Field of Dreams: LANG 1943 Field Watch
LANG 1943, a young watch brand makes its debut timepiece with the Field Watch Edition One. This well-made watch is a testament to the legacy of one of horology’s most influential watchmakers, Gerd-Rüdiger Lang. With its meticulous design and remarkable fumé dial, the Field Watch Edition One showcases LANG 1943’s commitment to quality and passion for mechanical watchmaking.
In late Spring of 2022, I received an invitation from the PR team of Lang 1943 to attend an event in Munich where Georg Bartkowiak and Gerd-Rüdiger Lang would announce the birth of a new watch brand. I was excited to attend the event to meet Gerd-Rüdiger Lang after a long time. The last time I met him was in Basel, just prior to him selling Chronoswiss watch company. But as fate had it, I came down with Covid and did not attend the event. I dearly regretted not attending the event since Gerd-Rüdiger Lang passed away earlier this year. This Summer I received an invitation to go hands on with the watch, it was a good opportunity for me to finally experience the watch that was a tribute to one of my favorite figures in the watch industry.
The Birth of LANG 1943
In 2022, watch industry entrepreneur Georg Bartkowiak founded Lang 1943 as a tribute to his friend and mentor, Gerd-Rüdiger Lang. With Lang’s considerable expertise as a consultant for design and technology, Lang 1943 was able to bring his creative vision to life. The brand’s debut release, the Field Watch Edition One, embodies Lang’s dedication to quality and his passion for mechanical watchmaking.
Gerd-Rüdiger Lang, a trailblazer in the world of mechanical watchmaking, established his own brand, Chronoswiss, in Munich in 1983. In the face of the quartz crisis, Lang’s unwavering dedication to mechanical timepieces was a beacon of hope for the industry. His vision was clear: to create exclusive Swiss Made watches of the highest quality. Lang’s expertise extended beyond his own brand, as he served as a mentor for Lang 1943 and continued to write extensively about chronographs, his specialized area of expertise.
Gerd-Rüdiger Lang’s remarkable watchmaking legacy lives on through Lang 1943. Even after his passing in March 2023, his dedication to quality, innovation, and precision continues to inspire the brand.
The brand proudly embraces its German roots with an emphasis on Swiss Made quality, Lang 1943 combines the best of both worlds, incorporating German design and Swiss craftsmanship into each timepiece.
The Design of the Field Watch Edition One
The Field Watch Edition One pays homage to the iconic Dirty Dozen timepieces, a group of 12 watches commissioned by Great Britain’s Ministry of Defense for the armed forces. The design codes of these historic timepieces inspired Lang 1943 to create a watch that combines nostalgic elements with contemporary appeal. The brushed stainless steel case, with its straight and circular brushed finish, exudes quality and durability. Measuring 39mm in diameter and 8.4mm in thickness, the case is perfectly proportioned for most wrist sizes.
The dial of the Field Watch Edition One is a stunning black to grey sunray-brushed fumé dial, evoking a sense of timeless sophistication. The luminescent Arabic numerals and round/baton hour markers, adorned with Super-Luminova in an old-radium color, ensure excellent legibility in any lighting condition. The white syringe hands, also coated with Super-Luminova, add a touch of contrast and refinement to the dial.
My hands-on first impression of Edition One was that looks very much like H. Moser made field watch with the striking fumé dial. The dial is convincing and high quality. The watch feels lightweight on the leather strap, and I wore it comfortably for a week. I would easily place this watch in the GADA (Go Anywhere, Do Anything) category. Throughout the week I kept gazing back at that dial with a smile.
The scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating ensures optimal visibility and protection for the dial. The screw-in clear caseback allows for a glimpse of the well-decorated movement within. With a power reserve of approximately 46 hours, the hand-wound Calibre L43.1 guarantees reliable timekeeping.
The Field Watch Edition One is water-resistant up to 50 meters, making it suitable for everyday wear and outdoor adventures, except water sports. The watch comes with two interchangeable straps, allowing for versatility and personalization. The brown calfskin leather strap and the beige woven textile strap, both equipped with quick-release spring bars, offer comfort and style. The naturally tanned leather strap develops a unique patina over time, creating a personalized touch for each wearer.
The Unique Proposition of Vintage Marvin Movements
At the heart of the Field Watch Edition One lies a vintage Marvin movement, carefully restored, refurbished, and decorated by Swiss watchmakers. Lang’s foresight led him to acquire the entire remaining stock of Marvin movements and components in the 1990s. The hand-wound L43.1 Caliber, based on the Marvin 700 movement from the 1960s, showcases the brand’s commitment to preserving horological history while infusing it with modern aesthetics. The finishing of the movement respectable, but not exceptional as you would get from an independent master watchmaker. After all, Gerd-Rüdiger Lang’s philosophy was to offer mechanical watches with decently finished movements, well designed dial, interesting complications, all within mid-level price range.
The Future of LANG 1943
Field Watch Edition One is just the beginning for Lang 1943. The brand has exciting plans for the future, with several new creations set to be introduced in late 2023. First up will be a collaboration with creative artist Seconde Seconde. Each watch from Lang 1943 will continue to celebrate the golden age of watchmaking, connecting nostalgic design with modern aesthetics.
Lang 1943 has positioned itself as a brand with great potential. With accessible pricing, limited production, and a commitment to using only German and Swiss components, Lang 1943 offers a compelling proposition for watch enthusiasts. The Field Watch Edition One, priced at €3,500, presents an opportunity to own a meticulously crafted timepiece with a restored vintage movement.
LANG 1943 Field Watch Edition One Specifications and Price
Case: 39mm x 8.40mm, stainless steel with straight and circular brushed finish, 50 meters
Dial: Black to grey sunray brushed fumé dial, Arabic numerals with Super-Luminova in old radium color, white syringe hands with Super-Luminova
Movement: Hand-wound L43.1 caliber based on the Marvin 700 movement, 3 Hz/21,600 vph, 46 hours power reserve
Strap: Brown calfskin leather strap, additional beige woven textile strap with Alcantara lining
Price: Euros €3,500 / USD 3,861
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FEATURED FROM THE SHOP
|Movement||Self-winding caliber BR.CAL-301; 42-hour power reserve|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph and date|
|Case||41mm; CuAI7Si2 bronze; water resistant to 100m|
|Dial||Sunray brushed with applied, gold-plated indices|
|Strap||Black calfskin; satin polished bronze folding clasp|
|Limited Edition||Limited edition of 50 pieces|