Odysseus in White Gold: Homecoming for Lange?
Ever since I started appreciating timepieces, I’ve wanted a Lange. They’ve always done things the way they believed it should be done. From the iconic Lange 1 to the game-changing Datograph, every one of their pieces has exuded quality and put on display a daring approach to watchmaking that cements the brand firmly amongst the greats.
It is with this daring approach, that Lange released their first sports watch 2 years ago, the Odysseus with an integrated steel bracelet. It was met with controversy and it generated many a heated discussion especially amongst the diehard Lange fans, feeling that Lange was doing 3 things that did not align with the brand's DNA; precious metal, dressier styled and on leather strap. The Odysseus, for some, was against everything that Lange stood for.
When I first tried on the steel, I understood it but it did not really work on my wrist as I noticed quite a distracting “wrist gap” due to the shape of the bracelet and how it attached to the case. I also felt the dial being in blue made the watch feel a bit trend following and ultimately decided against getting the watch. A few months after the steel release, Lange came out with a white gold variation on either a black rubber or a brown calfskin leather strap and it was like they had heard what I wanted.
In place of the blue grained surface with concentric rings found on the steel, this has a smooth centre dial with radial grooves which is mirrored within the small seconds ring. Coupled with the double date windows, the Odysseus nods to the Zeitwerk model, another timeless Lange design that I have always wanted but could not pull the trigger as I felt that it wore too large on my wrist.
The new grey dial and pattern configuration gives the watch a more classic and traditional look in my opinion which is more in line with the Germanic aesthetic of the brand. The design is undoubtedly Lange, with a versatile sporty-yet-subdued aesthetic and in great dimensions for my wrist (40.5mm x 11.1mm). The black rubber strap pairs extremely well with the white gold and more importantly personally, allows me to be rid of the dreaded wrist gap. The only complaint I have is I wish it came with a deployant clasp instead of the pin buckle but I would not be surprised if Lange were to release these in the future.
The name Odysseus comes from a Greek mythical character known for his intellectual brilliance, ingenuity and versatility. What a befitting name. A few years ago A. Lange & Söhne set out to create a sports watch and with this I believe they have produced the perfect embodiment of what it means to be THE Sports Model of the brand.
To this day, this watch remains contentious but for me, I could not be happier.
I think it’s great that it’s a design that’s not to everyone’s liking. That’s the whole point of watch collecting: to collect what you love, not what other people do. If everyone only wore the watches everyone else liked, it’d be pretty boring wouldn’t it?