An icon turns 25 this year at SIHH.
Instantly recognisable with its assymmetric dial, three-day movement and outsize date, the Lange 1 is indisputably A. Lange & Söhne’s most famous watch family. There are nine current models in this watch family since its immensely successful premiere on 24 October 1994: of various case diameters, manually wound or automatic, several of which are enhanced with additional features like the moon-phase display, a second time zone, or as a combination featuring a tourbillon and a perpetual calendar.
The style-defining specifications of the Lange 1 has remained otherwise almost unchanged; notably it is the movement that reflects its technical evolution. In 2015, the manually wound calibre L121.1 was introduced, featuring the precise jumping outsize date display and a freely oscillating Lange balance spring.
On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, A. Lange & Söhne presents, as the Anniversary edition – a hybrid of the two most well-loved Lange 1 versions, the original white dial and the fairly recent (and very popular) blue dial Lange 1 version.
The “25th Anniversary” edition is made in white gold and limited to 250 timepieces.
Featuring the eye-pleasing charm of the iconic Lange 1, on the top right, the trademark outsize date (stemmed from the development of the 5-minute clock in the Semper Opera), the off-centre hour/minute dial on the left, a small second hand sub-dial on the lower right, with a large power reserve indicator on the right rim edge, with a hidden isosceles triangle hidden within its dial.
This 25th Anniversary edition special features include a deep-blue printed argenté dial with a rim recess and blue date numerals. Head of Manufactory Tino Bobe alluded during our interview with him that:
“The design itself is just a refinement. Why printed numerals – the first watches had the blue print. Diameter of 38.5 have not been changed. 72 hour power reserve stayed the same, double barrel. The look back to the original design fitted with improved exactly jumping outsize date (from a movement point) is fitting to show the evolution”.
The watch also features a hinged cuvette (hunter caseback) with an engraving of Lange’s headquarters, the names of Walter Lange and Günter Blümlein, a relief engraving of the inscription “25 YEARS LANGE 1”.
“We want to keep the bridge to the original one. And with this watch we want to say thank you to the two most important people: Günter Blümlein and Walter Lange. As both have told us always – that the Product is the hero, not the Watchmaker, not the CEO. That’s why during the years, we have never put Günter Blümlein so much in front. It was his wish. If necessary, then Walter Lange. The product is the hero. It is now 25 years, we say ok let’s at least include the names of these two visionaries.” Bobe added.
Of notable mention is the hand-engraved balance cock with blued lines. Every balance cock in A. Lange & Söhne timepieces is individually hand engraved, no single piece is the same. The manually executed lines of the new engraving pattern for this jubilee edition are blued for the first time, and thus stand out with a particularly rich contrast. The watch also comes with an engraved limitation number, and a colour-coordinated blue alligator leather strap with a grey seam.
This very stunning timepiece is a truly worthy hallmark for a quarter century old legacy.
Archive images courtesy of A. Lange & Söhne. Styled watch images by Curatedition at SIHH 2019. All rights reserved.