I am glad to know that no living animal species was harmed in the creation of this watch. Dresden, Germany based high-end brand Lang & Heyne will produce a limited edition set of 25 Caliber I movements for its watches with bridges made from the tusks of extinct wooly mammoths. You don’t see mammoth ivory used a lot. It is rare and hard to get being available only from well-preserved mammoths. All the ivory here for example was sourced from a find in Siberia, where the permafrost can preserve entire mammoth bodies in relatively good condition. Lang & Heyne acquired some ivory through a German dealer and investigated its properties in watch making.
I firmly believe that using modern elephant ivory for anything these days is pure evil. Poaching in places such as Africa is a sin against nature, and should be prevented at all costs. The destruction of animal species on this planet for short-term profit should be much more a matter of international concern. If you see anything that isn’t an antique and uses ivory, you’d be a good person to avoid it. I needed to get that off my chest as I simply hate it when animals suffer at the expense of human greed and economic desperation. Lang & Heyne however goes a much more ethical route by using the ivory from a long dead animal. Marco Lang from the brand affirms that in his opinion using modern elephant ivory is a bad thing.
The Lang & Heyne Caliber I is a traditionally designed and made manually wound mechanical movement. In this instance, mammoth ivory is used for the bridges, plates, and the hand-engraved balance cock. Notice that the balance wheel palette jewel is a diamond. There is blue color applied to the engraving mammoth balance cock to emphasize the design. According to Lange & Heyne the ivory material is more dense than wood, and is relatively easy to work with. They uses modern CNC machines to cut the material into watch parts. The more precision components in the movements are still produced in metal.
The movement is larger at 36.6mm wide and runs at a rate of 18,00bph. It has a power reserve of 46 hours and displays the time with subsidiary seconds. The Caliber 1 is available in two Lange & Heyne timepieces, but will still be only available as a total set of 25 pieces. It is a very beautiful movement and should be visible through the caseback of the watches.
The two watches with the Caliber I movement as an option are the Lang & Heyne Friedrich August I, and the Johann. Each of these has a 43.5mm wide case in 18k white or rose gold. The difference between the two models are the dial. Both have real enamel dials but different hands and designs. For those bold enough you should check out the highly decorated and shaped “Louis XV” hands. The hands are all in gold.
Smaller than other high-end German brands in Saxony (such as A. Lange & Sohne, and Glashutte Original), Lang & Heyne’s visual and mechanical aesthetic are similar. You can see the implementation of classic German watch ideals and decor. While these watches come with metal movements as well, the availability of a watch with a movement made mostly from the tusk of an extinct mammoth is pretty interesting. Prices for the 25 pieces will be 33,300 Euros in 18k yellow or rose gold and 34,800 Euros in 18k white gold.