A. Lange & Söhne celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Lange 1. Introduced to the public for the first time on October 24, 1994, the unique design of the assymetric dial of the Lange 1 has stood the test of time, and remains largely unchanged for the last 20 years.
To celebrate this timeless classic, Lange introduced the new, spectacular Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst with a black enamel dial on October 24, 2014; exactly 20 years after the historic unveiling to the day. The Deployant team was there to cover the event, and provide you with these first hand photographs, and our review of the watch.
The new watch, made to a limited edition size of only 20 watches is rather special to Lange as it carries the title Handwerkskunst. The tongue twister to non German speaker, handwerkskunst translates to English as Craftsmanship. This meant that the watch not only had to feature the iconic Lange design, but to also carry additional hand work to qualify for the title. and the caliber
The watch remains at 38.5mm case diameter and 10.5mm case height. And within, it carries the caliber L961.3, the third iteration of the Lange 1 tourbillon. In its first iteration, it carried a tourbillon which rotates in a counter clockwise fashion, with a cutout on the dial to show the tourbillon. On the second iteration, it was encased in a honey coloured gold case, and the tourbillon was updated with the patented stop seconds mechanism. And in this third version, the movement is slightly modified to increase the pinion heights to accomodate the thicker enamel dial.
The dial itself is a master piece. The main dial is a massive white gold dial, with black enamel, and the subsidiary seconds hands is on a separate slightly recessed sub-dial made of solid silver, anodized black.
This dark dial provides the contrast for the mirror polished rhodiumed gold hands and applique markers, and to the specular polished and chamfered tourbillon cock in steel carrying the emblematic diamond endstone, signifying the top quality of the watch.
Though bearing the moniker Handwerkskunst, the additional work on the movement plates demonstrates a degree of maturity in the design team with the restraint in over-decorating.
Only the tourbillon cock and the third wheel cock is hand engraved, together with a medallion on the hatch covering the middle of the 3/4 plate which holds the jewel to the cannon pinion. The 3/4 plate itself is opened up to show the double barrel and part of the wheel train.
The way these openings are made are magnificent and true to the spirit of a hand worked watch. The openings feature beautifully anglaged sides, but also many inward and outward angles. These angles can only be completed by hand, and is used as a mark of high virtuosity in watchmaking. Bravo to Lange for not taking the easy road by smoothening the lines of the openings, but for taking the high road to execute them with these beautiful and sensuous angles.
The watch case is only available in platinum, and retains the 38,5mm case diameter of the earlier Lange 1 Tourbillon and indeed even the original Lange 1 introduced in 1994.
We think this watch is a great triumph in the characteristic discrete style of Lange, and carries the Lange 1 flag on to the next 20 years and beyond. Is it worth the asking price of €179.000 (German retail with VAT)? What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.