Lange Odysseus

A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus

August 2020.

Updated May 2024.

After reading dozens of articles and seeing hundreds, perhaps thousands, of photos, you might think, “What’s left to say about the Odysseus?” Indeed, apart from the blogs or parent company-owned dealers who either churn out praises or paraphrase press releases, the great GaryG and SJX have already expertly tapped into Odysseus Datomatic—GaryG from the ownership perspective and SJX from an expert, critical journalism angle. However, after two years since its launch and the market craze surrounding it, I think it makes sense to look at the Lange Odysseus once again—both the watch itself and its market development.

Quick Facts:

  • Introduced in 2019
  • The first serially produced stainless-steel watch of A. Lange & Söhne
  • The first 100m+ water resistant watch of A. Lange & Söhne
  • The first 4Hz beating mechanism from the brand
  • As of 2023, some reports that the brand stopped taking orders – even with bundle.

The luxury industry and its values have undergone a complete transformation over the last 100 years. It evolved from independent individual manufacturers to luxury brands, then to mass producers (relatively speaking), luxury houses, and finally conglomerates. As a result of such scaling, uniformity in products began to emerge, which is one of the main reasons why luxury brands started to emphasize their heritage more than ever before (Laenan, 1989). Marketing strategies shifted fundamentally from emphasizing functionality to promoting an extended sense of self—exemplified by Patek’s ingenious Generation Campaign.

As a result of such industrialization, the rarity (in absolute numbers) aspect, one of the most fundamental principles of luxury as we know it, was lost. Think about it: Patek Philippe crafted reference 1463 for more than 25 years from the 1940s to the 1960s, producing only 750 examples! Today, this is Patek’s three days of production. This also helps explain why people turn towards vintage or independents. They are unique, the numbers are finite, and it will never be produced again—unless someone reissues an identical copy.


Given that rarity forms one of the main pillars of collectability and the symbolic value we attach to objects, it is inevitable that companies would purposefully leverage this phenomenon in a mass-production environment. In conjunction with the article’s main topic, this is where the steel A. Lange & Söhne watches, their journey to the Lange Odysseus, and the crazy market for the watch come into play.

Lange Odysseus & Stainless Steel

Since its re-birth in 1994, A. Lange & Söhne “officially” produced only six steel models: Lange 1, a unique Tourbillon Pour le Mérite, a unique 1815 Homage to Walter Lange, 1815 service watches, Double Split and the Odysseus collection. Among the four, only the Lange 1 and steel Odysseus were produced in series, whereas the others remained as unique pieces. In other words, until 2019, A. Lange & Söhne did not touch the mediocre alloy next to the precious ones.

For the last 10 years, a stainless-steel, water-resistant A. Lange & Söhne watch has been whispered about in every corner of the forums. Like the one ring becoming a myth, a steel Lange watch was nothing more than a fantasy for many. What many did not know was that the steel Odysseus was in the making for the last decade, and the rumors were not unfounded. Even though the management denied such rumors many times, everyone knew it was inevitable, especially after the demand surge for the Royal Oak and Nautilus, leaving many potential customers looking for a fine steel watch but unable to get the former two.


Following such a thirst for an A. Lange & Söhne steel watch, the Lange Odysseus was destined to become precious and attention-grabbing—and it did. Think about it, the first serially produced stainless steel watch from A. Lange & Söhne. Finally, a Lange that one can wear day in and day out, while swimming, playing with kids, or during Saturdays with the boys. The brand’s limited production numbers added the necessary allure, and the Odysseus became what it is today. Of course, this is just part of the story, and the other part is the watch itself, which demands a lengthy examination.


Odysseus, named after the Greek hero who fought his way back home for 10 years, reflects the lengthy development process of the watch. Anthony De Haas mentions, “The story started 15 years ago, we made three attempts, and it is finally here.” Some of you might remember that it was Jaeger-LeCoultre who had a line with the same name in the ’80s and ’90s. Therefore, Lange seems to have chosen the most fitting name from under the Richemont umbrella.

A Lange Odysseus Steel

Stainless Steel Odysseus. Sold at Langepedia x WatchBox Marketplace

The Lange Odysseus, as A. Lange & Söhne describes it, is a sporty-elegant wristwatch—a term I’ll be referring to frequently. Measuring 40.5 mm in diameter and 11.1 mm in thickness, with 120 meters of water resistance and a screw-down crown, the Lange Odysseus successfully fits its “sporty” designation, size-wise. However, its design deserves its own discussion.


In 1972, Gerald Genta and Audemars Piguet created a genre with the Royal Oak: the luxury sports watch. The watch broke the rules of fine watchmaking with every detail, but most importantly with its case and its integration into its magnificent bracelet. This trailblazing, and possibly the most iconic watch in history, was followed by many others—most notably the Nautilus, but not limited to it (e.g., Laureato, Ingenieur, etc.). How could one not follow such a trend? Well, the Odysseus did not.

Lange Odysseus vs Nautilus vs Royal Oak

This mindset of differentiation is deeply embedded within A. Lange & Söhne’s identity. Differentiation was A. Lange & Söhne’s only chance for rebirth in the 1990s. To this day, the brand successfully preserves this valuable asset, always striving to offer something distinct from the rest. Lange could have tried to make the Odysseus’ case non-round, removed the lugs, or shown screws somewhere—but no. If they had, the Odysseus wouldn’t be A. Lange & Söhne, but another copycat in the cemetery of stainless steel, blue dial sports watches of the last few decades. Even though aesthetics are completely subjective, I applaud Lange’s designers for keeping the Odysseus true to A. Lange & Söhne’s identity.


A classic Lange case design consists of the following elements: a round case constructed in three steps (case back, band, and bezel) with alternating finishes and either welded or soldered lugs with generous angles and a notched base. The most important element here is the separate, strong, and bold lugs, personally conceived by none other than Günter Blümlein to differentiate A. Lange & Söhne from its Swiss counterparts, where the lugs mostly flow from the case rather than forming their own presence.

Since the lugs are one of the most important details of an A. Lange & Söhne watch, the brand did not want to sacrifice this element for the sake of an integrated bracelet. For better or worse, this decision is subjective. However, it is clear that this detail makes the Lange Odysseus unmistakably Lange.

Lange Odysseus Case

The similarity in case construction is uncanny, especially the lugs. Courtesy of Watchbox.

In addition, Lange Odysseus shows splendidly integrated pushers on the crown-side. I don’t think that this was done to copy Patek Philippe Nautilus, which Lange would avoid at any cost. Here, I see a brilliant design choice. Odysseus could come with regular pushers on the side. Yet, this would break the visual integrity of the watch, making it just another Lange watch. Here, the integrated pushers complete the visual harmony, leaving no hanging element apart from the crown. I do enjoy the asymmetry here and I think that it’s going to be completed if we see a chronograph version. The pusher at the top controls the date and the bottom the day.


The combination of brushed and polished surfaces is just a delight on top. The passing from the brushed side of the lugs to mirror-polished notch and continuum to the pusher is just brilliant. Lange Odysseus’ case is a steel, complex sculpture.

Lange Odysseus Steel

Courtesy of Lange Uhren GmbH

The Lange Odysseus’ bracelet doesn’t stand out in terms of sheer design originality. In this regard, the bracelet lacks distinctive character overall. When it comes to dazzling you, I think the Nautilus, Royal Oak, and Overseas from the major brands, and Moser from the smaller ones, offer much more.


However, from a daring perspective, the Odysseus goes 100% out. Simply because, as with many things A. Lange & Söhne does, it is unusual and assertive. Only Lange could preserve the lugs and attach such a bold bracelet to a dress watch-style dial, and here we are.


At the beginning, I mentioned that the sheer design is not original—but the integration is. How it fits makes the Odysseus recognizable. This is a very important aspect, as I believe the recognizability of a watch is a tremendously important parameter—like the Lange 1. The bracelet looks broad and non-integrated into the case, which the first editions actually are. Indeed, even though advertised as integrated, the first Odysseus batch does not have a fully integrated bracelet. This was updated, I believe, sometime in 2020.


When it comes to comfort, however, it is above and beyond the rest. This is where you feel Lange’s incredible attention to detail in finishing and its transformation into utility. The interplay between the brushed, soft surfaces and the polished bevels is brilliant and buttery smooth on the wrist. During the day, you might find yourself rubbing the bracelet just to feel its silky links and connections. If hairy-wristed guys are a market segment to produce a piece for, the Lange Odysseus is the watch!

Lange Odysseus

The bracelet of the Odysseus is constructed like a Lego set, allowing you to adjust it part by part, even with a toothpick. You just need to press the buttons on the links and detach the segment from the rest.


Moreover, the Odysseus comes with a quickly adjustable bracelet. By pressing the A. Lange & Söhne logo button on the back, the bracelet can be adjusted up to 7mm without taking the watch off your wrist. Such details demonstrate that the Lange Odysseus is built for comfort and utility with an eye for craftsmanship. Please note that this solution is not exclusive to Lange and has been utilized by other brands before.


An important note here is that only the first generation of Lange Odysseus pieces came with a removable bracelet. That, I think, was about 250 pieces overall. All the rest are fully integrated.


In 2020, A. Lange & Söhne introduced the Odysseus with leather and rubber strap options in white gold. The straps integrate beautifully, and transforms the watch into something almost entirely different. the comfort, especially on the rubber strap is phenomenal, yet I cannot say the same for the leather strap. Further, with the simple center and guilloche chapter ring on grey, Odysseus in gold takes on a sportier and a more aggressive look.

Lange Odysseus Gold

White gold Odysseus – as sold at Langepedia x WatchBox Marketplace

Now, let’s start to dissect this gem of a collection!


If I were to ask any Lange enthusiast to pinpoint a defining element of the brand, I’m sure a significant portion would immediately mention the big date window. Indeed, since the rebirth of modern A. Lange & Söhne, there hasn’t been a more prominent feature in the brand’s arsenal. Originally an invention by Jaeger-LeCoultre but adapted by Günter Blümlein to bridge A. Lange & Söhne’s past with the present, the big date has faithfully served in numerous watches of the brand.


Lange utilized oversized windows to showcase the date until the Zeitwerk. With this groundbreaking model, for the first time, we saw two of them in the same watch, one displaying hours and the other minutes. Odysseus follows more or less the same outline—two oversized windows with small seconds at the bottom… It is evident that the Lange Odysseus is built on this familiar template, but an array of differentiating choices makes this watch stand out on its own.


Starting with the chapter ring, we see a similar pattern to the one found in the Langematik Perpetual. Such an application brings out tremendous depth and emphasis on the center of the dial. There, the Odysseus uses somewhat of a granular finish, reminiscent of the one used in the 1815 Honey Gold “200th Anniversary” in 2015. The blending of these elements strikes a chord like Classic Cask 40—though you’d be better off with Nautilus, Royal Oak, etc., if you enjoy single malt on your dial.

Lange Odysseus | Dial

Brilliant details of the Odysseus. Courtesy of Lange Uhren GmbH

Baton indices are done masterfully. Another design element that we’ve never seen at any other Lange piece. Indices are split in the middle to accommodate the lume. The night-view of the piece is just excellent. Moreover, the baton indices showcase sharp angles, which delivers the much-needed aggressiveness to Lange Odysseus. I especially enjoy the cuts at 5 and 7 o’clock. Broad alpha hands complete the Odysseus dial, both legibility and aesthetic-wise.


Looking at the dial, Lange Odysseus tells one that it is not a sports-watch as others. Though it is not a dress watch either. It tries very hard with many different elements not to be a Nautilus, Royal Oak, or any other derivative; but somehow strikes a brilliant balance and succeeds. I think this is partly because A. Lange & Söhne wanted to depart from its competitors as much as possible. All in all, thinking that Tony De Haas states that this is a sporty-elegant watch. I think the watch fills its shoes just perfectly.

Lange Odysseus Steel Blue Dial

Flipping the Lange Odysseus over, we are greeted by the caliber L155.1, with an interesting backstory that most watch blogs (except SJX—hats off to him) or parent company-owned pre-owned dealers do not mention at all. When introduced in 2019, the brand marketed (and still does) this caliber as a new movement made from the ground up. Indeed, caliber engineering is one of the standing pillars of A. Lange & Söhne, making it important for brand marketing as well as for collectors who ask why this watch costs €28.8k. However, such statements are filled with voids. To my knowledge and eyes, the Lange Odysseus does not feature a new movement made from the ground up, but rather a specifically tailored version of the Saxonia Automatic’s L086.1.


Is using a base movement to develop and adjust for a new watch wrong? Not at all. A company has to make profits; otherwise, we wouldn’t have our beloved A. Lange & Söhne in the first place. I must also add that the modification to the L086.1 to turn it into the caliber L155.1 of the Lange Odysseus is tremendously well done. But there’s no need for misdirection. Below, you’ll find a side-by-side comparison, so you can be the judge

L086 (left) and L155 (right). Courtesy of Lange Uhren GmbH

Apart from such a speed bump, the Lange Odysseus’ Caliber L155.1 is brilliant. Although the movement ring is relatively wide, the craftsmanship is unquestionable, as usual. The rotor is made of ARCAP, an alloy Lange also uses with the Saxonia’s rotor because it’s more stable than gold. The grey rhodium plate is a phenomenal touch, emphasizing the sporty nature of the piece. The DATOMATIC relief engraving matches the engraving on the case back ring, forming a great continuum. The platinum mass gives more efficiency to the winding and provides part of that delightful heft of the Lange Odysseus.


Caliber L155.1 of the Lange Odysseus carries most of the hallmarks of an A. Lange & Söhne caliber—except for the flat-polished escape wheel cap and the usual balance cock. I do not know the reason for the lack of the polished cap. However, the balance bridge, which is a first for the brand, was used to give more stabilization to the oscillating system, as this is an active watch by nature. The bridge is engraved in a special fashion, this time with wave motifs rather than the usual floral version.

Lange Odysseus Caliber L155.1

Odysseus under construction. Courtesy of Lange Uhren GmbH

Speaking of the oscillating system, the Lange Odysseus brings two other firsts for the brand: a special balance wheel and a 4Hz frequency. As you can see from the comparison picture above, the Saxonia’s L086.1 carries a screwed balance wheel, while the Odysseus features a larger and recessed screwed balance wheel. This was done to increase the inertia of the system, which in turn makes it easier to absorb shocks without being affected. In return, Caliber L155.1 of the Lange Odysseus offers a 50-hour power reserve, which is just fine.


As for complications, the Lange Odysseus offers day and date indications. These change gradually over midnight, completing around 00:20. Another delightful feature that adds to the comfort of the piece is the ability to change the day and date backwards. Pass the 11:15 point of the previous day, and the indications switch back for ease of adjustment.

Lange Odysseus | Caliber L155.1
Not integrated bracelet with some great looking caliber. Courtesy of @penny_watch_official

All in all, Lange Odysseus is a very-well made, historically important, good looking (even better on the wrist) stainless steel sporty-elegant wristwatch from A. Lange & Söhne. That’s more than enough number of adjectives to get a watch from Lange.


Since its first appearance in the pre-owned market in 2021 May auction season, the steel Lange Odysseus has been rather stable and in-line with the overall market. It started from high $80s and after three years, significant production numbers and heavily weakening market, Odysseus in steel is still safe around low to mid $60s.


If interested in learning more on A. Lange & Söhne’s market development, please give this article a read.


Thank you.

I hope this was a valuable guide for whomever is looking for a Lange Odysseus or just want to learn the details and history of these pieces. If you’d like to chat, sell or buy a Lange Odysseus, please kindly reach out to me via [email protected]


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