By Michael Thompson
With this edition of BackStory we’re flipping the column’s conceit on its head.
The Marco Lang Zweigesicht-1 (the watch’s name means ‘two-faced’ in German) allows the wearer to easily flip the watch as desired. Below, you’re looking at the watch’s handcrafted movement. While this view of the watch can remain pressed against your wrist to instead expose a beautiful, classic three-hand dial, Marco Lang understands that many enthusiasts prefer to gaze at their watch’s caliber.
Lang’s very clever system means the watch’s owner can pull both sides of the strap away from the case, vertically flip the case (keeping the crown at the right side) and snap it back into place.
As you can see, Lang’s movement also includes a dial with a Grand Feu enamel minute hand and hour hand on a skeletonized silver dial. This sits atop dual barrels, a stunning gold-hued mainplate and three steel floating bridges that define the movement’s layout and essentially tie together all the necessary components. Lang plays with his materials, alternating polished, ground or blued steel with red rubies and wheels made of a solid 14-karat gold alloy.
Among these nicely finished components, note the ‘four-legged’ balance shaped to resemble a Gothic church window. If you missed this flourish at first glance, perhaps you’re eyes first lit on the odd series of blued hands at the movement’s 9 o’clock position.
This component is a shock indicator. Any impacts on the watch are essentially recorded and displayed with the quite visible handspring mechanism loaded with four blue hands. A small weight ensures the deflection of two forks, which in turn move two hands each. These are held in their deflected position at their tips by exposed teeth, which lock the hands into place. The wearer can reset the system at any time using a corrector.
This unusual invention means the wearer can note physical shocks to the movement and then adjust his actions as needed or desired.
This is just one example of Lang’s vow to personalize his designs to each Zweigesicht-1 owner. He offers the watch is any of three case materials (steel, rose gold and platinum) and will customize the shapes and materials of the hands, the engravings in the movement and case, and will even offer a choice of polishes.
Case: 40mm by 12.5mm steel, rose gold or platinum, sapphire crystals, device to remove the strap and wear the watch movement side up.
Movement: Marco Lang Caliber ml-01, 34mm by 4.4mm, 21,600 bph, 70-hour power reserve, set with 27 rubies and 1 diamond. Balance/escapement: Free four-leg balance with ex-center regulation, blued Breguet hairspring, lever escapement (20.5) with one-armed balance lever, second hand stop, and resettable shock indication in 4 directions. Plate can be engraved as requested.
Price: Starting at 50,000 euros, or about $58,000.