The original claim to fame of the Lange Odysseus was the fact that it was the first collection from A. Lange & Sohne that was to come in stainless steel. That fact alone was the cause of much consternation by the Lange faithful, who saw it as a travesty in the context of the brand’s precious metal only mandate.
Yet after a while when the controversy over this feature and the other particulars of the watch had calmed down, many started to see what the brand was on about with this watch. In fact, I even wrote an article (which you can read here) stating 6 reasons why the Lange Odysseus would be a serious contender in the stainless steel watch genre.
Well, perhaps the Lange faithful who had not yet been converted last year in October when the watch was launched can find some solace in the new version launched this year for Watches & Wonders. The new watch is surprising because it at once, takes the collection backwards and forwards at the same time. What do I mean?
Well, first of all, this new Lange Odysseus comes in white gold, which should cheer the purists who had come to believe that all Lange watches should only be in precious metals. The cheer continues by the fact that it is offered on an integrated leather strap – which as mandated by God, all Lange watches should come on. But then suddenly, just as Lange giveth, Lange taketh away by introducing another option – the same watch on an integrated rubber strap as well.
At this point, the more forward looking members of the Lange faithful step up, putting aside their Hublot Big Bang’s and Patek Philippe Aquanauts – then strapping on their rubber clad Odysseus before jumping into a nearby pool.
Ok, I have to admit, even though I am part of the second group, I have to get used to the sight of a Lange on a rubber strap. Yet I shouldn’t complain, since I did say that one of the main benefits of the Oydessus was being able to wear it while swimming, and rubber is a great option for this purpose. Not only that, it helps to make the weight more manageable with its white gold case, since a full white gold case and bracelet might be a little too heavy for comfortable wear.
The rubber strap in the press pictures does look a little too sleek though, with a ribbed design that takes its line from the end links in the case. It seems mostly smooth throughout with an underside that is similarly ribbed, with deep channels for water, sweat (or air) to flow away.
I’ll probably have to examine the real strap in person, since I think a little pebbled texture on the rubber might look better. But we’ll see.
Those not convinced by rubber can still go the traditional route with a brown leather strap, with both options coming with a white gold prong buckle – though a deployant with some innovations as seen in the stainless steel bracelet might have been nice.
The next thing about the new Odysseus as well, it comes with a grey dial with a special surface texture that is quite fetching, and more my speed than the original blue. The embossed groove structure beneath the applied hour markers and the subsidiary seconds scale has a kind of art deco feel to it and contrasts with the textured effect of the dial, causing it to feel a little more stately and business-like. It’s also nice to see that the background colour of the day and date windows colour matches the dial, following the original blue version.
Well then, those are the major changes, and everything else is still there, the sweet-spot 40.5mm case, the luminous markers and hands for great legibility in the dark and the L155.1 DATOMATIC calibre that was developed exclusively for the Odysseus collection, that is the main reason why this watch will be off my wrist, as I peer at the movement while under-water.
Hey – maybe that’s why it comes on a prong buckle! All the better to view the movement without a deployant in the way.