Friday, March 29, 2013

Lange and Sohne 1815 Automatik Sax-o-Mat Ref 303.025

Lange and Sohne 1815 Automatik Sax-o-Mat Ref 303.025

For those of you who missed last week's Lange Perpetual calendar in platinum - here is a good news: we have just received our Sax-o-Mat Ref 303.025.

The beauty of Ref 303.025 is in it's external simplicity and internal complexity.

For many, this is the pinnacle in fine horology and a piece worth sacrificing. And again, for many, this is often the very last watch in their collection. Once you own Lange, it is almost impossible to replace it with other brand without spending significantly more.

Do you know that a 3 liter milk bottle filled platinum would have mass of 65 kg and would be worth almost 3 million dollars?

Production of platinum in Africa ceased at the start of the First World War and remained docile until the end of the Second World War. With a lack of platinum watches for around 25 years, popularity waned. Only until the 60s had some life returned into the platinum aspect of the watch industry, only to be stomped down again by the onslaught of Japanese quartz watches in the 70s and 80s. With the mechanical watch revival in the 1980s and 90s came the increase of popularity in the precious metal to be used in a horological sense. Since the 1980s the popularity has increased especially since the refining process has been perfected.

Platinum still remains in the realms of high end watchmakers, and still owns a specific aura of class. Its unmistakable hue, glow, heft, purity and resistance to the elements set it apart from the other precious metals. Denser and much more resistant to scratching than gold, platinum betrays itself as a run of the mill, workhorse metal, but rather is a highly sought after material used in only the highest quality watches. A. Lange famously uses platinum in its limited edition and special edition pieces.

An unusual property of platinum: this precious metal never loses weight through scratching, as opposed to gold which is soft and loses some metal every time its comes into contact with another metal.

Basically, you are not really 'scratching the platinum, but merely 'repositioning' atoms around!

Finally, those of you how have a Lange watch in collection may have noticed that watch movements appear slightly gold-yellowish in colour.

Here is why.

The movement main plates are made of untreated German silver which is a white alloy containing nickel, zinc and copper. In the natural process of aging or patination, this galvanically and chemically untreated metal becomes naturally patinated and the yellow-gold patina protect it from further oxidation! Funny enough, the German silver contains no silver at all :-) Another use of German silver is in production of high-end musical instruments, like French horns. It is said that such instruments have bright and powerful sound.

And this is really where story of your Lange just begins. We can spend hours talking about blue screws, gold chatons, hand engraved balance cock, platinum and gold rotor - and many other features found only in best made watches.

But more about that some other time...

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