WatchTime Wednesday – Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196j vs. A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia – Specs & Price

Two of the most traditional extravagance watches vis-à-vis, two notorious names that sound sweet to the ears of gatherers and watch enthusiasts, two makes known for their ability to make amazing, underestimated and careful watches with an incredible tastefulness and wonderful developments. Both A. Lange & Sohne and Patek Philippe are sure things for those looking for a dress watch and it is time currently to confront them. Here is a comparison of two traditional offers, ...

WatchTime Wednesday – Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196j vs. A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia – Specs & Price

Two of the most traditional extravagance watches vis-à-vis, two notorious names that sound sweet to the ears of gatherers and watch enthusiasts, two makes known for their ability to make amazing, underestimated and careful watches with an incredible tastefulness and wonderful developments. Both A. Lange & Sohne and Patek Philippe are sure things for those looking for a dress watch and it is time currently to confront them. Here is a comparison of two traditional offers, the Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196j versus the A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia, made by our companions of WatchTime .

A complication is something lovely, however it surely doesn’t improve the clarity of a watch’s time show. Furthermore, since the hour of day is the most often looked for data on a watch’s dial, it bodes well to focus on the basics: hours, minutes and maybe likewise a subdial for the seconds hand to show that the watch is as yet running. Indeed, even the presence of a date show can take away from the ideal congruity and lucidity of a dial. The wonder of A. Lange & Söhne’s Saxonia and Patek Philippe’s Calatrava Reference 5196j lives in their straightforwardness. Literally nothing pointless can be found on these beautifully unadulterated wristwatches.

Both brands rank among the world’s best manufactures. Furthermore, each has attaches that scope back to the 19th century. Ferdinand Adolph Lange established the first A. Lange & Söhne in the humble community of Glashütte in the Kingdom of Saxony (in what is currently eastern Germany) in 1845. Lange built up the 3/4 plate and assembled pocket watches well known for their excellent. They were generally recognized as the best watches made in Germany. The company was disbanded in 1945, and just in 1990 was the A. Lange & Söhne name revived by another company established, similar to the first, in Glashütte. The company is currently possessed by the Richemont Group.

Patek Philippe, which was established in 1839, is exclusive. This manufacture has made various terrific watches over the span of its renowned history, including the world’s most complicated pocket watches, which were based on commission from the financier Henry Graves . Patek Philippe was likewise among the primary brands to deliver wristwatches. The Caliber 89 pocket watch, which appeared in 1989, has 33 capacities and stays the world’s most complicated versatile watch (generally the size of a grapefruit, it’s enormous to the point that the expression “watch” appears to be a misnomer).

The two watches we tried are a long ways from the complicated manifestations for which the two brands are popular. Each watch shows only the time; each shows the passing seconds on a helter-skelter sub-dial; and each has records instead of numerals. The basic necessities appearance of the dial mirrors the straightforwardness of the developments. Neither has a self-winding system. Both are accordingly ready to fit in exceptionally thin, rich cases. Albeit the developments stick carefully to the nuts and bolts, both are extravagantly enriched by hand. The cases and other noticeable components are additionally of the greatest quality. More or less, they address unadulterated ticking luxury.

Both watches look to the past for their plan motivation. The Calatrava reference 5196 bears similar last digits as the first Calatrava, the reference 96 from 1932. The reference 5196j gets its forerunner’s dauphine hands, seconds subdial, faceted files and wreath of little specks shaping the moment circle. The width of the 96 was essentially more modest, so the edge of its seconds subdial was digression to the outskirts of the dial at 6 o’clock.

It isn’t so natural to recognize the Saxonia’s antecedent. A model with this name was presented at the brand’s resurrection in 1994. Like the current model, the 1994 Saxonia shunned the two numerals and programmed  winding, however its rhombic files varied from the lists on the new Saxonia. Like all Lange models dispatched since the company’s restoration, the Saxonia has lancet-molded hands.

The new form appeared in 2007. It replaces the Lange 1815, which contained a similar type. Different models in the Saxonia assortment are the Grand Saxonia Automatic (41 mm in breadth) and the Saxonia Automatic (37 mm, with a major date display).

The Calatrava and Saxonia are both 37 mm in width – a fitting size for a dress watch in this period of ever-bigger cases. Each is likewise only 8 mm thick, which implies it can disappear unpretentiously underneath an all around custom-made shirt sleeve. The two watches show up much slimmer than they are because of the glossy silk completing working on it sides and domed sapphire precious stone. With its tight bezel and comparatively long carries , the Calatrava looks considerably compliment than the Saxonia, which has an all the more profoundly domed and essentially more extensive bezel.

One evident distinction between the two watches is the shortfall of a survey window in the rear of the Calatrava. For what reason did Patek Philippe discard it? The appropriate response comes into see when one opens the case and finds that the Caliber 215 is dazzling, yet in addition very dainty — marginally under 22 mm in breadth. A correspondingly little review window may have been a mistake. Oneself winding Calatrava models, conversely, do have show casebacks, maybe on the grounds that their Caliber 315 SC, at 27 mm in width, is fundamentally bigger than the 215. Despite the fact that Caliber 215 ticks concealed in obscurity bounds of an austere case, Patek Philippe has given it the fine completing and improving twists related with the best Geneva watchmaking: Geneva waves , slanted and cleaned edges, cleaned screw heads, silk completed transmission haggle wheel, cleaned flanks on the pinion wheels’ teeth, and a Gyromax balance. The development additionally bears the Patek Philippe Seal . The format of the extensions notices back to the times of Patek pocket watches.

The Saxonia isn’t as modest; it flaunts its development through a sapphire caseback. Its development, Caliber L941.1, doesn’t completely fill the case, either, yet at 25.6 mm in breadth it is considerably bigger than the Patek type. The white gold edge around the window in the caseback gives space to the company name and watch chronic number yet isn’t unduly expansive. The 3/4 plate, an accolade for the plates utilized in Lange’s 19-century pocket watches, is made of nickel silver and embellished with Glashütte waves. It is spotted with ruby gems in gold settings, which are held set up by blued screws. The screw balance is fastened to a chicken with hand-engraved embellishments and, on top, a swan’s neck fine change system. The edges are slanted and cleaned; the tops of the screws are cleaned; and the beds, the break haggle cover plate of the departure wheel are polished.

Unlike the Calatrava’s development, the Saxonia’s is outfitted with a stop-seconds work, which stops its seconds hand when the crown is pulled out. This element makes it simpler to set the watch with to-the-second exactness. Winding and setting the two watches is simple. The Calatrava clicks honorably while it is being wound, though the Saxonia is almost inaudible.

The crowns on the two watches are genuinely simple to get a handle on. Next to no power is expected to work them. The fairly bigger crown on the Calatrava, combined with this present watch’s slimness, implies the winding catch lies exceptionally near the wrist. On the off chance that you like to wear your watch low on your wrist, the crown may press uncomfortably against the rear of your hand. Besides, the domed back gives this watch an inclination to move position. The Saxonia fits all the more comfortably on the wrist, not exclusively in light of the fact that its crown is more modest, yet additionally in light of the fact that its back is level and its hauls are mounted exceptionally low. This assists with forestalling slippage on the wrist.

Both watches have hand-sewn, crocodile cowhide ties with cut edges and are of phenomenal quality. The Patek Philippe tie sparkles with shiny clear veneer, while the Lange one has a matte finish.

Each tie has a basic prong clasp, with regards to the watches’ general moderate plan. A collapsing catch is more detailed and doesn’t really improve wearing comfort. Patek Philippe aspects its prong perfectly, however only curves it around the crosspiece. The cleaned clasp is a decent counterpart for the watch and is in a split second recognizable as being from Patek Philippe. Lange processes its prong from a strong square of valuable metal and supports the clasp with an extra crossbar. The tie is guided through the clasp so it barely should be bowed; the catch and lash fit intently on the wrist. The name “Lange” shows up on the lock in clear, capital letters.

When it comes to discuss the subject of cash, the two watches are evaluated around the same. The Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196j comes for 16.330 Euros and the A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia for 16.700 Euros. The decision of one of the watches has not to be guided by such matter however all things being equal, by the feeling of watchmaking and the inclination on the wrist that both bring, each with a very personal plan and appeal.


This comparison test was initially distributed in the April 2008 issue of WatchTime and republished here with authorization. Jens Koch gets top to bottom with the two watches and Nik Schölzel gives the perfect unique photography.