Chronograph lovers will rate the following movements among their Holy Grails: Patek Philippe’s CH29-535, Vacheron Constantin’s 1142, Longines’ 13ZN, Minerva’s 17.29 and A. Lange & Söhne’s L951.6. Lange’s movement appears in the Datograph, one of the brand’s most coveted lines. It’s rarely seen changes but today the brand is raising the curtains on a new add-on.

The new update to the Datograph Up/Down is SuperLuminova. The Datograph Lumen offers up luminous paint on the big date, hands, subdials and tachymeter indication. The glorious green glow of the dial in the dark is timed perfectly for its debut watch launch anniversary (October 24, 1994 if you’re curious). It’s also perfectly timed for Halloween. Anniversary aside, the brand has a sense of humour about staying relevant.

A. Lange & Söhne's Datograph Lumen adds long-awaited SuperLuminova to the watch (Image © Revolution)
A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Lumen adds long-awaited SuperLuminova to the watch (Image © Revolution)

To understand why this development is so significant, in Lange terms, consider this: in the 24 years since it released its first collection, there have been 3 luminous Lange watches. They are the Grand Lange 1 Lumen, Zeitwerk Luminous and Grand Lange 1 Moonphase Lumen. All bear the same green lume, inspired by the tint of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.

Lange has always aimed for consistency. So it’s not surprising that the Datograph Lumen bears the same design ethos as its luminous siblings. A semi-transparent, black-tinted dial with a coating blocks the UV spectrum of light that charges the SuperLuminova pigment all around, except the details that are meant to be illuminated. Numbers or details are printed after the coating so they don’t shed light. It creates a grand, ethereal effect.

From left: the Grand Lange 1 Lumen, the Zeitwerk Luminous and Grand Lange 1 Moonphase Lumen. Image: Lange Uhren GmBH
From left: the Grand Lange 1 Lumen, the Zeitwerk Luminous and Grand Lange 1 Moonphase Lumen. Image: Lange Uhren GmBH

In the daytime, the Datograph Lumen is stunning. On the dial front, the translucent dial reveals the inner workings of a movement thus far seen only from the back. And there’s something incredibly sexy about seeing it from the front now. Not all of it either; just enough to get you excited. Flip it over, and the L951.6 calibre will take you over the horological edge.

Breathtaking, the L.951.6 calibre from the case back (Image © Revolution)
Breathtaking, the L.951.6 calibre from the case back (Image © Revolution)

And though I am a fan of consistency in design, there’s a part of me that wishes Lange gave the Datograph Lumen a differently toned lume: perhaps in a soft eggshell or patina-ed style beige. Something that makes the Datograph stand out among its illuminated peers. The Datograph has always been a very unique creature, even among Lange timepieces.

Within the Saxonia family that the chronograph watch belongs to, it’s a renegade of sorts. It has a tachymeter indication and a busier-than-usual design, certainly. But when you try on a Datograph you have the distinct sense that it’s a chronograph first, and time-teller second. It’s part of the watch’s appeal.

It's impossible to dislike a Datograph, let alone one that shows some skin (Image © Revolution)
It's impossible to dislike a Datograph, let alone one that shows some skin (Image © Revolution)

The advantage now, of course is that you can enjoy the Datograph even in the dark. There’s a sensational thrill in doing so, I imagine, for would-be owners of this watch. And given its distinct look, it’ll be impossible to miss at your next midnight soiree. What we’re saying is: forget about buying your “winning” Halloween outfit, and drop it on the Datograph Lumen instead. It’ll induce pangs of jealousy and haunt your watch-loving peers for years to come, far more than that fire-breathing dragon costume will.

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