A. Lange & Sohne introduced the Odysseus in 2019. Within just two years the stainless steel member of the family spawned a sibling for 2022 with a titanium case and intricate finishing that sets it apart from its elder timepiece. Although titanium is not a metal of choice for most high-end luxury watches, the delivery of the ultra-lightweight metal adds stylishness and distinction without the need for over-the-top adornments.
The A. Lange & Sohne Odysseus in Titanium at first glance
The first casual observation of Odysseus in Titanium reveals something different that you can’t quite put your finger on until you come in for a closer view. It’s A. Lange & Sohne’s brilliant use of texturing sets this magnificent timepiece apart from the dial to the subtle intricacies of the case and bracelet. It’s a monochrome piece that doesn’t depend on splashes of color, but rather on shape, hue, and finishes. How did they accomplish simplistic art with so few embellishments?
A closer look at the Odysseus in Titanium
A good place to start is the dial. You can’t tell by looking, but it’s made of brass with an ice-blue finish. The center sphere features a sandy-looking metallic finish that catches nuances of light. The outer band is the same color ice blue but rendered in a series of horizontal curved lines that create an optical illusion of movement. The simple sword-shaped hour and minute hands are white gold with a mirror-polished finish, filled with luminous material for high legibility in low light and darkness. The Roman numeral indices are also white gold with a polished finish and applied. All hour markers are treated with luminous materials. The seconds’ hand is set in a circular subdial at the 6 o’clock position. It mimics the larger dial in which it is inset, rendering the 60 seconds in a minute with a black seconds’ hand. The date number is set in a square box at the 3 o’clock position with the day of the week window in large across the dial at 9 o’clock.
Monochrome explains the case is 40.5 mm in width with a height of 11.1 mm. It’s made of grade 5 titanium, a durable yet ultra-light metal. The matte finish is achieved through sandblasting. Lange & Sohne used a combination of brushed and polished surfaces to create an interesting design feature and the illusion of texture and depth. Small areas of sand-blasted components emerge from mirror-polished finishes. It’s nearly half the weight of the traditional 316L steel. Most of the surface is matte with a few sandblasted surfaces and mirror polishing for an exquisite and discernable difference in the appearance of the same metal. The bezel and sides of the case and lugs, along with the edges of the links on the bracelet are polished. The crown is a screw-down type, contributing to its water-resistance of up to 120 meters. The case back features an exhibition-style flat sapphire crystal with the same treatment for the dial of the watch. Pushers for correcting date and day are on the side of the timepiece. The bracelet is a matching metal in grade 5 titanium in a link style. It affixes to the wrist and is secured via a folding clasp with safety pushers and micro-adjustment in a combination of sandblasted and polished surfaces.
The movement is Lange & Sohne’s in-house caliber L155.1 Datomatic. It’s an automatic movement with a platinum mass and a unidirectional central rotor, with 31 jewels. The balance spring is also in-house, with a cam-poised balance and four poising screws. The movement beats at a frequency of 4 Hz, or 28,800 vibrations per hour. Functions include house, minutes, small hacking seconds, date, and day of the week The movement is comprised of 312 components. The power reserve is 50 hours.
Review of the Odysseus in Titanium
Hodinkee points out the strengths of the most recent iteration of the Odysseus in titanium. The lighter metal makes it more comfortable on the wrist for all-day wear, but there’s more. the use of texture is a design feature that we’ve not seen in this application. It’s distinctive and gives the otherwise non-precious metal a luxe luster and high-end aesthetic appeal. It’s a design feature that changes the game for titanium as a luxury material, which it previously was not. The Lange & Sohne Odysseus in Titanium is a limited edition timepiece with individual numbers on each example. The watchmaker strictly limited production to just 250 pieces for distribution throughout the world. It’s available at Lange & Sohne authorized boutiques as an exclusive model. The price is USD 58,291.
The Lange & Sohne Odysseus in Titanium is a special edition destined to become a classic. It has a high collectible value from the moment of release due to the rarity of the piece and the limited number available. The German brand has raised the bar with design features over the top in a simple application of texture to achieve a luxurious aesthetic. The brilliance is in its simplicity. It’s a lovely and sophisticated timepiece with visual appeal and versatility. It is suitable for wear to the office in casual to casual dressy business attire or an after-party. Its sporty overtones make it ideal for everyday wear. It’s also water-resistant for days spent on the water. The timepiece is nearly as attractive flipped on its back, thanks to the sapphire crystal exhibition case on the back. It gives you a full view of the movement beneath. It’s a lightweight watch that sits comfortably on the wrist, offered at a luxury price. We see its merit in the methods that transform common metal into a showcase wristwatch that maximizes the potential of a few well-placed finishes in simple materials. The artistic treatment of the finish elevates this model into a different class, a cut above regular titanium.