Much like how every luxury carmaker in recent times has scrambled to have an SUV in their lineup, high-end watch brands have all tried to capitalize on the prevailing trend to have an iconic sport model in their repertoire. With all of the established Swiss brands already having models such as the Royal Oak, Nautilus, or Overseas, the one glaring hole in A. Lange & Sohne’s catalog was always a casual sports piece. Sure, A. Lange & Sohne has always traditionally been a dress-watch brand, but in today’s market, even the most traditional Haute Horlogerie brand needs a complete collection with watches for every occasion.
In 2019, the brand finally released the missing piece from their collection - the Odysseus. Originally crafted from stainless steel and with an integrated bracelet, despite its initial mixed response, it immediately became an application piece only offered to established clients. It was only when collectors got their hands on the piece and saw it in the flesh did attitudes change, realizing that the A. Lange & Sohne Datomatic Odysseus deserved its place in the brand’s legendary lineup of watches.
This example I have here today followed on the 2019 release a year later, a new variant crafted in 18k white gold and now on a changeable rubber strap. Compounding on the growing popularity of the Odysseus, this new release answered the prayers of those who didn’t like the integrated bracelet and was a welcome new reference to the model’s lineup.
Featuring a monochromatic grey dial, there is fantastic depth achieved through the multiple textures and levels of design used. Beginning with the sloped silver brushed rehaut ring, the dial begins with applied white gold hour markers that is accentuated by the deep radial embossing, giving the watch a very striking look. Connecting the embossed part of the dial with the stepped smooth grey central area features a sub-seconds dial at 6 o’clock and what is quintessentially Lange- an oversized day and date displayed at 9 and 3 o’clock respectively.
When it comes to sports watches, practicality should always be at the forefront, and with the Datomatic Odysseus, it is obvious that legibility is one of its most impressive feats. Furthermore, what impressed me the most about this watch is how well the pushers for the day and date were designed. Discreetly integrated into the case on the right-hand side, the two protrusions you see above and below the crown are actually whole buttons that can be easily pressed to change the day and date, giving the watch a beautiful asymmetric look as well.
Powered by the self-winding in-house Cal. L155.1, it is a movement unique to this watch and despite it being a sports watch, it is one that is still made from German Silver and beautifully finished and engraved to the standard we have come to expect from the brand. Throughout the watch, everything has been brushed, polished, and beveled to perfection and in my opinion, the A. Lange & Sohne Datomatic Odysseus is a worthy high-end luxury sports watch, capable of competing and perhaps even outdoing anything from Switzerland’s finest.