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Review: Lang & Heyne Anton – royal name, royal complication

The small, independent brand from Germany, Lang & Heyne updates an already beautiful watch adding a magnificent flying tourbillon
by Dan-Andrei Kluska on July 27, 2018

Lang & Heyne is a small haute horlogerie manufacture from Dresden, Germany. The brand’s timepieces are well  executed, beautiful design with magnificent finishes. Lang & Heyne presented at Baselworld 2018 a new watch, the Anton. The is the second rectangular piece from the brand and comes with their first tourbillon. We had a close look at the watch and this is our hands-on review.

 

Lang & Heyne Anton Flying Tourbillon

Lang & Heyne Anton, the first watch from the German brand with a tourbillon. Availalb in two noble material variants: rose gold and platinum. In the picture, both models accompanied by the brand’s own Apfelschorle (apple spritzer – a mixture of apple juice and sparkling water, a German traditional beverage).

 

Historical Origins

Lang & Heyne was launched in 2001 by two friends: Marco Lang and Mirko Heyne. In 2003, Mr Heyne leaves the company to join Nomos Glashütte. Marco Lang continued his work under the original brand’s name.

Born in 1971, Marco Lang is a fifth-generation watchmaker. In 1998, at the age of 27, he opens his own watch workshop. A great personal achievement comes in 2005 when Marco was accepted as a member of the AHCI.

The Lang & Heyne models take their name from Saxony’s ruling family.

 

Lang & Heyne Anton Flying Tourbillon Portrait

Lang & Heyne Anton is a two hands watch manufactured in precious metals. The Anton features a magnificent simple sunk grand feu enamel dial and a one-minute flying tourbillon.

 

Today’s review piece, the Anton, gets its name from the king of Saxony: Anthony (born in 1755 in Dresden, died 1836 in Pillnitz). King Anthony was passionate about music and genealogy. Born as the fifth child in the royal family, Anton was not first in line to the throne. His brother became King, but died early. And Anton took over the reinss of the kingdom. Due to his tolerance and understanding in hard times, King Anthony gained the peoples’ sympathy, earning the nickname “the Kind”.

 

Review: Lang & Heyne Anton

Last year, Lang & Heyne presented their first rectangular watch, the Georg, presented here. This year, the Dresden manufacturer presented a new rectangular watch. The Anton comes with a novelty – the first tourbillon designed and produced by the German brand. Nevertheless, the tourbillon comes in large dimensions and as a flying tourbillon.

 

 

The case, dial and hands

The Lang & Heyne Anton comes in two case material variants: rose gold and platinum. The rectangular shape is identical in size and construction with the Georg.

The three lug design signature on the Anton is also present at all other Lang & Heyne watches. The inward rounded beveled corners give the Anton an elegant presence. The missing corners remove enough substance from the body to form a slender appearance. One might be surprised how well go together all the case elements. The composition of the signature three inward bent lugs with the voluptuous case sides makes a good visual balance. The polish is splendidly executed. The decorative lines present on the side of the case contributes to the overall handsomeness.

 

Lang & Heyne Anton Flying Tourbillon oblique

The case execution in case of the Anton makes no exception from the brand’s typical exceptional execution. The polish is well executed, evenly distributed over all surfaces.

 

Beside the three-luged design, specific to the Lang & Heyne, the Anton features the same crown protection design as all other brand’s collections. Nicely aesthetic, the crown protection is a graceful transition from the case side to the onion-shaped crown.

The crown, adorned with brand’s initials is well proportioned. The handling is facile, effortless.

 

Lang & Heyne Anton Flying Tourbillon

To note the various details present on the Anton: chamfered sapphire crystal, screw-mounted strap, rounded bezel and lovely finishes.

 

The Anton’s dial is similar with the Georg and it is produced by Cadremiel. The small seconds’ indication is replaced by an 11.1 mm flying tourbillon. The watch gains a very traditional, haute horlogerie look. The grand feu enamel is appealing: big art-deco numerals, a squared railway track with blue lance tip indices for 12, 3 and 9 o’clock and printed with brand’s name. Instead of the classical “Made in Germany”, Lang & Heyne opt out for “Made in Saxony”.

 

Lang & Heyne Anton Flying Tourbillon dial detail

The Lang & Heyne Anton features a grand feu enamel dial with sunken off-centred seconds indication. The beauty of the white enamel concurs with the case’s beauty, only to be surpassed by the mesmerising flying tourbillon.

 

The seconds are indicated by a thermal blued screw present on the tourbillon’s lyra. The seconds’ railway is featured in the sunken lower side.

The Anton is fitted with brand’s specific lancet hands manufactured in gold. The hands are manufactured by hand, filed to the final domed shape. The central ring is chamfered and polished. The customisation possibilities include other hands type: cathedral, spade or Louis XV. The Platinum version uses thermally blued hands, both dials variant having an excellent legibility.

 

The recessed subdial gives depth to the entire design. The multi-layered design brings higher costs and difficulties in the production. The small seconds are displayed by the flying tourbillon’s tip. Note the exquisite tourbillon construction. The cage is bevelled and polished. It features, on top, an interesting three-armed gold nib as shock protection. The escapement, as well the main plate’s hammering finish is visible underneath.

 

The movement: Calibre IX

The Anton uses as a movement the Calibre IX, a similar design to the Calibre VIII present in the Georg. The number of cocks and bridges was reduced due to the flying tourbillon. The new Calibre IX feels more airy with the movement fully exposed for study.

The movement uses a gold-plated, hammered mainplate. This is adorned with hand engraving depicting the brand’s name, the name of the watch and its serial number. The Calibre IX is further decorated with two diamonds mounted in polished sets. There is no functionality behind, the reason is purely aesthetical enhancement.

 

Lang & Heyne Anton Flying Tourbillon Calibre IX

The tourbillon’s construction reduced the number of cocks and wheels present on the back. The final result is a more visual balanced design.

 

The Anton is meticulously finished. The unusual construction is a piece of mechanical art, transcending any of the actual trends. The evolution from the Calibre VIII is tremendous. The movement is simpler visual but is technically more complex with the tourbillon. Interesting that the design is not symmetrically placed and, despite that, the movement still looks delightful spread over the main plate.

 

Lang & Heyne Anton Flying Tourbillon Calibre IX detail

Detail of the Tourbillon bridge and wheels’ cocks. Parts of the elements are blasted, other are highly polished. To note the exceptional executed jewels’ sinks. The wheels are also decorated with a fine beveling.

 

The Calibre IX uses a rather slow 2.5Hz balance wheel but is expected for this huge 11.1 mm tourbillon. Anton is capable to run up to 55 hours from a full wound barrel.

 

Lang & Heyne Anton Flying Tourbillon constructive details

Exploded view of the one-minute flying tourbillon of the Calibre IX present in the Lang & Heyne Anton watch. Image courtesy of Lang & Heyne

 

Competitive landscape

Lang & Heyne make an interesting proposal with the Anton. The combination of the rectangular case with a grand feu enamel dial and a flying tourbillon is uncommon. The Anton it is offered in rose gold with a price tag of €86,100 (excl. VAT) and in platinum for €98,700 (excl. VAT).  The Anton’s particularities make the competitive landscape somewhat unfair for the competition.

A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon could be taken into consideration. Launched in 2008, the Cabaret tourbillon was an evolution of the prominent Cabaret collection, now discontinued by the Glashütte German brand. The watch comes with a gold case measuring 29.5 mm x 39.2 mm x 10.25 mm. The Cabaret Tourbillon features a gold dial with gold applique and hands. It is powered by the Calibre L042.1. Compared to the Anton, the Cabaret tourbillon has a slightly smaller cage of 10.4mm. The finishes from Lange needs no introduction, the Cabaret being a beautiful watch even without looking at the movement. But viewed from the back side, the L042.1 is revealed in all its glory – exceptional finishes.

 

A Lange & Sohne Cabaret Tourbillon

Lange Cabaret Tourbillon. The world’s first tourbillon which can be hacked.

 

Talking about exceptional finishes and beautiful rectangular watches remind us about the Patek Philippe Ref. 5101 (discontinued, actual price can reach easily €300,000 ). The watch unveiled in 2003 brought a staggering 10 days of power reserve in a very classic looking timepiece. Packed in a platinum case, the Ref. 5101 hides a beautiful tourbillon, visible only on the back.

 

Patek Philippe Ref 5101 in platinum with salmon dial

Patek Philippe Ref 5101 in platinum with a salmon dial is a classic looking watch that hides the true beauty underneath.

 

Patek Philippe Ref 5101 in platinum with salmon dial

Patek Philippe Ref 5101 backside reveals some exceptional finishes on a rather simple design. To note the Geneva seal on the lower right of the movement – another witness the Patek’s finishes.

 

A traditional example of grand feu dial and tourbillon is the Breguet Classique Tourbillon Automatique Ref. 5367. The 42 mm gold case which is round, and measures only 7.45 mm in height. The dial is magnificent, featuring an off-centred tourbillon opening. The Ref. 5367 is powered by the 3 mm ultra-thin Cal 581. The movement works at a modern 4Hz, offering an impressive power reserve of 80 hours. The Breguet 5367 comes with a price of CHF144,000 (including Swiss taxes).

 

Breguet Classique Tourbillon Automatique 5367

Breguet Classique Tourbillon Automatique 5367 is an example of Breguet manufacturing capabilities. Perfected over a long time, the tourbillon is a “classic” complication of the Place Vendome originated brand.

 

Concluding thoughts

The Anton is a lovely watch: balanced in design and construction, with a good legibility and a nice wear feel on the wrist. The watch is comfortable and easy to set and wind.

The Lang & Heyne Anton is an uncommon timepiece. Its almost unique set of characteristics creates a new niche for the collectors. The brand offers also the possibility to do some customisation, making the Anton perhaps more attractive for some collectors.

It is hard to decide which is the most enjoyable perspective: the front with the large tourbillion and the delicate enamel dial or the interesting construction and gorgeous finishes of the Calibre IX. Please tell us in the comments your preferences.

 

Lang & Heyne Anton Flying Tourbillon

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Lang & Heyne Anton Specification and Price

Lang & Heyne Anton has a price of €86,100 (excl. VAT and shipping costs) for the rose gold version and €98,700 (excl. VAT and shipping costs) for the platinum. For more information please visit the Lang & Heyne Website.

 

Movement

Calibre: Calibre IX

Type: Manual winding

Dimensions: 34 mm x 26,5 mm, Height 5.5 mm

Jewels: 17 jewels, 2 brilliant-cut diamonds

Power reserve: 55 hours

Frequency: 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour (2,5 Hz)

Functions: hour/ minute/ second via Lyra shaped cage of the Ø11.1 mm flying tourbillon

 

Case

Material: Rose gold or Platinum

Dimensions of the case: 40mm x 32mm, Height 9,4 mm

Crystal: Sapphire glass on top and bottom

Caseback: Stainless steel, special engravings, screwed

Water resistance: 10bar / 100m

 

Strap

Material: Alligator leather in red-brown and dark brown, blue and black

Buckle: Pin buckle or folding clasp matching the case.

 

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  • Chia-Ming Yang
    July 30, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Though their flying tourbillon is no doubt brilliant, I still feel the purity of Georg more attractive.

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