The market for luxury steel sports watches is so hot right now that you could hardly question A. Lange & Söhne for wanting a piece of the action.
But its Odysseus, which was unveiled last Friday, has a mountain to climb before it can claim a place alongside the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, against which it is certain to be compared because of its €28,000 ($28,800) price tag.
It is also up against the likes of Chopard, Vacheron Constantin, IWC, Bell & Ross, Bulgari and many more that have watches in this space. Steel is the new gold when it comes to five-figure timepieces, it seems.
Rolex’s steel sports models — the locomotive that is pulling all of this global demand behind it — probably don’t come into the equation because their official retail prices are around half or even one-third of Lange’s.
Odysseus is not a limited edition, but nobody is expecting Lange to flood the market with the product.
Until now, there is no word on whether it will be sold only through the German watchmaker’s branded showrooms or whether it will go into wider distribution. No on sale date has yet been confirmed either.
Hodinkee reader ‘Crodor’ says: “I wouldn’t go so far as to call it bad design, but this watch clearly lacks a sense of purpose. Does it want to be a staid, conservative Lange, or rather something sporty and casual ? In my opinion, by refusing to choose, it fails on both accounts”.
While aBlogtoWatch comment contributor ‘PowNation’ suggests: “This is a great looking piece, and the finishing is superb but the price is a slap in the face. I was expecting somewhere in the half range but then this is A Lange & Sohne release and not some every man’s steel Rolex”.
The steel watch comes in a 40.5mm case with integrated bracelet. It has a screw-down crown for winding the watch and setting the time and two inset buttons for correcting the day of week and date to the right of the 11.5mm high case. The watch is waterproof to 120 metres.
Inside is Lange manufactured and hand-assembled calibre L155.1 Datomatic automatic movement with 50 hours of power reserve.
Its dark blue brass is arranged with a large day of the week display at 9 o’clock — a first for Lange — and a large date at 3 o’clock. Seconds are shown on a subdial at the bottom of the face.