A rattrapante that translates to ‘catching up’ in French refers to a split-second chronograph movement that was created by Adolphe Nicole. A. Lange & Söhne has just unveiled its first self-winding chronograph, the Odysseus Chronograph, limited to 100 pieces.
Call it a rattrapante, a split-second chronograph, or a double chronograph, the meaning remains the same. This new model by the brand is a chronograph that comes with an additional seconds hand for the mechanism. So how does this function? Rather than having three separate subdials for the chronograph, there is one additional seconds hand for the chronograph function placed with the normal seconds but in a different colour underneath the actual stop second hand with an additional pusher on the outer part of the case. When the wearer presses the first pusher — just like a normal chronograph — both the seconds hand begin to move around the dial. When the pusher is pressed again, the additional seconds hand stops. When pressed for the third time, the additional second hand catches up on the regular second hand that had been moving the whole time. This allows multiple time recordings at the same time.
If the minute counter has not reached the 30-minute mark yet, the two hands of the Odysseus Chronograph move anti-clockwise. If the minute counter has passed the 30-minute mark, both hands will advance to zero in a clockwise fashion. At high speed, the chrono seconds hand performs a full revolution for every minute required to reach the full hour.
In the normal position of the screw-down crown, the buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock are used to operate the chronograph functions: start, stop and reset to zero. When the crown is pulled, the date and day of the week can be corrected with a newly developed mechanism of the 42.5mm stainless steel watch.
The black, brass dial maintains all the signature aesthetics of a classic Odysseus with the hour and minutes hand crafted in white gold with luminous coating. The dial has a 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock in rhodium steel, aluminium chronograph seconds hand in red with baton hour markers in white gold and luminous coating. Just like any other Odysseus, the day of the week dial is at 9 o’clock and a dual-numbers date window is placed at 3 o’clock.
The L156.1 DATOMATIC calibre ‒ the manufactory’s first self-winding chronograph movement ‒ powers the Odysseus Chronograph. The attribute DATOMATIC is derived from the words “date” and “automatic”. A skeletonised and partially black-rhodiumed central rotor with a centrifugal mass in 950 platinum assures efficient winding. When fully wound, the mainspring barrel delivers a maximum power reserve of 50 hours. The oscillation system is designed to ensure optimum rate accuracy. To this end, the balance, which beats at a frequency of 4Hz, was suspended beneath the balance bridge; it is hand-engraved with a stylised wave pattern alluding to the water resistance of the watch and the possible applications in sports settings.
Turning the watch reveals the sapphire-crystal caseback with a unidirectional oscillating weight in platinum with the “DATOMATIC” engraving, and a mention of the individual watch number out of 100. The A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph is a boutique exclusive and is finished on a stainless steel bracelet with a safety deployant buckle with precision adjustment mechanism for adjusting the length.