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Feature: 5 Reasons Why The Datograph Is The Greatest Chronograph Ever Made

One of A. Lange & Söhne’s most recognisable pieces is the Datograph. Introduced in 1999, the watch blew away watch fans and those within the industry, with an in-house calibre that remains the pinnacle of chronograph movements even today. But what else makes this watch so special?

Recognised By The Industry’s Finest

The Datograph is an iconic timepiece in its own right, and this status was further solidified when none other than legendary watchmaker, Philippe Dufour, named it the nicest chronograph ever made—as well as admitting it’s the only watch he has ever bought. If it’s good enough for Dufour, then it is certainly good enough for us.

Calibre L951.1

To make a magnificent watch, you need a magnificent movement, and that’s exactly what A. Lange & Söhne provided for its watch. Powering the Datograph is the L951.1, an in-house calibre comprised of 405 components. Included within its remarkable architecture is a fly-back chronograph with a precisely jumping minutes counter—plus, Lange’s classic outsized date complication. What’s more, all of the L951.1 is hand finished with bevelling, graining, polishing and engraving.

It Arrived Against All Odds

The twentieth century proved a tricky time for A. Lange & Söhne—the watchmaker endured bombings of its main production building during the Second World War, bringing production to a halt. Soon after, in 1948, the expropriation in the Soviet-occupied region commenced and the A. Lange & Söhne brand vanished. Fast forward to 1989, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Walter Lange of ALS saw an opportunity to bring his brand and vision back to life.

It Forced The Watch Industry To Take Notice

After a tumultuous few years out of the game due to some significant historical events—to say the least—A. Lange & Söhne eventually bounced back. ALS went on to release the Datograph, which grabbed the attention of the Swiss watchmaking scene and forced the industry to take note of the small German watch brand.

Distinctive Design

The unique appearance of the Datograph makes it an appealing piece indeed. The dial features a handful of useful functions including ALS’s classic outsize date at 12 o’clock and two sub dials at 9 and 3 o’clock, respectively. Plus, despite what Datograph you go for—a perpetual, tourbillon or up/down—we think this timepiece looks incredibly chic, perfect for fans of minimalism, even if it is brimming with complications.

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