The first time I came across A. Lange and Söhne (“ALS”) was when I first heard NBA basketball star JJ Redick talk about his dream watch being the ALS Double Split on Hodinkee’s Talking Watches almost 5 years ago. Fast forward a year after that, I finally got to try on a Zeitwerk in Watches of Switzerland, London. I remembered when I put on the Zeitwerk, I instantly felt a confusing mix of excitement, anxiety, happiness – I was at a loss for words, and for good reason. But one thing is for sure, ALS instantly earned a special place in my heart, and I have held the brand with high regard ever since.
Just a few days ago, Team Matick was invited to a private sit-down luncheon with ALS and Sincere Fine Watches at Nadodi KL to view their 2019 SIHH Novelties. All I can say that it was a helluva horo-gastro experience. This one is definitely right up there on my personal list.
Nadodi, which translates from Tamil and Malayalam to mean “Nomad”, is essentially a cosy little fine-dining restaurant tucked away in the corner of Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. We had some heavy rainfall that very afternoon, but I think it simply adds to the ambience and overall dining experience as we dined and sipped on our cocktails in over some amazing conversations. It felt like there was a very oddly satisfying sense of comfort shrouding us and our conversations at the time.
We were spoiled with a meticulously crafted 12-course menu with emphasis on the Chef de Cuisine’s (the famous Sricharan Venkatesh) unconventional yet modern take on traditional Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine. In other words, the entire gastronomical experience was, in essence, a contemporary—South East Asian reinterpretation on classic dishes you typically find in regions neighbouring India and Sri Lanka. I won’t go too much into detail on the food, but here’s a little photo reel of what we indulged on that afternoon.
I, for one do not regularly visit fine-dining restaurants like Nadodi, but similarly to my outlook and perspective when it comes to watches, fanciful presentation and descriptions are known to be a risky game to play, as it can come across as gimmicky and pretentious – these are concepts in which The Matick Blog do not stand for, especially when it comes to this already-profoundly materialistic hobby. But throughout the meal, I find myself almost automatically shutting my eyelids while feeding myself the first bites of every single dish, as I willingly surrender my taste buds to the blend of wonderful synergic flavours the Chef de Cuisine had crafted onto the plate. Ultimately, the artful presentation paid off. It had a purpose, it tells a tale of the ingredients and of course the journey of the analogical traveller (as depicted in the name of the restaurant). Each dish had a story to tell, and each dish beautifully heightens as well as enhances the flavours of its subsequent dishes that were served after.
All I can say is that ALS picked the right place to host this luncheon, because the food served that very afternoon embodies the spirit of the German brand all too well – meticulous, thoughtful, purpose-driven, focused, and most importantly, both the restaurant and watch brand holds a very subtle but yet conservative sense of rebelliousness to their approach, as they both resemble a modern and tasteful tribute to timeless classics (in this case, classic Indian and Sri Lankan dishes).
Among the watches shown that afternoon were the 25th Special Editions of the Lange 1, Richard Lange Jumping Seconds in a beautiful black dial made from solid silver and red accents, the absolutely stunning Langematik Perpetual Honey Gold, the elusive Datograph Perpetual Tourbillion with a rose gold dial housed in a white gold case, and finally one of my favourites – the Zeitwerk Date.
Lange 1 “25th Anniversary”
The Lange 1 is known to be one of the cornerstone pieces from ALS, this particular model as seen here on Meor’s wrist features deep blue numerals and beautiful blue steel hands. A quick flip to its caseback would reveal an absolutely stunning engraving of the A. Lange & Söhne headquarters dating back to the year of 1873, as well as the names of co-founders Walter Lange and Günter Blümlein, and finally the words “25 Years Lange 1” in German (25 Jahre Lange 1) to commemorate it being the prelude piece to this very special collection.
Richard Lange Jumping Seconds
Here we also have the highly decorated Richard Lange with a deep black dial. What really piqued my interest in this particular execution is the addition of a Remontoire. In simpler terms, it is a device specifically designed to improve rate stability over the watch’s power-reserve by supplying constant torque to the escapement. This particular mechanism also acts as a secondary source of power and is periodically rewound by the watch’s main source of power.
Langematik Perpetual Honeygold
One of my other favourites out of this particular collection solely due to its very unique case made out of Honey Gold. (wherever you are… Pooh) I have always thought that I would never be ready for a Yellow Gold watch until my mid-30s due to the deep rich yellow tones of a Yellow Gold case, but this watch single-handedly changed my mind. I am absolutely infatuated with the Honey Gold case’s subtleness as it changes its gold tones under different lighting, almost like a camouflage effect.
Datograph Tourbillon Chronograph
All I can say is – Goosebumps, goosebumps and goosebumps. No, if you are asking, it is not a Salmon dial. In fact, it is made from solid pink gold. That aside, like many iterations of its predecessors, I expected no less from the elusive Datograph. A quick peep at the caseback gives its viewer a rapid dose of euphoria. Don’t believe me (really now, mate)? Here have a look and see for yourself.
Finally, I had the chance to once again spend some time with my favourite ALS. First and foremost, I am absolutely loving the way ALS introduced a date function to the Zeitwerk without having the need to open up another date window aperture, which in my most humble opinion, would inevitably further clutter the dial. The application of the ‘time bridge’ definitely takes the cake for me as it effortlessly complements the dial extremely well.
Wrapping it up
To wrap things up, I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank the wonderful team at Sincere Fine Watches and ALS for having us at the showcase, to name a few – Joan, Wendy Yeow, KiKi. We are truly humbled by this invitation. Looking back, it felt like our journey started not too long ago, and to be invited to a showcase to dine with the biggest names in the watch industry is a milestone and truly a humbling experience for us here at Team Matick.
Because we now live in a world where traditions are often challenged or perhaps even abandoned and shunned aside, I always believe that it is important for watch brands to seek a neutral ground, in which respect and creativity would act as the bridge to marry the timelessness of tradition and innovative spirit of contemporary watchmaking. After seeing this wonderful collection from ALS, I can only wish the brand well and hope that they carry on this spirit into the near future.
For more info on this particular collection by A. Lange and Söhne, click here.
To find out more about Nadodi KL, click here.
For Team Matick,