This story originally appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of Elite Traveler.
With masterfully finished and innovative movements paired with classic dials, independent German watch brand Lang & Heyne has carved out a niche for itself in the watch world. Collectors looking for something different, but with the highest quality, turn to the Dresden-based manufacture. Its in-house movements highlight not-frequently-used finishing techniques, such as silver graining, and its complications range from the traditional to watches so complicated that even the most seasoned collectors will be elated. And with a limited production and personalization options, it’d be rare to find someone else wearing the same watch.
The elegant, classical dial hides a monopusher chronograph movement—it’s rare to find a chronograph that doesn’t look sporty, and even on more elegant models, multiple pushers add bulk to the case and several counters clutter the dial. Using a monopusher, ultra-thin hands and a clean, black enamel dial with a single subdial at 6 o’clock, Lang & Heyne achieves a beautiful combination of form and function. But rest assured, its technical prowess and beautiful finishings are easily viewed in action through the sapphire caseback.
It’s difficult to believe that a brand known for fine finishings and impressive complications only debuted its first tourbillon this year. But, it was worth the wait. Caliber IX features a spectacular 11.1 mm flying one-minute tourbillon, unusually housed in a rectangular case. The contrast of the linear case and the circular tourbillon cage somehow makes the already large tourbillon seem even larger. With its elegant Grand Feu enamel dial and small size, measuring just 26.5 mm in width, we can see this on a discerning lady’s wrist as well.
This incredibly complex watch allows you to track special dates, such as anniversaries and birthdays, not just reminding you of the date they occurred, but actually computing how many years ago the event took place. Several subdials and apertures display the event’s name, original date, current age and how close you currently are to the event. It’s a spectacular work of mechanical wizardry and, to our knowledge, is the only watch of its kind. And once you have gone through the sure-to-be emotional process of picking the 12 moments you would like to be reminded of, you are guaranteed that yours will be completely unique. As for the present, it features an annual calendar,minutes and hours. Impressively, all indications are set through a single pusher in the crown.