is relatively completely different from what you expertise with the metal mannequin. The bracelet continues to be geared up with the folding clasp with security pushers and a micro-adjustment system – you possibly can enlarge it as much as an additional 7mm by urgent the pusher embossed with the Lange signature, whereas nonetheless carrying the watch on the wrist.
Contained in the case, the motion is solely an identical – the in-house calibre L155.1 Datomatic that was conceived to be extra resistant and extra tailored to the sporty vocation of the watch. As an illustration, it’s wound by a central rotor (for higher effectivity and extra resistance to shocks) and it beats at 4Hz, whereas most ALS watches run at 3Hz. The upper beat charge offers extra stability to the steadiness when experiencing shocks and will improve accuracy. The motion contains a cam-poised steadiness with 4 poising screws and an in-house steadiness spring. It’s also geared up with a transversal steadiness cock for higher shock resistance. The facility reserve is rated at 50 hours. Apart from that, it’s typical Lange, with high-end ornament, double meeting and a hand-engraved cock. The ending consists of stripes, bevelled edges, blues screws and a skeletonised and partially black rhodium-plated rotor with a platinum mass.
I had the prospect to see and put on this watch and, sure, it’s a magnificent object. I’m not going to debate the design right here, which is solely subjective. However objectively, this version is spectacular in most features of its execution. The titanium case and bracelet are crafted to a powerful stage, with a refinement that you simply don’t usually discover in sports activities watches. I additionally suppose that this titanium version seems to be higher than the metal mannequin, with subtler extra refined colors which are more energizing and extra unique. The blasted surfaces give it a low-key feeling that fits the model and its shoppers. And though that is debatable, the lightness of the titanium case and bracelet is a large plus for me.
However… As I stated, there’s one thing about this watch that I don’t perceive, and that’s its value. The common metal mannequin, when it was launched, retailed for EUR 28,000 – it’s now about 30k euros. The white gold model on a strap retailed for EUR 42,000 when it was launched. This titanium model retails for EUR 55,000. I can perceive a value distinction between this titanium mannequin and the metal model, as a result of completely different materials, a extra advanced ornament of the habillage components and the exclusivity of the watch that makes economies of scale much less inclined to cut back the fee. However doubling the value isn’t justified. I might have understood 40k (that may have already been a considerable improve). Not 55k.
However in spite of everything, it doesn’t actually matter because the demand for this watch largely surpassed its availability of 250 items, that are almost certainly all allotted as we communicate. And since that is, in my books, probably the most compelling Odysseus within the assortment, and one of many most interesting titanium sports activities watches you’ll find available on the market, I’m nearly forgiving this value improve… (however since I can’t afford one anyway, it actually doesn’t matter).
Availability & Worth
The A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Titanium Restricted Version (ref. 363.117) is proscribed to 250 watches solely and is on the market from the model’s official boutiques. Probabilities to get one are even smaller than with the already hard-to-get metal mannequin and allocations are in all probability closed as we communicate. It’s priced at EUR 55,000 or USD 56,500. For extra particulars, please go to www.alange-soehne.com.